Final farewells

02 November 2022
2 mins read
Volume 13 · Issue 9

When I got back into my car after BVNA Congress, there was a programme on the radio discussing bereavement. A comment made by one of the participants resonated with me, he said ‘grief is the final incarnation of love’ — I thought about my dear dog Momo who died aged 13 in 2021, and wondered whether having a more positive view on grief as a natural and loving process would have been helpful. Little did I know that by the end of the week I would lose another dear companion — my beloved Poodle aged 16 became progressively unwell, and was euthanased on the Friday. Was it useful to think about grief as my final gift of love? Possibly, but the thought hasn't removed the pain I feel at losing him, and the aching sadness at the sight of his empty bed.

Anyone losing a pet will be aware that there is a huge variation in the response of others to death of your pet — a friend of mine who lost her dog last year told me that she didn't tell anyone for months in the fear that they would play down what to her was a hugely significant and distressing event. There is a feeling of embarrassment in mourning what was ‘only a dog’. There may also be feelings of guilt associated with the decision to euthanase.

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