Pet Loss

Our pets don’t live as long as we want. Many times we need to make the decision to euthanize. How do we know the right time? Assess the quality of life? Think of five things your pet loved to do. Come and beg at dinner, go for walks, run, play, and always eat and sleep. When eating and sleeping is all there is, the quality of life is no longer there. Here at Adobe Animal Hospital, we encourage you to stay with your pet during euthanasia. Being present means that you don’t have to imagine how it went. You can see that there was no suffering and no pain. We often accommodate entire families. You will also need to make a decision regarding what to do with the body. You may bury your pet at home. Most families opt for cremation. Many people will pick up their pets ashes to scatter at home or bury. Cremation is performed for us by Animal Memorial Service. You may find this to be useful: The Grieving Person’s Bill of Rights Though you should reach out to others as you do the work of mourning, you should not feel obligated to accept the unhelpful responses you may receive. The following list is intended both to empower you to heal and to help you decide how others can and cannot help. You have the right to experience your own unique grief. No one else will grieve in exactly the same way. So, when you turn to others for help, they can’t tell you what you should or should not be feeling. You have the right to talk about your grief. Talking about your grief will help you heal. You have the right to feel a multitude of emotions. You may feel guilt, relief, sadness, anger and wish you could have done differently. These and any other emotions you feel are all normal. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical and emotional limits. Your feelings of loss and sadness may leave you feeing fatigued. Respect what your body and mind are telling you. Don’t allow others to push you into doing things you don’t feel ready to do. You have the right to feel grief “attacks.” Sometimes out of nowhere, a powerful surge of grief may overcome you. This is a normal and natural part of the grief process. You have the right to move towards your grief and heal. Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself. Loosely excerpted from “How to start and lead a bereavement support group” by Alan D. Wolfelt, PHD. These also can be useful web sites: http://www.pet-loss.net/ http://www.argusinstitute.collostate.edu/grif.htm http://www.findinfo.com/petloss.htm

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