I know first-hand the depth of the human/animal bond and the grief we experience when that bond is broken in the physical realm. I learned how devastating it can be when I faced the heartbreak of “lifting up” of both my service dogs, Toaster, age 17 and her hairless daughter, Pink, age 14 within 9 months of each other.
From the time there is a serious inkling of impending loss to the life defining moment when they are “lifted up” (put down/euthanasia) or cross Rainbow bridge on their own, there’s the heartbreaking experience of losing your pet and then the gut wrenching process of healing the grief the follows. Although losing Toaster and Pink dragged me down a rabbit hole of emotions, I knew there was a way to make that journey of heart-breaking grieving and that healing is attained, in part, through hope.
I felt hopeless for a while while my heart broke after letting go of my dogs. Without hope, there is little inspiration to challenge the overwhelming task of healing from loss and trauma. When I applied my 7 Steps of Hope and Healing to heal my own grief, I found they also helped me manage those months and the deep grief that I had after both of them were gone. Helping pet parents transform how we experience pet loss and heal the grief that follows became my new passion and mission, a bittersweet gift from Toaster and Pink.