Grieving the Death of a Dog

A Need Unfulfilled

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” —Anatole France

cute little dogAnimals can sometimes fill the holes, the cracks and the needs in our lives in ways that other human beings cannot. Sometimes we need someone to listen to our stories and dreams, to hear our complaints and doubts—and to do all of this without judging us. Sometimes we need someone to cheer us up, or just to be there for us. And sometimes we just need to be needed. So it’s no wonder that we miss our animal friends when they go—which they do in all too short a time. The hole, the emptiness, the unmet need—that is what is left behind.

It is important to remember that no matter how your dog has died—whether through sudden accident or the ravages of old age—the grief you feel is real. You have loved, that love is lost, and your grief is valid. If, by sad circumstance, you have no one to share your stories of love and loss with, you may need to turn to another resource.

Author and psychologist Rob Pasick wrote about the life and death of his 13-year-old Yellow Lab, Lucy, in Conversations With My Old Dog. This slender book is a collection of thoughts and lessons gleaned from his time with her. Rob talks about his dread of losing her as old age breaks down her body, stealing her mobility, her vision and her hearing. He relives her puppyhood, and the many years she shared with his sons as they grew. You can feel his heart break upon her death, and yet also the comfort he gathers from the thought that she will greet his father in the Great Beyond as he passes away two short weeks later.

A great gift for any dog lover, and a great comfort for those who have lost a beloved dog, Conversations With My Old Dog is available through this web site or at

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