Bereavement

IMG_1544I’ve noticed that many more courses for dog walkers/trainers/behaviourist include a module on how to deal with people who have lost their dog. I think it’s necessary as (it’s not only my opinion) many trainers think the hardest part of their job is dealing with the owners, not the dogs.IMG_1541

I’m lucky enough to have a friend who’s a bereavement counsellor. But even with all I know and all I’ve learnt and all the mental and physical preparations I have slept 7 hours in 6 days, forced myself to eat 5 meals in a week and was hiding in the toilet crying a few times. Ardbeg was neither my first, nor my only dog and because of the loss of some of the closest people in my life I know (in theory) how to manage. So, yes, I do think it’s important for a good dog trainer or behaviourist to understand how strong the human/dog bond can be.IMG_1549

And without this little lady in the photos, I wouldn’t cope well at all.

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13 thoughts on “Bereavement

  1. Bereavement is hard, no matter how many people or animals you have lost in the past. It never gets easy. And, in my opinion, it shouldn’t. Each relationship is different, so each death affects you differently too. It just shows the depth of love that you have for the one who is no longer with you. Take care of yourself as best as you can. Sending hugs and prayers to you.

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  2. Lilydog is a sweet soul, and you are lucky to have each other at this hugely transitional time for you both. When my Darling Husband died not-quite-2-1/2 years ago, people said, “You need a dog,” but I couldn’t contemplate being responsible for another living being when I could barely breathe. When I decided last summer that I was ready and then when I adopted my sweet Fergus, my life turned on a dime. I am so in love with this puppy. I can’t imagine life without him and yet, I know I’ll have to face it one day. I choose not to think about it.

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    1. Just enjoy every moment with Fergus, don’t waste the time that’s been given to you both, be happy so that you have nothing to regret when you have to say goodbye. And you were right not to adopt a dog when you didn’t feel ready. We don’t replace one love with another, we just add the new one to the old – you needed time to mourn, it’s important to let yourself be sad in order to be happy again. We’re sending our love to you xxx

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    1. I’ve noticed how different the behaviour of people I meet on my morning walks is. The dog owners are quiet, tactful and genuinely feel my pain. The ones that don’t have dogs talk about all the people they know whose dogs died, tell me stories from their lives, and totally unaware of my discomfort keep me standing there, silent and close to tears. It’s not their fault, they’re trying to be polite, cheer me up and all that, they simply don’t understand.

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      1. It’s that way, I think, for anyone who doesn’t understand the loss of a loved one. They’re uncomfortable and don’t really know what to say or do, but they WANT to show they care. I’ve just never gotten used to being in that place that you describe so well, politely suffering the pain of losing one of the most important souls in life while someone else bumbles around trying to make you “feel better”.

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      2. Ohhh, that hurts to hear…I have to admire your restraint though…I never spoke to a person again after my beloved cat of 17 years had to be put to sleep. They said ” it was only a cat..” Your emotional strength is truly moving, I hope sharing your thoughts through blogging helps a little…thinking of you x

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  3. ❤ ❤ ❤ It's okay to not be strong all the time. Let yourself grieve. I love Lily's little sleepy, snuggly kangaroo pose. I'm glad she can make it a little easier for you.

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