Pet Loss CanadaBereavement Support For People Who Have Lost Their Pet Animal
It is natural to miss a loved one and need to psychologically and emotionally “regroup” as each person experiences their own journey through loss and, perhaps, an ultimate realization that their lives will be forever altered. Pet Loss Canada is a non-profit organization that has been established to assist all those who are experiencing the impending loss or are grieving the death of an animal, including all related issues that arise as consequences.

What Others Are Saying About Pet Loss Canada

  • “Anyone who has suffered a loss should not miss this!”
  • “We are better for the experience”
  • “A safe place to learn about and process our loss.”
  • “We were so thankful to have been a part of these sessions.”
  • “We never would have come to terms with our grief as quickly as we did”
  • a full list of testimonials

The Power of Counselling

Counselling for those who have or are experiencing the great loss of a beloved pet is incredibly rewarding and a true honour. Those who walk the road of grief / mourning are generally able, with family and friend support, to reach a successful conclusion believing that the pain and suffering will eventually subside but will never entirely disappear.  However, there are many others who, for various reasons, become “stuck” at some point in their grief processes and need the assistance of a trained, empathetic counsellor to be able to continue their journey.Budgie Pet Loss Canada

The first requirement in every loss is to realize that our beloved pet has not “passed on”, “gone to sleep” or “has gone away” but, in fact, is dead.  This may sound harsh but there needs to be a realization that the pet will never physically return to us. Hopefully this realitywill be replaced by the wonderful thoughts and memories of the pleasant moments our pet gave to us while being a part of the family.

Pain, sorrow and especially anger can be extremely debilitating.  A woman who, not being able to have children, saw her three dogs as her “children”.  They all died within a relatively short period of time causing even more extreme pain and rage.  The first night of a group course this person sat all night, physically removed from the other members of the group, believing she was alone, Older Dogand, while continuously looking at the pictures of her pets, she cried and wailed uncontrollably.  She expressed considerable anger at the veterinarians who had cared for her dogs for 15 years but, in the end, could not prevent death. As the course continued through weeks 2 and 3 she slowly began to realize that others in the group were also experiencing pain and suffering of their own.  Her crying slowly subsided and by week three after a discussion with her and her family she was able to express some happiness and much less annoyance.  Now, several months later, she sends me pictures of her new animals and also occasional jokes:  her anger has somewhat gone and she has been able to develop a bond with a new pet friend.

Cute Puppy

Can anyone ask for more?  To witness the “before” and “after” results of counselling are awe inspiring for all.  Each individual story carries with it the pain and experiences of those involved.  This story represents the reason for counselling in pet loss and the ultimate reward of eventually moving forward with life:  recognizing that the hole in our hearts that was created by the loss will not go away, but that we will be able to accept its presence and allow ourselves to develop a new direction for our lives where other pet friends are welcome and appreciated.

About the Header Image “The Path”

The Path

The Path

 

We invite you to explore the picture for all the symbolism that you might find and reflect upon the significance.


Comments

— 294 Comments

  1. A letter to my best friend;
    Saturday was a tragic day. It happened so suddenly. You were in so much pain. We drove so fast. You were such a brave boy. I was so frantic. You were so calm. Your life rested in my hands. I had to be your voice. I am so utterly sorry.
    I wanted to tell you how much I love you… How much I appreciate all you did for me. Everything I asked of you… You made me so proud. How the last five years were some of the best in my life, we made the most fantastic memories together. How you will always be my favorite.
    I wanted to thank you for being my shot gun rider, my daily hiking buddy no matter the weather, my partner in grime. Thank you for being so patient, for being so kind, for being a wonderful brother to the critters you left behind. Thank you for loving all of the clients and staff you met and the friendships you created at the Avalon and Bethsaida, they truly looked forward to your arrival every weekend. Thank you for standing by me through thick and thin, for being my rock, for being so loyal. Thank you for putting up with my antics, when dying/dressing you up for Halloween, the Doggles, the nail polish, the various coats and sweaters, the boots, the backpack, the cake smash’s. Thank you for camping with me, for spending hours in a tent in the rain, for not judging me when I couldn’t keep the fire lit, for being my tanning buddy, for listening to me read to you. Thank you for coming into my life, I am so utterly grateful we found each other. Thank you for being such a goofball, for making me laugh, for the way you sat on the couch or a lap, for how you could clear a room with your gas bombs. Thank you for squishing into the back seat of our two door car for your entire time with me. Thank you for accepting all of the animals I ever invited into our house, from critter sitting to rescues off the side of the road to friends to family to Hope, you were there for them all. Thank you for antiquing with me, for the yard sales, for hitting the beaches, for spending hours in the car when on road trips to places like Vermont, Ottawa and Quebec. Thank you for carrying my weight when I felt like I couldn’t. Thank you for motivating me, for always being there. Thank you for coming to photo shoots and letting me pose you over and over again. Thank you for greeting me every day when I arrived home, you were such a forgiving soul. Thank you for all the late nights waiting for me to come home from college for those two years, for waiting for me during my Home Depot shifts. Thank you for being my snuggle buddy, for always being by my side. Thank you for all you have given me and all you have taken with you, you are unforgettable. If I could do it with you… We did it together.
    I want you to know that I will take such good care of Lamby for you.
    I want you to know how quiet it is in this house now… and how much I hate it. How I can’t bear to wash your drool off our walls, how I want nothing to do with our car. How I am afraid to empty the vacuum canister. How putting your possessions away are killing me. How the cats miss you like crazy. How it keeps snowing and your tracks are being covered up. How I worry so much about you… Not knowing where you are, if you’re warm enough, if you’ve been fed and cared for. How five years was just not enough. How we weren’t nearly done making memories. How I am having an enormously hard time understanding what happened. How I am truly not ready for such considerable loss, how I don’t think I would ever be. How devastated I feel. How broken my heart is.
    I’m learning to smile through the days, but you know it’s only pretend. I guess this is goodbye for now. I promise I’ll see you again.
    I will never forget you.
    Rest in peace buddy.
    XO Mom

    • I was incredibly moved by the beautiful letter you wrote to your pet. It’s easy to see what an important part of your life he played and what a big hole his passing has left in your heart.

      I can understand all the emotions you’re experiencing – gratitude, heartbreak, loneliness, despair, feeling that you and your fur baby were cheated out of wonderful future years together. We had to put our fur-baby Maddie to sleep two years ago and I still mourn her death.

      The biggest breakthrough for me came when I shifted my focus from mourning her death to honoring her life. I wanted to take the gift of love she gave me and extend it to other deserving animals. I already volunteered at the SPCA, but I stepped up my volunteering. I’ve always donated yearly to the SPCA, but I made a special donation in her memory. I also made a bequest to the SPCA in my will so Maddie’s legacy will live on. I became a much stronger animal advocate, participating in campaigns aimed at preventing animal cruelty. I also started writing articles on animal welfare for the paper to give a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. I hope that one of these things might help you too.

      I’m sure that your baby can feel the love his mom had and always will have for him. I also believe that we’ll be together with our pets one day.

      Thinking of you.

      Judy

  2. Is there a bereavement group in Toronto? I am really struggling. I lost my precious dog Brittany on February 17 and she was laid to rest in a pet cemetery on February 18 💔

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