Some Tried and True Ways of Coping With Pet Loss

Coping with pet loss involves finding ways to deal with what is often an overwhelming sense of sadness. Where do you begin in coping with pet loss? Even though I’m a psychotherapist who specializes in relationships and regularly helps others cope with their losses, losing Charlie, my Golden Retriever of fourteen years, was devastating. My book, Charlie: A Love Story, tells of the joy and the pain of the last years of Charlie’s life, as well as how we finally had to say goodbye. The last part of Charlie: A Love Story is about anticipating that loss and how I cope after he’s gone.

One of the best ways that I have found of coping with pet loss is to sit quietly with a book about how someone else got through coping with pet loss. When I lost one of my dogs years ago, I found such a book, Golden Days: Memories of a Golden Retriever by Arthur Vanderbilt. Reading it consoled me – it felt comforting and supportive. I’m hoping Charlie: A Love Story can do this for you, too – you can find out more about Charlie’s story by clicking on the following link: charliealovestory.com.

Both in my work and my personal life, I’ve seen that people often are as upset over the loss of a pet as of a human. Unfortunately though, many people are embarrassed by how much sadness they feel after they’ve lost a pet. And so another important way of coping with pet loss is to be with people who themselves love pets and so are able to understand and acknowledge your feelings, people who understand how difficult coping with pet loss can be. Another option is to talk with a professional therapist.

Also, you can look at sites on the internet. Read and think about the beautiful words in the poem The Rainbow Bridge. Keep busy. Go to some of your favorite places, and do some of your favorite things. These are just a few of the many ways of coping with pet loss. In Charlie: A Love Story, I provide many examples of what worked for me.

After you’ve lost a pet, while the sense of loss may be overwhelming at first, please keep in mind that, eventually, you’ll remember the wonderful times you had with him or her. And, I hope, feel thankful that this beautiful being was a part of your life, even if for too short a time.