We have all heard it before. “Dogs are man’s best friend.” So many of us have a special connection with our dogs. So much so that we consider them a part of our family. Dogs are that loving little buddy that runs to you after a long hard day at work to give you all their love. They do not care about your appearance, the color of your skin or whether you are considered successful in the world. To them, you are their world. Dogs also have a way of recognizing when you need that extra snuggle to make it through the day.
It only makes sense that our dogs would be a source of comfort during times of grief. I swear it seems that dogs have a way of sensing our emotions and being somewhat of a caretaker when we are feeling down. When it seems all is lost you can find comfort in that wet nose on your cheek or that tail wagging to and fro.
Tips for Integrating Your Dog Into Your Grief Plan
Here are some ways that your dog can be a part of your support system while you are dealing with the grief as a result of the death of a loved one.
Cuddle up with your dog and cry.
Pet her and let her snuggle in close. Connecting with others is the best way to heal our grief, but sometimes being with other people is too much. Some of us do not have a lot of people to connect with, but we do have that pet. Cuddling with your dog can release endorphins that can help lighten the cloud of grief over your heart.
Take your dog for a walk.
No matter what you are feeling, your dog still needs to get out and get exercise. Grief puts us on our butts and makes it hard to get up and move. Taking the dog out will get you out into nature and give you that little boost to refresh your mind and keep you from being lethargic.
Talk to your dog.
Talking to others is helpful. We may hold back with some people especially others who are experiencing grief as well. If you do not want to put more of a burden on others who are grieving, talk to your dog. Tell them everything that you feel. Your anger, your pain. They will certainly be a willing listener.
Let your dog sleep with you at night.
Now everyone has different rules about if their dog is allowed in bed or not, but if you are feeling lonely especially after the loss of a spouse. Allow your dog to lay with you at night. They can give that extra comfort so you do not feel so alone.
Go to a dog park.
When you are in the midst of grief going out into public does not always sound appealing but sometimes it is what you need. Take your dog out so they can run around and play with other dogs. Watching how carefree and happy your dog is can remind you of the hope there is for the future.