Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. Broken-heart syndrome, or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, mimics heart attack symptoms and is associated with the highly emotional loss of loved ones. In past years, these symptoms have been seen when spouses or children pass; but now, broken-heart syndrome is being seen more often with the loss of pets. Broken-heart syndrome is very real and in some instances, fatal.
While there is much research proving how beneficial it is to have our beloved pets in our lives, and how they enrich our life in many ways; the downside is they have a much shorter life span than us. As our pets age, we become the caregivers, which can become very stressful when determining how to best help our beloved friends age gracefully and with dignity. Knowing when it’s your pet’s time to transition is an incredibly difficult question every pet person comes to answer in their own way.
With the complex relationships we have with our pets, caring for elderly pets can reduce everyone’s quality of life as the caregivers experience high levels of anxiety, stress and depression. The role of your veterinarian in your decisions can be helpful in determining the best path forward; but, most are not trained in how to handle the human aspects of pet loss and grief. While there are some support groups, finding one that fits your personality can be difficult; and talking with friends can be somewhat challenging. We all experience loss and grief individually; and for many, reaching out and talking about it can be incredibly painful.
There have been several books written and studies completed on the grieving process and outline the stages typically experienced. Granted, as I mentioned above, everyone experiences grief differently. Seven stages of grief are loosely defined as: “Shock & Denial; Pain & Guilt; Anger & Bargaining; Depression, Reflection, Loneliness; The Upward Turn; Reconstruction & Working Through; and then Acceptance & Hope.”
Taking time to work through your own feelings, reflections, sadness and sorrow is part of the normal healing process.
Withdrawing to be alone is normal. When you’re ready to reach out to friends, true friends will be happily waiting, embrace you, and help lift you up to continue this journey we call life.
Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and will visit your home or Vet’s office to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.