Grieving the loss of your pet

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Morning Zen Guest Blog Post ~ Rae Speaker  ~

petThose of us who have lost a pet know how heartbreaking this can be. According to a recent survey, approximately 70 percent of Americans have a companion animal and around 63 percent of these pet owners consider their pet to be a member of the family. With cat and dog life expectancies reaching into the teens and 20s, animals often become integral parts of our daily lives for many years, thereby creating meaningful, dependable and loving relationships.

When a loved one passes away, grieving is a natural response that is expected as a social norm. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t always hold true when an animal dies. Neighbors or friends may say, “She was JUST a dog.” Many people may not understand the emotional effects and devastation of losing an animal companion.

Below are some tips on coping with the loss of your pet:

There are many ways to cope and help yourself and others deal with the grieving process. Celebrate the life of your pet, give yourself time and take comfort in the many loving memories your animal companion has provided you over the years.

Co-authored by Alex D’Auria

This article originally appeared on psychbc.com. Check them out!

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rae speakerRae Speaker received her master's degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University and her bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College. She has extensive post-master's training in cognitive therapy, addictions, structural family therapy, sexual issues and mood disorders. A board certified Diplomate in clinical social work, she served in clinical and supervisory positions in both inpatient and outpatient settings, including the Child Guidance Center of Cleveland and Lorain Community Hospital, for more than 40 years. She also has served as an adjunct instructor for graduate students at both Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State Universities. She offers outpatient psychotherapy for a wide range of clinical issues, including marital issues, addictions, mood disorders and sexual dysfunction. She has a specialty interest in stress management issues and has taught classes in this area at St. John West Shore Hospital.

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