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Coping with the Death of Your Pet

March 31, 2016, 6:21 pm

Mt. Tabor Animal Hospital

When a beloved friend, or family member dies, it's natural to receive the understanding and comfort from your friends and family… it's natural to feel sorrow. But many who have faced the death of a pet are caught off guard by the depth of grief they experience, and others still may not get why you're grieving the death of "just" a pet.

For those who have been fortunate enough to open their heart and home to a pet, they know how easily the pet becomes part of the family. We celebrate their birthdays, carry pictures in our wallets, and our pets demonstrate unconditional love. The fact that they're our "fur babies" doesn't lessen the pain or grief when they die.

Accepting that it's ok to mourn the loss of a pet is the first step toward coping with your grief. As veterinarians, part of our job is to be there throughout the life of your pet, provide comfort at the end of their life, and be here to support the humans who are being left behind.

If you find yourself coping with the death of your pet, here are a few books we recommend, and, as always, please call our office to schedule an appointment if you are in need of support, or guidance through this process.

"Part of being a veterinarian or working at an animal hospital is knowing the patients and the human family. That includes being there throughout the patient's life, and also being there at the end of life. Bobo my cat was age 17 when his time came last week, and I was feeling so alone in taking him on what I knew was his last ride. I was a wreck, and everybody that knows me at Mount Tabor Animal Hospital knew it. They supported me, held my hand and cried with me as my little man breathed his last, and his pain ended.

"On such a sad day, the people of Mount Tabor Animal Hospital showed true compassion and love, and that love burned itself into my memory of Bobo's departure from this world. They helped me with cremation arrangements, and just today I received a card in the mail signed by every member of the staff. To everyone at Mount Tabor Animal Hospital, I say thank you for everything you've done, it made a huge difference in how I feel now." 

-Robert E.

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Winston-Salem, NC 27106

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