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Trying to Cope


Vota

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I don’t really post on much of anything but in looking for resources I found this forum so here we go. My service dog elsie has been with me since late childhood, and has been an essential part of my life. I see her as my closest friend, and as she gets older I can’t help but feel the overwhelming feelings to come when she passes. I have no idea how I’m going to cope with her actual passing of the grief already hurts so much. I’m at a loss, I really am, any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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My dear, your concerns are understandable and I appreciate your willingness to think about the passing of your beloved service dog now, before you are faced with the reality of it, and while you have time to plan ahead.

You've asked for whatever advice we can offer, and for starters I invite you to read these articles, in hopes that they will give you some of the understanding and guidance you are seeking. Note that links to additional readings are listed at the base of each:

Pet Loss: Is It A Different Kind of Grief?

Anticipating the Death of A Cherished Pet

Pet Loss: Death of A Service Dog

Pet Euthanasia: When Is It Time to Say Goodbye?

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I wrote my journey with my dog Arlie's cancer and subsequent passing, in Living With Loss (Loss of Pet section).  It shares the kind of emotions, fears, etc. you face.  It was the hardest decision I've ever made to have him euthanized.  He was my constant companion and of ten dogs I've owned, the one by far I was the closest to...I called him my soulmate in a dog.  I want you to know you will survive it when the time comes, but it is not easy.  Everyone grieves differently...I am still grieving him seven months later.  My son brought me a puppy before Christmas and it has helped....it is not the same as having Arlie and I still grieve, love and miss my Arlie, but I've fallen in love with my little puppy too...they hold different places in my heart, one never replaces another but it can help the void some.   What you are feeling is anticipatory grief, which is a lot of what I shared, as well as dealing with his death afterwards.  

I'm sorry for what you're going through and pray for comfort and peace with you in the time ahead.

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