3 Steps in Dealing with the Loss of Your Pet

The test was positive. I was internally freaking out, I mean…the test was positive! I looked at Felice, him already able to read my face. I told him to get out and shoved him out the bathroom door. I got on my knees and grabbed Sam, forcing her to look me in the eye. “Sam,” I whispered. “We’re going to have a baby.”

It sounds pretty crazy, I can admit that. Sam was 15 at the time, already being in my life for just that long and I convinced myself that she’d stick around for much longer. She had been with me through my childhood, teenage years, and now this. How lucky could I have been? She had to be the first to know.

Sam at 14, 2017.

She passed away in January, and occasionally I still get struck with sadness. It was so sudden, and I can’t help to think that we deserved more time to prepare for it (as if the 15 years wasn’t enough time). I ultimately had to make the call to have her put down, and just an hour later we were digging in the snow.

Months later, I drove a friend to the vet to support her while her cat was being euthanized, and even then I cried just as hard as she did. It was all so familiar; I knew the exact pain she was experiencing.

Pets are important, they’re family. Dealing with a pet passing on is never easy, regardless of how much time you got with them or if you expected it to happen right then and there. I believe we can find solace in knowing that others are right there with us who have experienced the same heartache and pain that comes from losing a pet. We are in this life together, so be sure to give that same unconditional love to a friend or family member in need in the same way that your pet gave you.

1.) Take the Time to Grieve:

Easier said than done, that I know from experience. With Aria being just 3 months while I was still breastfeeding and working full time, I didn’t allow myself the time to really sit down and let it out. I think that may be part of why it still occasionally stings, but please do yourself a favor and take a mental health day. You’ll thank yourself later.

2.) Don’t Rush into Getting New Pet:

Also easier said than done as I already have another senior dog. Eddie is 12 and quite frankly, I have a hard time remembering that when he’s barking and running all over the house. Boy, does that dog have energy. Everyone is different and heals in their own time. If you’re ready to take on another pet, make sure your heart is ready for it too.

3.) Be Patient With Yourself:

Most importantly, be patient with the process and take it day by day. You are not alone in this. The feeling is unimaginable, but it does get easier.

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