Why losing a dog can be harder than losing a relative or friend
There is no bond like that between humans and dogs. Dogs give us plenty to be thankful for, they are loyal, kind, happy and love us unconditionally. We can look at them to teach us simple lessons in life, things we can all remember to practice on a daily basis. Dogs are men's best friend and the bond shared is one of a kind. One of the difficult parts about owning a dog is when you are faced with the loss of a pet, it can be a painful experience. When people who have never had a dog see people who own dogs mourning the loss of a pet, they might think it's a bit of an overreaction. Quite often people think that after all, it's just a dog. But for those who have loved a dog, they know the truth that your pet is not just a dog. Grieving over a dog is a normal reaction to the loss of an important part of your life. Quite often people will feel more grief over the loss of a dog than over the loss of friends or relatives. And research has confirmed that for many people, the loss of a dog is, in most every way, comparable to that of the loss of a human loved one. Unfortunately, there aren't many ways in our society to deal with the loss of a pet. No obituary, no grief rituals, no religious service, no way to officially say goodbye. And many people feel a bit embarrassed to show too much public grief over their dead dogs.
Perhaps if people realized just how strong and intense of a bond there is between people and their dogs, then that grief would become more widely accepted. This would be very beneficial to dog owners to help them integrate the death into their lives and help them move forward. More people realize the benefits of using dogs in all sorts of therapeutic settings from guide dogs to rescue dogs and more. One of the reasons that peoples' relationships with dogs can be even more satisfying than human relationships is that dogs provide people with unconditional, uncritical positive feedback. Dogs have been selectively bred through generations so that they pay attention to people, and MRI scans have shown that dog brains respond to praise from their owners just as strongly as they do to food. Dogs also recognize people and can learn to interpret human emotional states from simple facial expressions alone.
Dogs can teach us so much, and one of the lessons dogs can teach humans is to be happy. Dogs experience happiness so easily from when they greet their owners when they get home from work, or when they are taken for a walk, or when they get a simple belly rub. Dogs enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Everyone can learn from dogs, and be mindful of life’s simple pleasures, such as people, food, and nature, just by being thankful everyone can learn to be happier. Dogs can also teach us the importance of play and joy in our lives. Dogs love to play, whether they are running, chasing or jumping. Everyone ca remember to add a little play to their lives, maybe through a game of tennis, a game of catch, or a board game play is good for the soul.
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