The death of a beloved canine companion can be catastrophic. The age, how the dog died and the closeness to the pet all affect how a person grieves. Knowing how to share the sorrow with thoughtful gifts can help those affected get through their loss. Choosing the most suitable means by considering the personality, age and circumstance of the one going through the loss.
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A sympathetic visit may be the best gift you could offer. If you have photos or keepsakes such as a favourite toy, take them along to share. Invite the person over. If their dog was a visitor to your home, you could share memories that way. Children grieve differently, particularly young ones who do not understand death. If you have a dog, having the child over for a playtime could be helpful. They also benefit from memorials created for departed pets. You could offer to plan a funeral to celebrate their dog to help them accept their loss and express their love. Sharing the address of a pet loss support hotline with the griever could be an invaluable gift. Ask your local shelter or veterinarian for contact information.
For grieving owners who are far away or very private, consider sending gifts. These can range from pet sympathy cards to remembrance jewellery and memorial plaques. Send one of the thoughtful and helpful books on coping with pet loss. Many are written by canine owners who have lost a dog. If you are creative and have photos of the animal, send a personalised memorial card you create yourself or a booklet highlighting the pet's life.
Donations in Memorium
Making a donation in the pet's name to your local animal shelter shows sympathy for someone who is involved in animal rights and protection efforts. Many shelters will send thank-you cards on your behalf for such memorial gifts. They may even record the dog's name and/or photo on a special page in their newsletter or on their website.
In multi-pet homes, even pets that didn't seem to get along are profoundly affected by the loss of one. Pets show human type grief, becoming anxious or depressed. They may eat less, search for their missing playmate and crave affection. Giving them that affection can be a sympathetic gift, especially when the owner is overwhelmed by the loss.
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