For thousands of years dogs have provided people with protection, companionship and support. What we today recognize as the domestic dog became a part of human society when nomadic bands of hunter gatherers were roaming the Earth. There is evidence to suggest that these dogs, descended from the Grey Wolf were viewed as both working animals and as valued partners in surviving the tough environment that characterized the lives of these societies and today the dog has become part of the fabric of society and often a valued member of families across the globe.

There are very few homes that would not be enriched by the addition of a dog. Our children learn to love these additions to the home as they would a family member. Many people have extremely fond memories of spending time in the outdoors with what would later prove to be not only a faithful companion, but also in a very real sense, a staunch friend and ally during the challenging years of childhood.

It seems that the thousands of years that human beings spent sharing their homes with the canine species has forged a bond that is very difficult, if not impossible to break. The truth of the matter is that we need dogs as much as they need us.

Sharing our lives with pets brings so many benefits, but sadly, despite an ever-improving standard of veterinary care, every owner will eventually experience the loss of their much-loved friend. Coping with loss and grief can be a lonely and difficult struggle for many of us, and as a veterinary technician with cats and dogs of my own, even I haven’t been immune to the storm of emotions that descend after the loss of a favorite friend.

Through helping family, friends and clients cope with the loss of their pets over the years, I’ve learned some helpful ways to help both them (and myself) come to terms with the grief that the passing of a pet can bring.

1. Everyone Grieves Differently: allow yourself the time and space to grieve.
2. Don’t Let Others Minimize Your Loss: avoid those who try to downplay your emotions.
3. Ask For Support: empathy goes a long way, and being around like-minded individuals help ease any loneliness you may be feeling.
4. Find Ways to Remember Your Pet: celebrate and honor the special relationship you had with your pet.

Author's Bio: 

I am a pet grief coach who assists those animal lovers who are mourning the loss of a best friend and furry companion. Many people have a hard time moving through their grief & discovering more healthy ways to cope.

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