Losing a mindDog is a special kind of loss
For some of us losing our mindDog can be a greater sorrow than the loss of a person. We all grieve differently but we hope that the information below may help you in a time of stress and despair.
If your dog is aged or has a life threatening condition you will probably have developed a good relationship with your vet. The decision to euthanise can be one of the hardest you will ever make. An empathic vet can help by giving you an honest assessment of your dog’s health. And your dog will know. Listen to him because he will be telling you if he wants to go. It is essential to not prolong your dog’s suffering. You must do the right thing for him despite your sadness and fears.
A supportive friend can be a great help at this time if you make the decision that you need to have your dog euthanized. This can be done at the vet’s clinic and his body can be cremated and the ashes returned to you in an urn or the container of you choice. Your other choice is having your vet coming to your home to euthanize your dog. There is usually a home visit fee involved for this but this may be a less stressful thing for your dog particular if they don’t like going to the vet.
It is important to give yourself all the time you need to understand your loss. Initially you may be in shock especially if his death has been unexpected. There are no rules for how long this process will take. Just as your mindDog was unique, your grieving process will be different from anyone else’s. It may be that only another mindDog handler will really understand your pain and loss.
Talking to someone is going to help. This can be your psychologist, psychiatrist, or counsellor who will probably know your dog if you have been taking him to sessions. If there is no one you feel you can trust, call us. We have lost mindDogs and we know how you may be feeling.
You may wish to create a memorial for your dog. Growing a special tree or shrub will mark his grave and you will always know where he, create a photo album, write a journal of his stories or you can put a tribute on our In Memoriam page.
When you are ready, you may need to think about another dog. This is ok. It may feel disloyal but remember that your first mindDog loved you, took care of you and would want you to keep going. A new dog will bring different experiences and help you create new memories.