A friend recently lost her adorable Labradoodle and told me she’s embarrassed by her grief because there are so many awful things going on. I hoped it would help her to know that I’d read somewhere that it’s been scientifically proven that losing a pet causes the same kind of pain as having a human loved one die.
This was a few days before President Trump used TV time to show a picture of a canine, “I call them dogs,” he said, showing tremendous regard for the dog reported to have been involved in going after ISIS. I divert, but it was impossible not to notice that his children – aside from Ivanka – have reason to be jealous of that dog. The older sons, we all know, have less respect for animals, pointing rifles at them when they’re not meeting with Russians.
Returning to the topic, I read that the bond between people and dogs has the name “secure base effect,” which is also found between parents and children (again I think of Trump, who will not be asked to write a book on parenting).
The article recommended creating a funeral for your pet as an outlet for your grief, getting support from those who’ve experienced the loss and giving yourself permission to cry. I would add, as someone who designs personalized urns, that you consider putting the cremains into an urn with photos of your beloved animal.