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Dealing with the loss of a pet

 
My family's dog is very sick and in the veterinary hospital. Things are looking like we're going to have to put her down soon. We've had her since I was 7, and I'm gonna miss her so much. Do you have any ideas on how I can cope?

 

I’m so sorry, girlie! Losing a family member is so tough—and that’s exactly what a pet is. There aren’t any quick fixes, but here are a couple of ways to make sure you don’t forget her (like that could ever happen!) without getting bogged down by grief.

 

Set aside a few keepsakes

 

I’m sure you have some fab pics of you and your pup from way back when…maybe even from just a few weeks ago. Place them in a box along with some her favorite things: a collar, a leash, a plush toy. Now you’ll have her with you forever in spirit.

 

Here’s the hard part: Put ‘em away

 

Once you’ve moved on, you’ll be able to look at these memories and recall the good times. But for now, it’ll be difficult to glance at these reminders every day without getting emotional. Put them aside and give yourself a chance to heal.

 

Get closure

 

If you don’t want to be at the vet’s office when your parents have to put her down, that’s totally fine. When my first pooch passed, I couldn’t be there, either. But if you do decide to bring her back home—and you should have a choice—whether to bury her in the backyard or to scatter her ashes, doing so can make moving on easier. Another sweet idea is to make a donation in your dog’s name to a local animal shelter or the ASPCA.

 

Find a new love

 

Eventually, you’ll being to long for another dog. You’ll miss the companionship, the confidences, the playtime and the unconditional love. Feel like you’re cheating on your No. 1 pet? Don’t, girlie, ‘cause it’s not true. You could never replace your doggie, but you can give another pup a great life with you and your fam.
 
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 1/12/2011 12:12:00 PM

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