MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life

MAGGIE: the dog who changed my life
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Grief from Pet Loss is Profound

It may surprise people to realize that the human-animal bond is often so deep that the grieving process may take longer than when you lose a human loved one. I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming, ongoing grief when my dog, Maggie, died from thyroid cancer. I often felt alone with my loss. Our culture allows negligible time and space to grieve our human losses, let alone our pet losses. People need tremendous compassion and support when their cherished pet dies. In recognition of the need to talk about our beloved pets, I began a social network for people at to do just that. I am also in the process of creating a pet loss support list for local veterinarians to offer to their clients after a pet dies or is euthanized. It includes local, regional, and online pet loss support groups and a reading list. It would have helped me. I’d like to make these resources available for others so they don’t have to search for it at such an emotionally stressful time. If you are a veterinarian, it may empower you at a helpless time to offer your grieving clients a direction, one more way you can express compassion to your distressed clients. If you would like a copy of the pet loss support list, including a reading list, it will soon be posted on my website at

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