A year of Firsts
Some pet carers may not consider a memorial to their pet until a specific anniversary associated to the pet comes around and this is usually in the first year.
It can be a good idea if the pet carer is prepared for such events and has decided in advance what they will do that day to remember their pet, it does not mean they won’t be sad but it will mark the day in an honourable way. Of course some may not wish to mark the day in a special way or be reminded in the hope they will avoid painful emotions.
When to get another companion
Many pet carers say that the pain of bereavement was so intense that they will never get another pet. However, within a relatively short period of time, for most, this way of thinking soon changes. It can be within hours or days of the pet dying that they may consider getting another pet. They may already have thought about another pet before their pet died, those thoughts bringing in waves of emotional guilt. It is a personal choice and no one should criticise their right to decide what is best for them. There are a few aspects they may wish to consider before making the decision –
Providing they are emotionally ready to take on the commitment of another pet and that the pet is not a replacement for the one that died, it can in fact, be a wonderful tribute to the deceased pet; the love they have in their heart and gave to the deceased pet will now live on in another pet.
When contemplating another pet, the pet carer may look for reassurance that they are doing the right thing, or feel exceptionally guilty that they are somehow disrespecting the memory of the pet that died.
It’s entirely their decision and the opinion of others doesn’t matter, unless of course others e.g. another family member, will be called on to help with the care and welfare of the pet in which case it should be a joint decision.
To get another pet should be viewed as testament to the love that they have for animals, and can be an emotionally rewarding and positive experience.
When the time is right for them to get another pet, they may wish to check local rescue centres to see what they have available for adoption. Many local rescue centres are full of pets desperate to find a loving home, and most have a fostering scheme too, which may be an option to consider.
If the pet carer is considering purchasing a pup from a breeder, a KC (Kennel Club) registered breeder is a good place to look and ensure they see the puppy interacting with its mother.
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Dawn Murray, the founder of Living with Pet Bereavement, will have her new book published in April 2023 - 'A Guide to Pet Bereavement Counselling' will be a must for anyone looking to learn more about how to become a Pet Bereavement Counsellor or those looking to support bereaved pet carers either in a professional or informal setting. To pre-order a copy or to find out more please email firstname.lastname@example.org