Why Losing A Pet Hurts So Much & How To Deal With Grief

Pic Credit: holidogtimes.com

It’s pawful to lose your pet when they’re no more. An entrepreneur also feels the same emotional pangs when their beloved startup fails. PetKonnect’s Devanshi Shah, who started this venture in the memory of her dog Hazel, gives tips on how to make the best of the worst in such a scenario.

By Devanshi Shah

Every pet-lovers’, as well as pet-owners’, worst nightmare is thinking of the day the fur-balls will leave them for the happy hunting grounds.

In fact, many dog lovers never get around to keeping one in their home dreading the emotional hurt that is inevitable when their little charges breathe their last.

But as an animal lover, and a pet owner myself, I must insist that you look at this glass half-full.

Hazel, my Pekinese who departed for her heavenly abode all too soon, taught me this valuable lesson during the few short years she was with me.

I learned it’s better to love, and then have your heart broken, than to not love at all!

After Hazel passed, and the conditions under which she went, sent me on a new trajectory in my own life.

The grief was immense, but I realized the only thing for me to do in that situation was to not let Hazel’s passing be immaterial in the world we live in.

My pet was special in life as she has been in death, and PetKonnect’s noble mission of easing the lives of all the pets and street animals in our cities is a living testament to the mission of Hazel’s happy life.

That’s right, I made sure that there is more to Hazel than bone treats and cuddles – I aim to make her the poster-girl of a every pet cause in this country.

Taking things in this spirit, I believe you may want to plan some ways in which you can honor your pets after they are no more.

One of the most touching things that many pet lovers do is to bury their pets in a forest farm.

All animals love nature and dogs are no exception. I’ve seen cases where pets have been given a full ritualistic send-off – mantras, shlokas et al.

But I also believe the environment is a very noble cause and if there’s one place a pet would want to spend an eternity in, it would have to be in the outdoors.

If you choose to bury your pet in a forest farm, and plant a sapling in his or her name, there’s always a place the two of you can be together alone when you need to grieve, or just have a little me-time.

Hazel succumbed to a medical condition when we couldn’t find the right blood match for her.

This opened my eyes to the crying need for better medical facilities for dogs in the country.

Another way in which you can honor your pet’s life is to involve yourself with our efforts.

You can do this by volunteering with our channel partners – the various pet and animal care-givers who’s services we aggregate on the PetKonnect portal.

Or, if time is a constraint then your donations may come in handy for these organizations.

Most of the caregivers in the pet-care industry are people who are passionate about the cause, and money can be hard to come by for them.

I personally believe volunteering by giving your time and effort to this cause is the more noble option because it isn’t always easy dealing with animals in distress.

Handing out money is the easier way out, but if you just can’t make the time to work in this area, your generous donations can also make a difference to this cause, and together we can eradicate a lot of the suffering urban animals endure.

Someone I know decided to face the grief of losing her pet by taking a vow to feed 20 stray dogs in her locality.

Three loaves of bread, a few litres of milk and a carton of eggs is something most of us can afford.

The ritual of simmering eggs in milk to make a doggie sandwich of egg and milk soaked bread takes just a few minutes, and the act of trooping onto the neighborhood street to offer food to hungry strays was very therapeutic for this person.

She says this nightly ritual distracted her from sitting around being miserable, and every night when she climbed into bed, she felt elated that the neighborhood dogs weren’t going hungry thanks to her efforts.

This is how she was able to harness a negative situation for good, and she’s not facing the kind of grief that can be debilitating.

As I move further and further away from that moment in time when Hazel left me, the efforts that I’ve taken to honor her in the intervening years lessened my burden significantly.

I too was able to channelize my energies constructively, and the result is that all the memories I have of her are sweet and uplifting.

Losing a pet can never be easy, and my journey after Hazel hasn’t been on a bed of roses.

But a little inspiration, and lots of perspiration, made it possible for me to grieve Hazel’s demise more elegantly.

About Author: 

Devanshi Shah

The venture PetKonnect is Devanshi’s ode to her late Havanese dog, Hazel. After losing Hazel to an unfortunate medical crisis of blood loss, she became aware of the pet-care gaps in India. Previously, Devanshi began her career at KPMG, following which she moved into her family business, Ishan Industries. She is an MBA graduate from Imperial College Business School, London. She also has a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree from the Government Law College, Mumbai.