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by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. In other articles, I've talked about the most painful decision a pet owner ever has to face -- the decision about whether, or when, to euthanize a pet. But the death of a pet brings with it yet another difficult decision, and one which you may not be prepared, at the moment of loss, to deal...

In my article on guilt, I talked about the importance of focusing on positive memories of your pet. Remembering the good times that you shared with that pet can help counteract the guilt and grief that come with its loss.One way to help yourself focus on those positive memories is to develop a memorial to your pet -- a tribute or reminder...

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. If any emotion rules supreme when a pet dies, it is guilt. No matter what the circumstances of our loss, guilt is there, grabbing us by the throat. It haunts our days, ruins our sleep, and tarnishes our memories. Often, guilt goes beyond the loss itself; we may start to feel guilty for just about everything. Guilt...

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. There is a stage of grief that one hears very little, if anything, about. It's the hidden stage, a stage that friends and family may have difficulty understanding. It's a stage when people are most likely to ask why you are grieving -- because your pet hasn't even died yet!It's the stage I call "pre-loss bereavement."...

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. When a pet is suffering from an illness that has no ultimate cure, our first (and lasting) impulse is to do whatever we can to alleviate the symptoms of that illness, so that the pet can continue to joy a happy, pain-free life. Today, thankfully, there are many treatments that can assist and even completely alleviate...

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. Pets and children seem to just naturally go together. Researchers who study child behavior and development have come up with a number of complicated explanations for the reasons children and pets mesh so beautifully. They speak of the numerous benefits children derive from this relationship, including an understanding of responsibility, interpersonal interactions, communication and more.Those of...

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. "It was the most tragic, traumatic, and emotionally devastating experience I had ever been through. I didn't know what to do. I cried day and night." (Dorothy R., Alabama)"I felt like someone had ripped out my insides." (Karen A., Illinois)"I never knew anything could hurt so bad. I cried a whole ocean of tears. I went...

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed. The world has just ended. Your pet -- your friend, your confidante, the companion who was always there for you -- has died. Dog, cat, horse, bird, hamster, ferret -- species doesn't matter. Age doesn't matter. All that matters is the huge hole that has just entered your life. That, and the grief.Conventional wisdom suggests that...