If you, too, have lost your beloved dog, we want you to know you are not alone. I wish it would have not happened, and I wish there would be a way to heal your grief. What I am sharing here is part of what we are facing, I am making it public hoping that it can somehow help you as well. Our puppy was female, so we refer to her as “she”. There are other companion animals like cats that their family may have lost, I refer to “dog” because that’s who is familiar to us. Also, I switch from “you” to “us” often. We are really on the same boat.

Sense of Responsibility: your dog counts on you, so you may feel responsible for what happened. The reality is: we do everything for our dogs, but as human beings we have both great resources and limitations. You did everything you could, at that time it happened. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The loss is big but it was not your fault.

Thinking and rethinking what happened: yes there are many ways to do things, especially when you have more information afterwards. You did the best, with the information you had.

The loss of a precious life: this is the hardest part to come to terms with, especially if a young puppy left us, like in our case. It is normal to think about the years she could have had. But even if short, she was given the best life we could.

The loss of the relationship: our puppy was always with us, with the exception of a very few hours per month if we had to go somewhere where dogs are not allowed. We look at the couch, for us she is still there. We look at the stairs, she is still walking up and down in all her cuteness.

The loss of routine: there are practical aspects that contribute to make the life with your dogs memorable. That includes how they time the various parts of the day for you. It may seem very basic, but you will probably miss this routine.

The conflicting feelings: sadness, fear, gratitude for the love you discovered thanks for your puppy, anger because nothing more could be done, happiness for those moments together, respect for what your dog taught you straight to the heart. You can feel, almost at the same time, like a hurricane of different feelings. You are not those feelings, you are the space where the feelings express themselves.

What can you do? The answers are always subjective, these are some approaches that helped us. This is a very personal and limited list. If you feel like sharing your feelings and something that helped you, please do so.Shanti The Coton

For us, Shanti is our “forever puppy”. She will always stay young in our hearts. We honor each day we had the privilege of being her family. She will always be happy and playful, and eager to eat and sweet. We visited her biological family, it helped us a lot. It is heart warming to see all her tribe so happy and healthy. Plus her father is so similar to her, we feel a part of her is still physically in this world. We spoke with friends who lost their dogs, but also friends who did not, because there is still a lot of positivity in the world.

We are doing things that she inspired us to do. Sometimes these things make us feel happy, sometimes we still fall in pieces because it is not the same as when she was with us. But we keep honoring her that way. Despite the pain of the ending, we are so grateful for how we met and how we become family. She is the gentlest being, and the smartest especially when food was involved, that we have encountered on our shared path. And if one day the pain is just too much, you may do as my wife suggested to me: visualize white, loving energy, spreading all across your body. Keep the visualization going, if it helps.

Thanks to Shanti for being herself, and thanks to you for reading. A big hug.