A Family Loss Affects Your Pets

June 26, 2014

Walking along the waterfront in New York City I came across a woman in tears.  I stopped to ask if I could help.  Before I knew it my dog was in her lap and the tears became joy. My boy has a way of bringing the most joy to those who needs it.

After a short talk I understood that the woman had lost her daughter to cancer.  Today, a difficult part was seeing how the loss is affecting their dog.  The woman, Martha, said that the dog would not eat, drink or leave the house. She said the dog would sleep and wait by the door for the return of his master.  The pet was later diagnosed with depression and separation anxiety.  Even medication didn't help and the dog began to deteriorate.    My heart broke for the woman, the dog and the late daughter.  


I shared a similar experience that occurred in my family.  Someone I know lost their child for various reasons. The child had run away a number of times to rid them-self from living in the home. Subsequently, the child was placed into the foster care system.  This was the best and safest thing for the child but the dog had no idea where its companion had gone. Waiting for a loved one can take its toll.

So, if you should experience loss in or around your family be sure to take time to care for your animals as well. Watch to see that they are eating, drinking and sleeping properly.  If you suspect that depression has set in then please visit your Vet immediately.  

Today, I frequently see Martha on the waterfront and its always a joy to see her light up and smile when we meet. Of course my dog brings most of the joy but hey, a little compassion to a loving soul goes a long way.


Be kind to your pets and those who have experienced loss.