The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know

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Losing a pet is so much more painful than most people realize. It can even end in “broken heart syndrome.” Here’s how.

The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know

Do you have a pet you adore? I love seeing pictures and reading stories about the precious pets people have. If you haven’t read this story about a life-saving Pitbull, you have to! Such a sweetie.

The Agony of Losing a Pet

When a pet dies, the family who loved that fur baby is grief-stricken. Pets are family members. They are there when we wake up, and beside us when we go to sleep. They see us sick, happy, angry, sad, and they never pass judgment. Our pets see the truth of who we are and they love us in spite of ourselves.

Isn’t that what family is supposed to do? Be there in good and bad times, offering support and unconditional love? Some may say they don’t even get that kind of care from their human families.

That’s why Scientific American says we should take pet loss seriously.

The aching hearts of those who lose a pet are often lonely hearts. After her dog died, a woman suffered from a terrible condition called “broken heart syndrome.” SA explains, “It can happen when the response to grief is so severe the person exhibits symptoms that mimic a heart attack, including elevated hormone levels that can be 30 times greater than normal.”

Essentially, the author says when you’re in anguish after this kind of loss, you need to reach out and let people know how badly you’re hurting.

“We need to seek social support from people we know will understand and sympathize with our emotions and not judge us for them.”

I think as a society we can always do a better job of supporting each other.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

You were used to morning purring to wake you up and now it’s quiet. You and your good boy always went for a walk before heading to bed. Now the leash hangs still.

When you open the front door, no one runs to you. At night all you can think about is how long it been since you slept in a bed without a four-legged friend taking up all the space.

That’s why the rest of us should show up, be loving, supportive and continue to be so for as long as it takes. There is no timeline on grief.

“It is time we gave grieving pet owners the recognition, support and consideration they need. Yes, it is up to us to identify and address our emotional wounds when our pet dies, but the more validation we receive from those around us, the quicker and the more complete our psychological recovery will be.” – Scientific American

If you’ve lost a pet, I want you to know how sorry I am you’re in pain. Tell us about them in the comments. What made you love them so? Did they have a favorite toy or a sweet way of showing you their love?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist to help you get through.

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164 comments on “The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know”

  1. Candi came to live with us on 1st march 2013 at 14weeks old xxx she was born Nov 2012
    She loved soft teddies toys that squeeked until she made sure they didn’t anymore her favourite was a duck i bought one Christmas now ripped to shreds like all the others lol and a carrot toy which I bought coz Marc nicknamed her carrot lips when he 1st met her…
    She snored very loudly but it was comforting at the same time..
    She loved skidding on garden wiping her bum on the garden very slyly lol.. nibbling peoples shoes or feet playing football which she was quite good at then ripping the ball to shreds just to make sure no one else could play with it..

    Wasn’t keen on certain men but liked most women always followed me everywhere was very protective of me and she made me feel safe.
    She’d patrol the garden sniff out rats and would bark at noises coming from the park all you had to say was “watch em candi” and she was on it!
    she wasn’t a noisy dog like some that yap all day she just barked when it was necessary. when she was younger she used to talk/ sing to us which was cute..
    She hated thunder and fireworks loved the snow and sunbathing…She was my personal hoover loved most foods apart from dry dog food which she would refuse to eat or eat all around the wet food and leave the dry
    Just this year we got 2 kittens and she accepted them in the house Candi and Paws were respectful of each other and had a understanding… you dont bother me too much and I wont bother you… Tyson she was a little weary of because he was forever tapping her nose but she’d get him back by chasing him lol
    She got arthritis in her hips about 3 years ago and became alittle unsteady every now and then but on the whole she was really fit for her age.
    She also was unable to have pups because she never came into season which was a shame because I know she would have been a beautiful mommy…
    Wasn’t keen on car rides but didnt mind bus rides funnily enough..loved to run around the garden in all weather’s and loved escaping out the house/gate and causing trouble with 2 dogs she couldn’t stand .
    She was really loving to her family had the cutest little face we all said nannan looked like her..haha
    I miss her more than I imagined I would the house feels so empty and quiet and still… with no one saying candi lay down or candi come on have a wee wee …she was a big dog but her bark was all for show because she was anxious and a scaredy cat at times .
    I’m so sorry I couldn’t save u Candi u was my first and only pooch so beautiful with emerald green eyes and a sad little rubber lips ..running around like u was a pup you played until your last breath and I want u to know I love you dearly for being by my side at some of my loneliest times .
    Whenever I was in the house alone I always knew I was safe coz u was always there xx
    Rest now my Candi boo I love u more than I showed you . . You always was a good dog the best dog I realised that as we both got older .
    I always made sure u was the first one to make paw prints in the snow ❄️ because u loved it so much and it made me happy to see u happy xx il never forget u Candi boo my little white angel now xx

  2. I’ve heard the saddest part of life is when the one that gives you the best memories becomes a memory. It’s been 4 months since I said goodbye to my best friend, Skuzzy. I met him at a local shelter when I was still in college. I was a very alone, and living a closeted life. Skuzzy gave me a security I never had. After realizing the incredible bond I was forming with him, I decided to start living openly because even if I was rejected, I knew I at least had him. After 21 years of living scared, it just took the friendship of an amazing dog to make me feel so strong. I’ve been through so much with him over the past 13 years of his life – we’ve hiked all over the country, binged dozens of tv series, and I can I say with 100% certainty that he was my soulmate. It’s been very hard to process this loss and celebrate the time that we did have because I don’t have much good going on in my life at the moment to occupy my thoughts. I think my friends and family feel bad for me for losing a dog, but they don’t understand that I actually lost a brother. One thing that comforts me to know is that the immense amount of pain I’ve been feeling is a reflection of how much I loved him.

  3. We had to put our puppy down 2 days ago and it has absolutely broken my families heart. Her 1st bday was supposed to be next month. She got extremely sick last week and it all happened so fast and then before you know it, we were faced with the choice of putting her down to end her suffering. Our Harley Girl was the prettiest girl in the world and the most joyful dog I’ve ever seen. She brought so much happiness to our family and I think it’s going to take us a long time to get over this. We never in a million years expected to lose her before she was even 1. I am going to miss giving her belly rubs, her laying at my feet, her getting so excited for her meals, her waking me up when the sun rises, her loyalty to my kids, how she’d wait for me at my door everyday while I got ready, how excited she was for treats, how much she loved chasing tennis balls….i could go on and on. Missing you Harley Girl and love you so much. Wishing you were still here with us. Xoxo

  4. I lost the love of my life “Soju” 3 weeks after my other dog passed and 3 days before my mother in March of this year. He was only 9-He was my Service dog for my PTSD and the only living thing that I have received love from. We were directly connected without speech- prior to Soju passing I had purchased a puppy. I am not able to deeply connect with my new dog and I cannot stop crying about him or missing him. I cant imagine life without him, I dont know if I will ever get over it.

  5. Barbara Artsay

    My cat Shiloh died yesterday morning. He’s been very sick but he was at the hospital feeling a little bit better and I was supposed to take him home that day. I am so heartbroken. I’ve only had dogs he’s the only cat I’ve had,  but he and I are so bonded to each other.  I am so heartbroken.  I miss him desperately.  I keep crying.  But I suppose that’s a tribute to how wonderful he was.

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