Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dealing With the Loss of A Pet: You Don’t Have to Deal With It Alone!

Sadly, just about about anyone who has ever shared their life with a dog knows what it is to lose one. I think the worst thing about our pet friends is that our span is so much longer than theirs. And though we treasure them and love them, eventually we are left alone. It’s a sad reality, but it can be very, very difficult to deal with.

One of the things that can make dealing with the loss of a pet even more difficult is the fact that a lot of people just don’t get the depth of loss and despair that losing an animal friend can cause. Though they may be trying to be kind, people sometimes make it worse. Someone telling you to get over it or -- perhaps worse -- get a new pet to help you cope with the loss of the old one can just make a grieving pet owner feel all the more alone and isolated.

It was this kind of emotion that holistic counsellor Melanie Yearow, a pet owner herself, responded to when started doing counseling to help people deal with the loss of their pets.

“The loss of a companion animal may be one of the most devastating experiences in one’s life,” Yearow says. “It is not uncommon for this loss to surpass the pain involved in losing a human being.”

It became important to her to let pet owners know they didn’t have to go through this alone. On her web site, Yearow outlines the services she offers grieving pet owners:

  • Creating a safe nonjudgmental place where you can express your deepest feelings and thoughts.
  • Helping you cope with and work through the difficult and, at times, intense feelings of shock, anger, guilt, sadness, and depression that often arise when a beloved pet becomes ill, dies, or is lost.
  • Helping you understand and come to terms with the pain and guilt you may be feeling around anticipating having or having had your pet euthanized. Although euthanasia is an utmost act of love and kindness that ends your pet’s suffering, it may be the most heart wrenching decision you will ever make.
  • Working with you around any issues of unresolved grief from your past that may surface when your pet dies.
  • Helping guide you through to the other side of your loss, where you will once again be able to think of your companion and the special relationship you shared with peace and happiness.
  • Discussing with you the timing of and what to expect when getting another pet.

Yearow’s office is on Vancouver’s west side. Call her at 604-730-5002 or visit her web site for more details.

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