When you get a dog, your whole life changes. Not only do you have a brand new best friend who goes pretty much everywhere with you and may even chew up your favorite shoes, but you also get a new family member that worms its way into your heart forever. That’s why it hurts so bad when our four-legged friends are no longer there. In fact, a new study reveals that losing a dog can be even harder than losing a relative or friend in some cases.
- Some people just don’t get it. If you’ve ever mourned the loss of a dog and had someone in your life (who doesn’t have a pet) really not get it or think you’re overreacting, you’re not alone. But these people could never understand the bond between pet and owner because they haven’t experienced it and it defies explanation.
- Losing a dog is just as bad as losing a friend or family member. According to the research (and personal experience), you feel the loss of a pet just as hard as the death of a friend or other loved one might hit you. Sadly, people don’t take it as seriously so there are fewer resources for this type of grief. In fact, you might even feel embarrassed to share how you feel because people will think it’s “just a dog.”
- What is it about that relationship with our dogs that makes them so special? Part of the reason we form such strong bonds with man’s best friend is that it’s such unconditional love. Your dog doesn’t expect you to be anyone other than who you are right now. They don’t care how you look, what kind of job you have, how messy you are, etc. They just want love from you and they offer so much love in return. No wonder we feel it so deeply when that’s gone.
- We just need to value the time we have with our pets now. They won’t be here forever, but while they are here, they can offer us so much and enrich our lives in ways we never thought possible. That’s a special relationship worth cherishing, for sure.