There is no doubt that pets grieve as humans do. RCMP dog Danny made national headlines; Fallen Moncton RCMP officer’s police dog, Danny, breaks the hearts of Canadians as he whimpers at funeral.
Maintaining the human-animal bond until death is best for the animal, allowing it to complete their own grief journey on their own terms giving the best chance possible to live a happy and successful life in a new home.
Oshea the Great Dane’s human “Grandmother” died in December. Thanks to the awareness The Bello Project, has been bringing to the funeral service industry, Oshea’s grief journey was supported by attending the visitation. Oshea’s human mom describes, with wonder, Oshea’s apparent awareness of the loss and tells us about her grief journey.
“Upon arrival, at the funeral home, Oshea went right to the front door and knew exactly which room to go into. The funeral home offered to put a stool beside the casket; but as she is a very large dog, I knew we would not need it and quite frankly I was not convinced she would go near the casket. Well, I was wrong. Oshea went right up to my mother and put her head into the casket resting it on my mother’s chest. She stayed there for a short while and then turned, walked and sat in a corner. It was as if she was feeling overwhelmed. She went back for one short visit and then it was as if she understood what was happening and was ready to move on. I never would have guessed Oshea would walk a grief journey. When I think about what The Bello Project does for families who have a terminally ill loved one, I try and imagine what it would have been like if we had not been able to take care of Oshea and my mother along her illness journey. We do not have a Home Hospice Association Chapter in my community. And so, if the stress of caring for her and my mother had been too much we would have been forced to give Oshea away. How would her life have been forever impacted if she did not have the chance to walk that journey with my mom and what if she didn’t have the chance to say goodbye?”
Carole Lailavoix is walking for The Bello Project
Eugenia Anton is walking for The Bello Project
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