Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Friends In Need

I recently did a blog exchange with Happy Tails Books, a publishing company from Colorado. To see the interview visit Happy Tails Books' website at

One of the things I discussed in the interview was resources that are available to help someone deal with their grief after a beloved pet dies. For me talking to our veterinarian, Dr. Radakovich helped immensely. He assured us that we did nothing to cause Molly's disease and that we did everything, within reason, to try and save her. The other person who's helped me through my grief is my mom. My mom and Molly were very close and my mom misses Molly almost as much as I do. Whenever something happens or we go somewhere Mom always says how much Molly would have loved it - whatever it may be. What's been so great about my mom is that she always tells the best and funniest Molly stories. I could listen to her stories all day.

Most of my family and friends have offered their condolences, but there have been a few that haven't even broached the subject. I think that's because sometimes we're not sure what to say or do for someone who has lost a beloved pet. I asked Teresa Freeman, a counselor who specializes in pet loss and bereavement how to help someone who's suffered the loss of a pet.

Teresa answered, "Many people cannot find support from the community or family and friends when this type of loss occurs. It is not helpful to invalidate the depth of feeling simply because the loss was a pet, not a human. Many people feel the loss of a pet more than other human losses. This can be a source of confusion and guilt. Support people can help best by being present to listen and to validate whatever feelings may come up. Honoring the relationship even if it isn’t understood is critical and unconditional support is important."

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