SAYING ‘GOODBYE’ TO YOUR FRIEND
These passages are from a book written by Eugene O’Neill called ‘The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog,’ published by Henry Holt and Company in 1999. I bought the book months ago because in my heart I knew Tess’ time to leave was coming, but I couldn’t bring myself to open it until today and I want to share a parts of it with you.
‘I have little in the way of material things to leave. Dogs are wiser than men. They do not set great store upon things. They do not waste their days hoarding property. They do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have, and to obtain objects they have not. There is nothing of value I have to bequeath except my love and my faith. These I leave to all those who loved me, especially to my Master and Mistress, who I know will mourn me the most. I ask my Master and Mistress to remember me always, but not to grieve for me too long. In my life I have tried to be a comfort to them in time of sorrow, and a reason for added joy in their happiness. It is painful for me to think that even in death I should cause them pain……It will be a sorrow to leave them, but not a sorrow to die. Dogs do not fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as something alien and terrible which destroys life……One last request I earnestly make. I have heard my Mistress say, ‘When Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could never love another.’ Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again. What I would like to feel is that, having once had me in the family, now she cannot live without a dog!……No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.’
When we lose a pet it can be devastating. I often wondered if I was the only one that had a very hard time coping. We had to put our first Westie, Dewars, down after a short and devastating illness. It was the hardest thing that we have ever done. He wasn’t old and hadn’t been sick. The disease just took over and ran rampant. While putting this web site together I included a “PET LOSS” section just in case there were others out there who were like us. I’m finding that we are the norm…….people love their pets so much it’s beyond my comprenshion. Hopefully some of the things you find on this page will bring you some comfort. Barb
See the menu for more information specificly meant to help adults, children, elderly, or other pets in the grieving process.
HOW TO HANDLE THE GUILT OF PUTTING A PET DOWN
EUTHANASIA, THE MOST PAINFUL DECISION
Euthanasia is one of the most difficult decisions anyone can ever make for a pet who is a beloved companion. Although the decision is demanded by humanitarian obligation, it is always traumatic for the person who must finally make it. It is perhaps the ultimate heartbreak we must be willing to endure for our adored companion animal. Aside from being the right thing to do, euthanasia can be a psychological nightmare of confusion, guilt and final responsibility.. Wallace Sife, Ph.D. The Loss of a Pet, Chapter 13.
COPING State by State, click and scroll down for support groups in your state.
BOOKS ON PET LOSS
HOW SOON SHOULD I GET A NEW PET?It is best for all involved if you and your family work through your grief before you consider getting another pet. Grieving affects everyone differently; everyone grieves in his or her own way. Be sure that all members of the family have worked through the grieving process. For some it may be weeks or months. Others may need at least a year before they are ready to start looking for another pet.When you feel that you are ready, you should consider several things. You should involve all of your family members in the decision. Don’t make a quick decision.Make sure you research different breeds. If you should decide on the same breed, remember they are all different. Like humans they all have different personalities, mannerisms, looks, likes and dislikes. You can love a dog of the same breed just as much as the pet that you lost. You will just love it for different reasons. Do not make comparisons. Accept the new dog for what it is.Consider a rescue dog. Shelters are full of dogs in need of homes. Local rescue groups take applications and place dogs that need homes as well.
Please click on the link to read the same Rainbow Bridge poem.