Next Day Pets - Say goodbye to your dog
The loss of a pet is truly a tragic, devastating and incomparable experience. We turn to our pets in search of support, comfort, camaraderie, affection and love without limits. So what do you do when it's time to let your best furry friend go? The first thing you should understand is that you are not alone in your pain. Even if those around you do not understand why you are so disturbed because it is " just a dog ", do not forget that there are people like you around the world, who love their pets with all their heart and suffer their loss just like the loss from anyone they love.
First, with an aged or sick dog, you have to decide when it is time to sacrifice them. After the departure of your beloved pet, you must understand how to manage your pain, how to help your family through this complicated experience, and what you can do to make everything a little easier.
How do I know it's time?
Euthanasia is the act of ending your dog's life with a quick and painless injection placed by your veterinarian. This, of course, is not an easy decision. It should not be taken lightly and it is best for you to discuss your choice with your veterinarian before making a final decision.
The best way to estimate if it is time to say goodbye to your dog is if its quality of life has declined to the point that the bad days outweigh the good days. At this point, keeping your dog alive is forcing him to live in pain.
If your dog still enjoys the company of his companions, if he is still excited with his favorite toys and tasty snacks, if he can move without pain, and if he participates in games, euthanasia is probably not the right decision. However, if your dog has to face difficult and stressful treatments regularly, has problems moving, is generally disinterested in life, is not aware of its surroundings, does not want to be petted or played with it, or if it gets dirty frequently, maybe it's time to choose euthanasia. It is important that you be honest and altruistic with yourself and your family when making this decision. Choosing to let your dying pet last may feel like the simplest option, because you still don't have to say goodbye, but in reality it just means continuing to prolong the suffering of your pet and family.
Whether you have chosen euthanasia, or if you have lost your dog in an unexpected accident or due to illness, you must be prepared to go through several completely normal stages of mourning.
A common and early stage of grief is denial. You may not want to admit that your dog is gone. Maybe you wake up in the morning waiting to see Rover moving his tail at the foot of your bed. Allowing yourself to grieve is the best way to go through this stage. Don't try to just bury your feelings; This will hurt even more than it will help in the long run.
Maybe you also experience anger. This may be directed at your pet for having gotten sick, for the veterinarian for not being able to make it better, for your loved ones for not having done more to help. Your anger may also be directed at you in the form of guilt. You may be upset with yourself for not having done more, for not spending enough time with your dog, or for not taking him on that long daily walk that he would have liked so much. The best thing you can do is let these feelings go. When you feel angry, try to think of something that your pet did that aroused a smile or something that they both liked to do, and how it made you feel. Remember that even if your dog is not there, nobody can take away those memories. Instead of clinging to anger, clinging to those good feelings.
Often, after denial and anger, you may find yourself in the period of depression. You may lose interest in your daily activities, have trouble sleeping, and feel generally lethargic; You can even experience headaches, shortness of breath, and other symptoms of extreme stress. Do not be ashamed to seek help in this situation; Strong and intelligent people do it every day. Sometimes the strongest decision is to ask for help.
Eventually, you will find yourself in the duel acceptance phase. Understand that your puppy is gone and will not return; that he is safe and no longer suffers; And that this is for the better. At this stage you may feel distant if you have just lost your dear friend, but just when any other devastating or sad experience will pass, and the sun will shine again .
How to handle it?
You must understand that you are not being hypersensitive, silly, or crazy about feeling miserable because your dog is gone. These feelings are completely normal. A good way to work on your emotions is to talk with a friend or a close relative. However, many of us do not have friends or family who understand the exceptional bond of a dog and its owner. If this is the case, seek the guidance of your veterinarian, a local human society, or a club related to the subject. There you will find individuals who support you and are kind, who understand how you feel and many of whom have gone through the same experience. You can also visit forums with specific categories for stories and conversations about the memory of beloved pets.
In addition, you can try to move things in your home. Especially if Rover had a particular corner where he lay down, and it breaks your heart every time you look in that direction and he is not there. Redecorate your living room and place a table or lamp in that corner. You will be surprised how simple changes can help in the grieving process.
Help you and your children in the process
When it comes to children, you have to be absolutely honest. Telling your children that Rover went to a farm far away may seem like a gentle way to help us through the loss, but it is counterproductive. Not only does it not help them understand the natural processes of life, about which they should eventually learn, but when they learn the truth, they will be filled with distrust and anger, which can be difficult to cope with.
When you explain the situation to your children, avoid euphemisms such as "I put him to sleep" or "he went to a better life." These expressions are confusing and easy to misunderstand, especially for young children, and can even be scary. If you tell a young child that Rover has been "put to sleep" without explaining exactly what it means, he or she may later be afraid to fall asleep because they may not return. Talk to your children kindly, but also frankly. Delicately explain that living became painful and difficult for Rover in the end and that saying goodbye was the most pleasant thing you could do for him, even when it was so challenging.
Do not feel that you must " be strong " for your children. Crying in front of them or with them for the loss of their dog will show them that it is okay to feel sad about the loss and that it is okay to cry. But try to direct the conversation to the positive side, finding ways to smile through tears. Remember old funny stories with your family related to your dog, or funny things he did. Encourage your children to draw pictures or write stories about the good times with your dog.
The lack of control in the experience of losing a pet is difficult for a child, especially if he or she was not involved in the euthanasia decision. Help him or help her to have a sense of control by allowing her to plan the service, or decorating the grave or urn. This will provide children with an important sense of closure, and it will also help you with your pain.
If this is your children's first experience with death, they will probably have some questions. Do your best to be extremely patient and close. The more information they seek and find, the more comfortable they will be with what has happened, and they will be more prepared when they inevitably have to face death again later in life. Look at it as a learning experience that they will remember with appreciation as they grow.
Absolutely don't try to replace the pet that is gone. It is more than good to have another dog eventually, in fact, it is recommended, but this new dog is NOT a replacement. Avoid acquiring a dog of the same breed or calling it the same. This will be confusing for children and can arouse resentment towards the new dog. Dogs are individuals, like people, and it is not fair that you expect the new dog to take the place of the dear friend who has died.
If it is extremely difficult for your children to handle the death of your dog, take this as a sign that you have raised compassionate individuals with big hearts. After all, those with big hearts are more likely to break them. Don't worry about seeking refuge in the church, in support groups, or in grieving counselors to help you and your family through this difficult time. Just remember, as Edna St. Vincent Millay said, " sadness flies away in the wings of time ."
Translated by: Diana Martínez, editor and translator in the big family hermandadblanca.org
Channeled by: Next Day Pets, a website dedicated to pets.
Original page: https://www.nextdaypets.com/directory/dogs/articles/saying-goodbye-to-your-dog~157.aspx