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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bereavement Series: Pet Therapy for Grief

When words cannot describe grief, the comfort of pets can be a blessing. Pets sense things that people may miss as we've seen on TV shows like Animal Planet. Changes in people's moods and health may be picked up by their pets.

My own rescued dogs are now rescuing me during the time following my beloved friend Bill's death. Teddybear, my lab mix, looks at me and then brings his toy and uses body language to tell me to throw it in the air for him to catch. Heidi, my little 6 lb. "mystery mix" gazes into my eyes, and licks my hands and face, and frisks about clearly asking me to play.

Sometimes animals can reach someone mentally and emotionally when people and words don't seem to work. The pets sense feelings and react with nurturing.

They sense when people are not their usual selves. There are many TV shows with videos of pets rescuing people who are ill or injured.

My own dogs clearly sense that something is different. The fact that their friend Bill has not been around now for awhile has been absorbed mentally somehow and they sense change.

As if we are one family, or one dog or wolf pack, they have been going out of their way to reach out to the member of the pack who is not her usual self.

The companionship of pets provides comfort and an uplift during the loneliness following loss,

1 comment:

Becky said...

Tim Link's latest book, "Wagging Tales," really helped me grieve the loss of my cat Shadow. Tim has such a great gift.