I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “a dog is a man’s best friend,” and if you’re like me and have a dog, then you understand well why this is true.
For those who own this kind of pet, a dog is never “just a dog” – it’s much more than that. It’s a long-term companion. It’s a friend. And in some instances, it can even symbolize a sibling or a child.
These cute, furry, friends have a great role in our lives. Besides providing companionship, keeping us active and social, and bringing joy and fun to our lives, dogs can also help us better cope with or overcome a variety of health conditions and challenges in life. They can even provide a sense of purpose.
All in all, dogs make our lives better and more fulfilling in a number of ways. Therefore, it is natural for a person to feel devastated by feelings of sadness, grief, and loneliness when their beloved dog dies.
Undoubtedly, the pain of a loss of a dog can feel quite overwhelming and be the hardest to bear. Because it’s heartbreaking to accept the truth that the four-legged, furry friend will no longer be a part of your family and daily life.
In fact, research has shown that the loss of a dog can be as painful as losing a loved one, and in some instances, even worse. Sadly, we live in a culture in which there aren’t any grief rituals or religious service that could help us cope with the loss of a pet more easily and serve as a reminder that mourning the loss of a cherished pet is not an “overreaction.”
So, why are dogs so precious to us?
First of all, dogs have adapted to living with people very well. And thanks to their social skills, we’re able to interact with them in almost the same way we interact with other people.
Moreover, our relationships with these furry friends can be even more fulfilling than our relationships with other people since dogs give us unconditional love and show strong loyalty to us.
Another reason why dogs are special to us is that they make us feel happy and positive when we’re around them.
Then, studies have also shown that dogs are able to understand human intentions and that they’re pretty good at following gestural cues provided by humans. They’re also good at understanding spoken words and showing communicative behaviors to interact with us in return.
Why does the loss of a dog hurt so much?
The reason is pretty simple actually: The loss of a dog is so heartbreaking since we’re not losing just a beloved pet – we lose many things at the same time. We may be experiencing the loss of: a companion that doesn’t judge our insecurities and imperfections; a source of unconditional love and support that provides us with comfort and security; and even a protégé that we take care of and do our best to ensure its emotional and physical comfort.
So, if you or someone you know has recently lost a dog, try to remember your furry friend by always keeping the love and memories of it alive. Creating a symbolic gravestone, planting a tree in your dog’s memory, or just framing a photo of your companion are just some of the ways you can do that.