Dear Abby: You gave some nice advice to “Afraid of the Loss” (June 25), who wrote concerning the impending death of a beloved pet. I think your suggestion of a support group is helpful, but having lost a pet I had for 16 years, I have experienced the deep pain this man will feel.
Adding a second pet to his home while his pet is still alive often energizes an older pet. When the time comes, it will help the human to have another loving pet to help with the grieving.
As I learned, only time was able to take the deep hurt to a place where I could think of him without tears. Keeping the ashes of a pet can be comforting, whether you choose to bury them later or tuck them away in your home.
Most important is having a plan for when that moment comes so you automatically know what needs to be done. It really helped to have all the details of his final moments thought out so I felt in control.
I wouldn’t have missed the love of my dog even knowing the pain that has to come in the end. It’s something that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Cathy in California
My thanks to you and all the readers who sent heartfelt letters supporting “Afraid.” It’s easy to see why dogs are called man’s best friend because of all the love, affection, entertainment and companionship they give us, and why we only want the best for them in this life and after.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.