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The Effect of Losing a Pet


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For those among us that have never owned a pet, the grief felt by those of us that have when their beloved friend dies, is beyond most non-pet-owners comprehension - it was “only an animal after all wasn't it?" is the common response To many pet owners their pet was not just an animal, it was their soul-mate and in many cases, their only companion.

The profound sense of loss felt by pet owners is akin to them losing a human member of their family. In fact, in many cases, their pet was their only family so their loss is compounded by now being completely on their own.

Humans and their bond with animals, particularly with cats and dogs, goes back centuries - in many cases the animals have been thought as sacred - the cat in ancient Egypt for example. And it this special bond we have with them that makes their deaths particularly distressing. We are all guilty of thinking of our pet as ‘our baby’ - a silly mistake to make, as we know that one day our little bundle of fur is going to pass away with or without our help and our lives will never be the same again.

Many humans in fact prefer the company of animals as they are 100% honest. You are always assured of a warm welcome and they never go into the huff and not talk to you for days on end. In fact, many pet owners talk to their animals as if they were humans and of course many pets seem to understand a lot more than we give them credit for.

The most endearing thing about pets is their unconditional love they give - they rely 100% on you for food and exercise and they reciprocate by loving you no matter your creed, culture, or physical attributes - for them, love is truly blind. It is of course this very attribute that makes their passing so very painful and even more so if your pet has had to be put to sleep.

The first part of the healing process is to acknowledge the fact the grieving, even for an animal, is a normal process, regardless of what other people may say or think. Every animal is a sentient being and should be afforded the same respect as we humans, who are after all, just another species of animal ourselves. People grieve in many different ways and the length of the grieving process varies from individual to individual so there are no hard and fast rules for this.

Many people feel guilt and/or anger when a pet dies for they assume that they could have done something to help or could have taken some course of action that may have prolonged their pet's life. There is no point in dwelling on this - one just has to accept the fact that their pet's time had come and there was nothing anyone could have done to prevent it. Think back to the happy times and enjoy reliving the time you had together - for all things being equal - you will meet your friend again in another place and time.

The burning question many pet owners ask is do animals go to Heaven? I am not going to get into a heavy theological discussion here but I will say that we were all created by a supreme being to whom we all return one day and since animals have a soul and by nature are without ‘sin’ their acceptance into ‘heaven’ is assured. There they will become renewed and free of pain, as one day we all will, and patiently waiting to be reunited with their masters. So on that count, do not despair if your beloved friend has died recently, for your pet has gone onto a much better place and is happy and safe.

So how can Golden Days Remembered help? In order for one to overcome their grief they need an avenue to express it in the first place. We will construct a tasteful and reverent memorial for your pet that can be accessed and/or amended at any time. Family members that live abroad for example can download and pictures from your site and print them off. Unlike a newspaper entry that is here today and gone tomorrow, your pet's memorial will remain inline for as long as you choose. We at Golden Days believe that pets should have the same respect in death as we humans do and as such your pet's memorial will be created along the same lines as an obituary for a human.

If you have any questions at all about our services then contact John at who will be only too pleased to help you in any way he can.

The Golden Days Remembered Team

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