Death and life are a cycle. Ironically, joy and grief also coincide with each other. The death of one loved one can be overlapped with the birth of another. Pets are also an overlap of death and life. Many individuals find new dogs or cats to love, while still grieving the loss of another. Many individuals feel they may be replacing a past dog or cat, but the reality is, one is loving another while never forgetting the other. It is like having multiple children. No child replaces another but only enhances one’s life.
The article, “What I’ve Learned from Loving a New Dog While Grieving Another” by Annette McGivney looks at her journey of caring for a new dog, while still in the acute process of grieving the loss of another. She states,
“Last April and May, I tried to live without a dog and focus entirely on grieving Sunny, but I soon found myself looking at puppies online at two in the morning. One thing led to another, and in early June I drove to Pueblo, Colorado, to pick up Trudy after a rescue organization reached out to me. My contact there knew I was planning to wait at least a year before bringing another dog into my life, but she convinced me to go for it. “This dog really needs someone who is active and can spend a lot of time with her,” she said. “You would be perfect.” Trudy’s elderly owner lived alone and had dementia. He had kept her isolated in a cement dog run for her entire young life.”
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The late comedian George Carlin once said, “life is a series of dogs”, For many pet owners this is true. It is not a series of replacements but a series of sharing life with new faces and one day hoping to see all those faces again together.
Please also review AIHCP’s Pet Loss Grief Support Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Pet Loss Grief Support.