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Old 09-11-2016, 02:29 AM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,204 posts, read 4,218,002 times
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For many families, their dogs and cats are just as much a part of many family as the people in them (if you don't understand this, go read something else; you will never understand). One of my relatives once mentioned that she still mourned the passing of her dog more than the passing of her father, and didn't understand why. I know why, because my beloved father passed away about 1 year before the small dog I had doted on for 14 years.

It's because the psychological pain of losing a child is more intense than losing a parent, and to many of us, our cats or dogs have psychologically become our children (we take care of them; they love us unconditionally and thrive on our attention). Our minds have integrated the idea that our parents will pass on before we do (even if that belief is false), and we do not feel psychologically responsible for keeping our parents alive (no matter how much they depend on us). But if a child or pet dies, there is not just the grief of our loss--there's the added pain of feeling that we failed in our sacred responsibility to keep them safe, even when we did everything we could.
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