You’ve heard it, and you have probably even said it.   The loss of a pet can be devastating.  But until you have lost a cherished animal friend, the depth of that grief may seem vague.  Loss and grieving for a pet can affect us differently at different stages of our lives and whatever the cause may have been, may also impact on you as the survivor.

However painful, grief is a part of loving. If we did not love, we would not feel the grief and for me I do not want to go through life without feeling love. 

As you deal with the loss of your pet, you’ll also be adapting changes that can feel disruptive.  Your routine is off.  No early morning walks or trips to the dog park. No spontaneous cuddles spurred by an oncoming storm.   Anticipating these changes and taking steps to accept them can help. 

Returning to your regular activities is key.   But so is recognizing your need to mourn and look back on the memories made with your pet.  So, do what feels best for you within the constraints of your situation.

Bentley’s House is a grief support group that began almost eight years ago by a couple who lost their dog Bentley and had nowhere to go to move through the deep grief they were feeling. They came to me and asked if I would help them start a forum for people experiencing pet loss.

At that time, I had been volunteering with Hospice and felt honored they asked me to assist with this vital idea and program.  Now we welcome those grieving for a pet and experiencing the loss those who may soon lose a pet – the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm. Please scroll down to get the Zoom call information. 

Bentley’s House is a safe and non-judgmental place to share your memories and feelings.  To get the details to join us via a Zoom call, please contact Rev. Amy via email:  rev.amy@unityofsarasota.org

Rev. Amy Zehe
Associate Minister & Volunteer Coordinator