I remember when I lost my first dog. I was eleven years old and the dog was seven. He developed epilepsy and sadly passed away soon after. But I will never forget how much I cried for his death. I was sitting on the couch at my parent's house balcony and I could hear the poor dog crying, while he was giving away his last breaths. After half an hour of moaning and crying, the dog stopped to never be heard again. He finally passed away.
My parents weren’t home at the time and I was alone in the balcony while my sister was inside. I went to check on the dog, only to find him stiff as wood. He had died. I remember crying so much for him. I could not stop myself from sobbing. It was hurting so bad. Now what is a real contradiction is that when my grandmother died when I was seven, I did not cry almost at all. I think now I have an answer to why this happened to me and why did I react to these events in different ways.
According to research, losing a pet can be as hurtful to a human being as is it to lose a loved one. This happens for many reasons and some of them are partly emotional and partly physical reactions. You see, we tend to develop with our pets the same connections that we develop with our loved ones. Our brains produce the same ‘feeling good’ chemicals when we are around them and that is why we miss them as much when we lose them. But this is not the only reason why losing a pet is as hurtful as losing a loved one.
We develop similar emotional connections with our pets as we do with humans. We love them and they love us. But sometimes the emotional attachment that we develop with our pets is even deeper than with humans. This is because we tend to love them unconditionally. We tend to take care of them unconditionally and when they are gone from this world, we cannot help it but feel terrible about it. But our grieving is most of the time not taken very seriously from others around us. We don’t take a day off at work and our friends say that it was ‘just a dog’.
This can make it even harder for one to heal the pain of losing a pet. Another thing that might make it very hard for us to let go when our dog passes away, is because of memories and events. Maybe we had a favourite bench where we used to sit at the park while taking the dog for a walk. Maybe we have photos of them and seeing them only makes the pain worse. Losing a pet is hurtful and now it is even proven by science.