When 13-year-old German shepherd, Sadie couldn’t figure out why her lifelong companion had not been home for ten days, the dog refused to eat properly or sleep alone. She watched for her human from the window and waited at the door. How would her family explain to Sadie that the man who meant so much to her would never return home again? When the woman’s husband passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack, the entire family was devastated – including Sadie.
“When he had passed away at home their dog Sadie would not leave his side. After the death, she showed signs of depression, would not eat and waited for him to come home everyday. The wife believed that Sadie could also benefit from saying goodbye and getting closure herself, and she was right!,” the funeral home posted on their Facebook page.
When Elements Cremation, Pre-planning & Burial posted the touching photo of Sadie accompanying the widow entering the chapel and approaching the casket, Sadie was able to experience her loss and understand. Studies have shown the grief response in dogs can be lessened if the animal has a chance to view their deceased companion’s body. The idea of closure helped Sadie understand that her beloved companion was not coming back.
“After 10 days of not eating and 10lbs of weight loss, the moment Sadie walked in her home again after the service she ate her first meal. Amazing! A heart wrenching, yet beautiful story.”
It is well-known that dogs form strong emotional bonds and suffer grief when a loved one dies or moves away. Many animal behavior experts have cited dogs whining, whimpering, getting clingy or demanding of a lot of attention. Some, much like Sadie, stop eating as they grieve the loss. One of the most common behaviors seen in dogs is when they continually check the places where their companion rested or slept.
It has not been proven that dogs, much like children under the age of four, understand the concept of death as a final separation, but instead feel the loss of companionship, affection and love.
Many thanks to Elements Cremation, Pre-planning & Burial for posting this heart wrenching, yet compassionate story. If only more funeral homes could respect a pet’s right to grieve and to say goodbye.
Why we love our dogs…
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