How To Get Over the Death of the Family Dog

By: | November 25, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here is a picture of my little dog Angel who, now, has truly become my Angel!

 

How to Get Over the Death of the Family Dog in 8 Easy Steps

Many of my readers know that my family and I lost our little dog Angel last month.  (“I Once Had a Dog Named Nasty“).

Knowing Angel’s death was imminent, I struggled to find the answers to what was going to be a difficult journey for all of us: how to cope with the death of the family dog.

In the six weeks since he died, my husband Wayne and I believe we have found the answers that may help your family cope with the loss of a loved one, the family pet.

These are all coping mechanisms we have actually tried.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek approach to two very different coping strategies.  I ask my reader’s indulgence as I refer to myself in the third person.

Wayne and Angel                  Angel and Janice

Step #1:

Wayne: Cremate the dog.  Display the urn in a prominent place.  Put his 8×10 photo at the site of the urn.  It’s important to keep Angel in the land of the living after all, since he will always be in our minds and our hearts.

Janice: Cremate the dog so that he gets to be with us in death.  Hide the ashes, so there are no reminders that the dog died, and we can try to put it behind us.

Step #2:

Wayne: Throw a party for the vet’s office that cared for the dog.  We need to show just how great our appreciation for their efforts is.  Their compassion for our dog was so great, they performed many services for free!

Janice: Avoid the vet’s office at all costs so there are no painful reminders that we used to take him there.

Step #3:

Wayne: Put a picture of the dog on the screen of the smartphone.  This ensures pet owners will be able to look at their dogs every time calls comes in or out, or they send or receive texts.

Janice: Put photos of the dog in your Dropbox; then, immediately delete them from your phone.  I wouldn’t want to accidentally see them and be sad.

Step #4:

Wayne: Continue activities unchanged during the mourning period which could take years.

Janice: Change location of activities as needed to avoid going anywhere the dog went.  Keep activities light during the mourning period which could take weeks.

Step #5

Wayne: Spend lots of time watching mindless television.  It will give one time to really reflect on the dog’s life and ultimate passing in order to expedite the mourning process.

Janice: Spend lots of time throwing yourself into writing blogs, reading other people’s blogs, and reading blogging books.  There’s no chance to think about the dog this way.  Preoccupation is the answer!

Step #6

Wayne: Spend lots of time perusing ten years’ worth of the dog’s photos on the laptop.

Janice: Spend lots of time Playing Farmville 2 on the laptop.

Step #7

Wayne: Talk about getting a new dog for Janice.  She really needs to fill the void!

Janice: Talk about getting a new dog for Wayne.  He really needs to fill the void!

Step #8

Wayne: Don’t tell anyone the dog died.  The truth is too awful to say.

Janice: Tell everyone the dog died.  Moral support is really needed right now!

I hope readers can see from our experience that there is no right way to mourn.  Although we disagree on how to mourn, we do agree on one very important theme.  The experience of mourning is different for each person.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to grief.

Readers, if you find any coping mechanisms have worked for you, please share.

  1. razorbackwriteraus

    When my dog passed away a month ago, we found a spot by a creek under the shade of a beautiful gum tree, and laid him to rest. We had all took the time to say a few words and even planted a tree there which we have been back to water a few times. It is a tranquil place and I couldn’t have thought of a more fitting way to give our dog a peaceful place of rest.

  2. batteredhope

    Considering my dogs are now 15 and 18, I dread the inevitable. However, we have had and lost many dogs. I devoted many blog posts to their lives and their passing. Last month we lost two, Willow a rescue we had 6 years and Dakota, a rescue we had one year. No matter how long you have them, they are part of your life and saying good-bye is NEVER easy. I love them all deeply and would have to side with you, Janice, in the coping department

  3. Bella Silverstein

    This is a great blog. It’s hard to part with a beloved pet. My sadness usually dissipates when I finally allow myself to get distracted by all the chewing and peeing and training and loving that takes place with the new adorable puppy.

  4. Susan

    You are correct everybody copes in their own personal way when a cherished pet dies. When my beloved pomeranian passed my family held a meaningful funeral, eulogies and all. She gave us so much joy during life that we still honor her memory even today. A prominent picture is in our family room and a painting of her is displayed near our entryway. On her birthday we pick up her favorite treat, ribs, to share with her Pom brother and sister as a celebratory remembrance. We reminisce by her grave how much she meant to us. On the date of her death we gather again to place flowers and exchange favorite stories. The spring greenery hides her gravestone for awhile and then it reappears as the autumn leaves fall. “Thanks for all your love” is engraved in the stone.

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  7. pet memorials Sunshine Coast

    Just like any family death, it is important to properly say your goodbyes following the loss of a pet. This can be done by holding a funeral or memorial service.

  8. Moose

    Hello Janice,
    It is an excellent post must say!. It would give courage to a lot of people who have lost their pet and don’t know how to overcome this. We need to talk about this as well, you have done a good job.
    Thanks and keep writing good stuff.
    Moose!

  9. Prince James

    Nowadays pets are more loyal than human. So after their death, the proper funeral should be done to say GOODBYE to them. We(me and my wife) lost our pet 3 months back. Our pet name was Alice, she was like a child to us. We were 3 members at the home, me, my wife and Alice. After her death, we decided to give a bid farewell in a good way. So we consulted the best pet crematory services, provider. I would like to mention the name Rainbow Pet Crematory. They did their job nicely. Hope our Alice will be happy wherever she is. Love you, Alice !!

  10. LeMitri's

    This is such a tough subject. Not looking forward to going through this with my kids. This is good information to have for future reference. It is hard to remember what each age group really understands what when it comes to losing a beloved pet. I wish pets could live as long as we do!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi!
      Thanks for coming by and commenting on my post. I’m with you. I heard some reason pets don’t live as long, it was spiritual relating to All Dog’s Go to Heaven but I can’t remember why. My middle daughter has always been affected the most by death. Definitely not easy to console them.
      Janice

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