Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Resources for grieving dog lovers

Here are some links to resources to help you deal with the loss of your canine pet. I found all of these helpful in dealing with the recent loss of our dog Rio.

Sight Hound: A Novel (Paperback) by Pam Houston.

This is a fantastic book. Each chapter is written from the viewpoint of a different character, including the protagonist's pets. Our vet recommended it as the dog in the story has osteosarcoma, as our dog did, and went through the amputation.

Angel Pawprints: Reflections On Loving and Losing a Canine Companion (Hardcover), by Laurel E. Hunt.

Most of the eulogies in this book are from the early 20th century, but they all capture the essence of what it’s like to share the love of a canine companion. The author lost two of her beloved dogs to cancer within 7 weeks of each other, when they were only 9. Here is one of the pieces:

I miss the little wagging tail;

I miss the plaintive, pleading wail;

I miss the wistful, loving glance;

I miss the circling welcome-dance.

- Henry Willett, from "In Memoriam," circa 1916

A Dog Blessing (Hardcover)
by Welleran Poltarnees.

A very thoughtful couple I know gave me this book, which conveys some very simple sentiments about the bounty that dogs bring to our lives, accompanied by antique photos and artwork.

Here are some more resources:


(be patient, and scroll down to find the text below)

Here are some things that were helpful to me. I am far from being “over” my grief, but I’m making progress.

1. Write about your dog – what memories of your dog are most salient to you?

2. Talk to other dog lovers. Until I became a “dog parent”, there is no way I would have known how close the relationship between a human and a dog can be.

3. Give yourself time. Sleep. Be kind to yourself. Ask for others' understanding.

4. Think about (and cherish) what your dog has taught you.

5. Laugh. Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill was the right medicine at the right time, as was a visit to see my mom on Maui. I am grateful to Les, my colleague at work, for loaning me this DVD.

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