Janice Shapiro, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist LMFT CA License #86051
Although I specialize in companion animals such as dogs and cats, I am sensitive to the loss of all beloved pets. For those of us who honor the saying Dogs (including Cats and all other pets) are Man's Best Friend and have had the privilege of loving their pets, there comes with this special attachment immense responsibility. And out of this responsibility comes pure joy but also wrenching heartache.
The human-animal bond is unlike anything else. Rich in love, empathy and compassion. Pets rely on us for their care and love; we rely on them for their loyalty, unconditional love, companionship and amazing ability to understand our emotions. It's a win-win relationship until it isn't. When one or both can no longer hold up their end, intense sorrow, guilt and loss is experienced like none other.
Pet owners, veterinarians and their staff and service dog handlers are among this group of vulnerable companion pet lovers. Humans usually outlive their pets, and as part of their responsibility often have to make and act upon hard decisions. Decisions such as when do I end my pet's life? Veterinarians and their staff perform frequent euthanasias that eventually takes a toll. Service dog handlers have to endure retiring their faithfully trained service dogs at least several times in the handler's lifetime.
When you are experiencing the intense pain that comes from the responsibility of being a service dog handler, pet parent or animal professional, I will help support you through the hard times. Good people should not have to suffer for being their beloved pet's Best Friend.
In memoriam of ....
PET LOSS AND BEREAVEMENT
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