Many of us see our pets as a part of the family, and really, if you are going to have an animal live in your home, under your care, isn’t it best to treat them like family anyway? Our animals hold a special place in our hearts because they are always there for us, and they never judge us. It has been shown through numerous studies that having a pet can actually improve your health too.
“Millions of people are affected by mental health disorders across the U.S., so when a doctor recommends a life with a pet, he or she is truly writing a prescription for a happier, healthier life,” said Jam Stewart, vice president of corporate affairs at Mars Petcare.
One of the most comforting things about a pet is that they can act as a trusted companion in a world where people are feeling increasingly lonely. These bonds are very strong, so it is only natural that we experience a great sense of loss when our pets pass away.
According to Scientific American, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in October 2017 that after her dog died, a woman experienced “broken heart syndrome,” a condition where extreme emotional stress could cause heart attack symptoms.
Grieving for a lost pet was never really a socially acceptable thing to do, and was not something that many people took seriously, but the mainstream is beginning to show respect to the bond between pet owners and their animal companions.
Pet bereavement is taken very seriously in Japan, in fact, there are even some “pet loss cafes” in Tokyo, where people can go to mourn their lost animal companions.
Takeshi Nibe, the president of Dearpet, Japan’s biggest manufacturer of items for pet altars, pointed out that this cafe helps his company sell a lot of products.
“Many customers who came to buy altar accessories said they felt more at ease after talking about their loss with our staff. However, often conversation had to be paused in the middle because staff have to attend to other customers. So, we decided to open a place where they can talk,” Nibe told Japan Times.
Earlier this month, KRDO reported that a man from Penrose, Colorado has published a children’s book about the death of a beloved family pet. The book is called “The Mystery of Nitro’s Long Lost Tail,” and is written for kids at a second-grade reading level.
Author Daniel Lehnig says that the book is about a dog named Nitro.
“The book starts out with Nitro talking about the planet he came from and the gravity is different on the planet he came from because the planet is square,” Lehnig said.
“I feel good reading too, because I know I’m helping other people with the loss of a dog,” he added.
Dani McVety, veterinarian and CEO of Lap of Love, a veterinary hospice network, says that some people report having more difficulty with the loss of a pet than they do with the loss of a human family member.
“After the passing of a pet ninety-nine percent of people say to me in some shape or form, this was harder for me than the loss of my mom, or my grandma,” McVety told Popular Science.
IMAGE CREDIT: Fernando Gregory Milan