Losing a Beloved Pet

Kinsey had dropped dead in the backyard. As I sat and read the words in the email from my client, I couldn’t believe it. I saw the message entitled Kinsey, and thought perhaps she had experienced another seizure. I should have noticed the time – just after midnight – a clue that something was wrong.

As I stared at the screen, my usually calm demeanor felt a shock wave go through it. Kinsey had a pacemaker. She wasn’t supposed to collapse and die. It seemed like an eternity before I could get up and call her guardian. After a morning of sadness, talking with her cardiology group, and shifting from a veterinary to a spiritual perspective, I knew that as in every beloved pet’s death, it was time.

Many people don’t understand the emotion surrounding a pet’s death. Our friends mean well when they tell us to go out and get another dog or cat. But we know it’s not that simple. We have to grieve the part of us that’s gone. Many clients have told me that they grieved more over the loss of their pet then over a human relative’s death. They talk about the guilt they feel from these emotions. From a spiritual perspective, those humans were loved, but they weren’t part of them. They weren’t on this earth to walk life’s journey with them. Their animals were.

All our pets teach us something as they travel through life with us. Sometimes the journey is difficult; sometimes it’s nothing but joy. In either case, their passing can create a grief that takes us to our knees.

Many veterinary schools have grief counselors and pet loss support groups. These caring professionals and volunteers have an understanding of the human-animal bond, and can guide us through the grief process. If your loss is overwhelming, or you would like to talk about your beloved pet, reach out to someone who has experience with human-animal relationships.

And don’t hesitate to reach out to your pet. Sound strange? Science tells us that matter is neither created nor destroyed; it only changes form. All of life is energy, and your pet hasn’t gone anywhere. His physical presence has shifted to a different vibration. Your spiritual paths together are still intact, but you can’t experience this new part of the journey together unless you know it exists.

You may want to try this simple exercise. Think of your beloved pet, and open your heart. Feel the joy of her life, or the grief caused by her loss. While experiencing this feeling, ask for greater understanding. It may take time, but if you continue this process, the wisdom of the situation will come through.

A word of warning is in order. Pure grief is a positive energy state created by the loss of something precious to us. It is not: why did this happen to me or what did everyone, including myself, do wrong? It is not blame. Those thoughts are coming from a negative place. Having said that, you may want to ask for clarity surrounding them. They can illuminate other areas of your life that are being influenced by these beliefs.

Negative thoughts don’t connect us to the help that’s available. On the contrary, they block it from finding us, and create more drama in our lives. So, bringing awareness to these negative emotions is one more way your pet can help you create a more joyful life — even in his absence.

Today is dedicated to Kinsey, whose joyful tail wags and slobbery kisses taught us all about staying positive in the midst of life’s challenges. I thank you for being you, and for all you have taught us.

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


LMj Sunshine


LMj Sunshine


Susana L.
sue l.4 years ago

They´re angels in my life

Wendye Kolles
Wendye Kolles4 years ago

God called for our puss to go to Heaven with Him over 4 years ago. Gershwin was almost 9.

It DOES take time to go through the grief process - and you need to allow yourself to go through it. Allow yourself 3 months then you need to start moving on. You don't EVER get over the loss of a beloved pet (or person) but you need to learn to cope with it.

We remember and talk about our sweet, loving Gershwin EVERY day. We laugh at all the good times. We talk about how much we used to enjoy him - even if it was just at the way he would sleep! Our baby boy is still giving us love and joy every day by the way we remember him.

We do have Gershwin's half-brother, Rhapsody. We also have our precious little Harmony who looks just like Gershwin and does SO MANY things like him! She was offered to us as a gift when we told a friend that our beloved Gershwin was gone.

I look forward to joining Gershwin in Heaven when my time comes. I just KNOW he's there - safe, protected and very loved!

As Prince William's grandmother told him - "Grief is the price you pay for loving someone!"

Pets are VIPs in our lives and just because they're no longer physically with us, they are still in our hearts and minds with the same love we've always had for them!

God bless ALL pets! xo xo xo xo xo xo

Janel C.
Janel C.5 years ago

Amy, I am sorry for your loss. I lost my beautiful Jordan,to cancer, 2 years ago this month. I still cry.But I can tell you,that it DOES get better. I was absolutely devastated when she died. I didn't want to eat,go anywhere,or do anything. She was my baby. I know a lot of people probably don't understand that,but they have never known the joy and unconditional love that they give.I know you won't believe it,but it DOES get better.People told me that,but I didn't believe them. It just takes time.You need to grieve in your own time and in your own way,and don't let anyone tell you different. You need to work it through in the way that will bring you peace. I cried when I wanted to(which was ALL the time,and talked about her when I could,and just sat with my quiet thoughts when I couldn't) Eventually,you will be able to remember the good memories you have,the moments that made you smile or laugh,and just how blessed you were to have each other.Like I said, I still will cry,but I can think about her and laugh now too,and when it happened I never thought that would be possible.Take your time,be gentle with yourself,and know that you will make it through this. Take Care

Jayne Flynn
Flynn Jayne5 years ago

Amy, I am so sorry for your lose. People don't understand the grief we feel when we lose our beloved. It has been almost a year since I lost my Athena and it will always break my heart. It took about 6 months before I could talk about her without breaking down. Your Baby will always be with you, and try to remember some happy thoughts of her. Again I am so sorry.

Amy Standish
Amy Standish5 years ago

I lost my darling dog last week and I feel such pain, I can't live without her, I've never known adult life without her, we were together for over 14 years and she is so much of me. I know are souls will be together forever but it's still hard to cope without her.

Elaine Dixon
Elaine Dixon5 years ago

sorry for the lose, tragic to loose a pet.

Pat P.
pat a.5 years ago

Jane Flynn, I am sorry for your losses. I got another dog last April. She is half airedale and half german shepherd. She keeps me busy but I still break down over losing Fayeroe. Fayeroe got her wings the 18th of this month. I dread the day. On her page "Fayeroe's First Year" at her page on Critters, I'm trying to honor the things we did together........instead of making it so sad that I can't stand to read it again.......
Take care of yourself, Pat

Pat P.
pat a.5 years ago

Karina, I am so sorry for your loss. There is a fantastic memorial site at Critters.com for pet lovers. You can put a page up to honor your beloved pets. Mine are listed under "Tippy" and "Fayeroe". I have received tremendous support from the forum members. Pat