Love runs deep, no matter if it is the love of a person or a pet. When we lose a beloved pet, no matter what species, it leaves a huge hole in our heart and life. For some people, getting a new pet right away helps ease the pain. Other people can never get another pet. I have owned many dogs, cats and birds, each one holds a special place in my heart. When my search dog Scout died suddenly from undetected cancer, I was numb for two weeks. I had other search dogs and pets since losing him, but I could never get another dog of his breed.
Unfortunately, many people do not understand how someone could feel so deeply about an animal. They do not offer the support that they would give if a family member passed, but the person who is heartbroken needs that support just as much.
People handle grief differently and it helps to understand their needs. A pet owner will handle their grief in the same way that someone who has lost person would. Some people need to talk about the lost pet. Others avoid talking about the pet because it is too painful. Almost everyone feels comfort by getting a sympathy card or a hand written note. In this case a hard copy is best because they may want to save it.
As a certified animal behavior consultant, I have had many clients call to tell me about the loss of their pet. They do this because they know that I will understand. Letting a friend who has lost a pet know that you understand is very important. Let them talk and be willing to listen, even if they talk about the pet frequently as they go through the grieving process.
Both the Old and New Testament have a lot to say about animals and how important they are to God. In the book of Matthew 10:29 it says that God knows even if a sparrow falls. Animals are mentioned many times in the Old Testament, illustrating how important they are to God. Knowing this may bring comfort to someone who is grieving the loss of a pet. The big question that people often have is whether or not they go to Heaven. I have explored this and many other questions regarding animals and their importance to God in my book God’s Creatures A Biblical View of Animals. Please feel free to order it on Amazon or directly through my website for an autographed copy. www.sbulanda.com This book has brought comfort to many people, especially when a beloved pet has passed.