When Your Agility Dog Crosses The Final Finish Line

grieving for your lost dogTo say it is hard to let go of our dogs is the understatement of the year.  While man strives for immortality, our dogs are so much more deserving than any person.  It doesn’t make matters any better that they are not with us for long at all and when you have to make the decision for them due to health reasons it will be the hardest moment in your life.  Yet, you will know when it is the best option for them when it comes.  Then, although you will deeply miss them for some time, those feelings will be replaced with all the memories of their smiling faces and crazy antics that make each of them the individuals they are. Along with those joyful moments and even the mischievous and troublesome times.

Believe it or not our dogs teach us more than we know while they’re in our lives.  If you let them they can remove preconceived notions of perfection, teach you the importance of living in the moment and to put others ahead of yourself.  They even teach you that it is OK to lose control and chase your tail.

Regardless how much you may prepare for the day, coping with the loss of a pet can be very hard, harder than you imagined.  When people ask me for advice on coping and grieving I let them know that it is all about what works for you.  You need to do what makes you feel better, whether that be crying and framing their collar, holding a funeral or just cuddling your remaining dog, then do it.

And just when is it right to move on? There is no pat answer for that question either.  And while you need to take the time you need, when you are ready it isn’t healthy to look for a dog exactly like the one you lost and give it the same name. Just like people, they are individuals and need to be seen that way. Each dog has something different to give and if you are blind to that, they will never be happy. Find a new friend, and remember the old.  It’s not wrong to want another dog.  Dogs have a way of healing hurts, even the loss of another dog.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share on how to help grieve the loss of a beloved pet?