My husband and I had to help our 14 year old dog cross over the Rainbow Bridge on April 1. He had cancer for the past 2 years or so, and was starting to really decline and had no quality of life. He gave us that look, and we knew it was time to let him go and end his suffering. It’s by far the hardest decision to make as pet owners, but make it we must. As their guardians, we need to be there for them, especially at the end of their lives at their hugest time of need. We are heartbroken , as the loss is huge, and our home is so quiet now, but also take comfort in the 10 years we had with him and the joy he gave us daily.

In the world of pet sitting, our furry clients become much more than just a part of our job; they weave themselves into the fabric of our hearts, becoming family members we cherish deeply. The bond that forms between a pet sitter and their charges is unique, born out of shared walks, cuddles, and the day-to-day moments that build an irreplaceable connection. However, with this deep affection comes the inevitable heartache of loss. As pet sitters, we not only face our own grief but also shoulder the responsibility of helping our clients through their sorrow.

Navigating the waters of pet loss grief is a journey that is both personal and shared. The loss of a beloved pet is a profound experience, and as pet sitters, we find ourselves in a unique position to provide support and understanding to our clients during this difficult time. We understand the silence that fills a home once filled with the pitter-patter of little paws, the absence of a warm greeting at the door, and the quiet that replaces what was once a vibrant presence. Our shared experiences with the pets we care for allow us to empathize deeply with our clients, providing a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen.

Supporting our clients through their grief involves more than just words of sympathy. It’s about being there, whether through sending a thoughtful card, offering to create a memory book of their pet, or simply being available to talk and reminisce about the joy their pet brought into their lives. It’s about acknowledging the grief, validating their feelings, and understanding that the loss of a pet is the loss of a family member. As pet sitters, we can also share our own stories of connection with their pets, highlighting the joy and love their furry friend brought into the world. In doing so, we not only help our clients heal but also honor the memory of the pets who have left paw prints on our hearts.

In this shared journey of love, loss, and healing, we are reminded of the preciousness of the time we have with our furry companions. As pet sitters, we are privileged to share in the lives of so many wonderful pets and their families. Each goodbye is a reminder of the love we have to give and the impact these special souls have on our lives. By supporting each other through grief, we celebrate the bonds that forever change us, and the unconditional love that never fades.

Symptoms of grief

  • Crying
  • Anxiety & fear
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Frustration
  • Loss of focus
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Questioning the purpose of life
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches
  • Lowered immunity
  • Aches and pains

If you are struggling with pet loss and grief, please know that I’m here to listen and share in your sorrow. Just reach out.

Here is a great resource I’ve come across in the past two weeks:

Pet Compassion Careline 855-245-8214 – 24 hour grief support counsellors.