For dog lovers . .


I’m not a dog person - they’re nice and cute, but I’ve never developed a real affection for dogs or other animals.

I saw a facebook post recently by someone who said he cried more when he lost his dog then he did when he lost him mom.

Not being an animal person, I can’t comprehend this. Comments?


It can depend on the situation. When my grandmother passed, I didn’t cry because she had been severely ill for a long time and I had accepted her passing even before she actually died. But if my mom were to ring me and tell me my cat or dog died, I’d be devastated and would definitely cry.

I don’t think you can say what is ‘normal’ for grieving, each person grieves in their own way.


I think if you adopt a dog and experience his/her love to you, you would comprehend :stuck_out_tongue:


I freely admit to being a dog person - however such a post is rather over the top for me.

It reminds me of an incident about 4 months after my husband’s death. My daughters and I were still struggling to put our lives together and a new neighbour’s dog was ill. She said to me that she didn’t know how she would live without her dog (she had a husband and two children about the age of mine). I’m afraid I just looked at her blankly. There is no way the sadness at the death of a pet comes anywhere near the grief at the loss of a person.



OP, i think you just have to accept that there are some experiences in life we just cant understand. :shrug:


I understand where you’re coming from, however I think that things are more complicated than this. Love is hard to quantify-yes even love for an animal. You see, while generally we miss a human loved one more than a pet, much of this stems from the fact that pet owners are always aware that animals like dogs and cats have relatively short life expectancies and when a human dies prematurely a big part of the grief comes from shock.

Your neighbour might not have phrased things in the best way, but who always remembers to do this? I suspect she meant not that her life had no meaning as her dog was no longer in it even though her husband and kids were, but that she probably shared a very special friendship with the animal that was separate and unlike that she gets from the humans in her family?

It sounds more like her life will never be the same without her dog, than that she cannot live without him/her.


It’s not about being a dog lover or any kind of animal person, for that matter. It’s about how grief and mourning are manifested. And the ways we express these emotions is absolutely unique to everyone.

The best we can do is to respect someone else’s grief and mourning experiences respectfully and non-judgmentally.


It depends on the relationship you have with your mom. Some of us have better relationships with our dogs.


Maybe he had an abuser as a mother. Dogs love unconditionally, and they need us to care for them. I would suspect that person did not experience a lot of maternal love and care growing up.


I think grieving is very personal.

While I think most people would agree that their mothers are more important than their dogs, I also think most adults experience a greater change in their lives when their dogs die than when their mothers die. The dogs were there every day. Unless the mothers lived close by the mothers were only occasional players in the lives of the adult children.

Sometimes grief is practical.


Thanks for the replies. The dog was ours, and the facebook post was my husband’s.

No, he did not have a great relationship w/ his parents growing up, and they did live far from us. We had our dog for 13 years.

I really am trying not to judge how someone grieves . . . and while his comment might be a nice tribute to our dog, I don’t think it’s a nice tribute to his deceased mom (right before Mother’s Day). But, he probably wasn’t thinking clearly and/ or realize how it could be interpreted.


We had a dog for 13 years and recently had to put him down.

As much as I tried, I did not develop the feelings for him that my family did. I liked him, took him to vet appts, fed him etc, but . . .

I just don’t think I’m an animal person. (and I’m OK with that!)


Everyone grieves differently. There is not right or wrong way to feel when grieving.

Some people are devastated by a pet’s death, while some person’s death is not as devastating. And just because a person does not cry in public does not mean they are not mourning.

It has been 1 year since DH died. It has been 3 years since our first dog died.

I can honestly say I cried more in talking to people when the dog died than I did when DH died. Does not mean I did not mourn DH’s death…I just mourned each differently.

In looking back, I was already mourning DH’s “death” when the dog died, because DH was already slipping away then…alcoholism in insidious like that. I am sure the tears for the dog were as much for the loss I was feeling of DH’s and mine relationship at that point.

There is not a right nor wrong way to grieve.


That is true. But perhaps your neighbor has not experienced the loss of someone close to her. Don’t be too critical.


I am a dog and other animals person. I grieved for an animal who died and I grieved for my mother who died. That person may never have loved or had never had as much love for his mother for whatever reason. Dogs love you unconditionally and when they go, my only regrets are about how I could have treated them better or done more for them. We have the same regrets whenever a family member dies as well as unresolved issues sometimes.

Love is not unlimited. When we love, we love and when that we love dies, we grieve whether that who dies is human or an animal.


As an animal lover, I have no issues with that. There are people we dislike and may I say it, sometimes hate. Its just that we cannot abuse who or what we do not like, human or animal.


I’m confused. Why did you mention abuse?


Sorry, I digressed from your issue.


Having awoke this morning and still mourning Billy after 6+ months, I can attest to the depth and breadth of grief over the death of a dog. Billy had throat cancer, diagnosed in early April 2013 by my vet, who also offered to come to my home to attend to the inevitable.

She said it would be wise and humane not to drag out the decision, but I suppose I did. After 14-1/2 years of Billy’s devotion and daily companionship, deciding to put him to sleep was the hardest decision in my life. He died 18 April.

I have survived the deaths of my first son, my mom and dad and close friends, but nothing has affected me as poignantly and tenaciously as this loss. Here’s my theory: a human’s death is mitigated by surety that the beloved has gone Home, to heaven. But a pet’s death is accompanied by no such orthodox conviction. However, thanks to Father Jack Wintz in his essential book “Will I See My Dog in Heaven?” hope has sprung up in me, but the unfathomable loneliness remains.


Billy was there for and with you every day for so long. That would explain the loneliness I think. I am so sorry for your loss.

This is an old thread I am afraid.

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