WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES DECEMBER 5, 2019 27
How to grieve a
long lost pet
The loss of a beloved pet can be
a traumatic experience for a
child, a lonely senior citizen or
anyone who has cherished an animal
In many homes, a pet provides affection,
friendship and loyalty. Thus,
in time, the companion animal truly
becomes an important member of the
Grief, which results from the death
or loss of a pet, involves a diffi cult set
of emotions and problems which may
take time to work through.
It wasn’t too long ago that people
did not believe that it was okay to
grieve for an animal.
Now psychologists and grief counselors
recognize that sorrow for a pet
is a very real emotion akin to grieving
for a lost friend or relative.
A family veterinarian, who has
helped to care for a pet, understands
the emotional bond with a pet.
Mourning the loss of a pet is normal
and should not be a cause for embarrassment.
Pet owners experience the same
stages of loss that everyone undergoes
aft er the loss of a beloved family member
or friend, including denial, bargaining,
anger, grief, and resolution.
The veterinarian and the pet’s
family, including children, should
understand and decide together to
do what is most merciful for the pet
and the family.
The place of burial can vary from a
backyard to a pet cemetery, depending
on the size of the pet and the
laws or ordinances of the family’s
When a pet’s body is cremated, the
family may ask the veterinarian to
dispose of the ashes, or they may take
them to scatter in a favorite place, or
keep in an urn at the pet owner’s
home or pet cemetery.
Your local veterinarian may be
able to help arrange a funeral service
complete with casket, fl owers and
Such a service can be an enormous
comfort to the persons who loved
the pet by helping them demonstrate
their aff ection for the pet and accept
the fi nality of their loss -- a necessary
step in the recovery from grief.
This article was prepared with
research material from the New York
State Veterinary Medical Society and
Guideline Publications “Death of a
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