There are relationships that transcend way beyond language. There are friendships formed that defy the limitations of biology. Such is the relationship of a man with a dog. Some of the purest friendships are found in these innocent and loyal friends, who speak a language from us but are able to make us feel their love.
The loss of a dog is perhaps one of the most painful experiences a dog owner can experience. The death of a dog, especially one that you have considered a part of your family and have been with you through many troubles, is no easy grief to overcome. A lot of people who have never had dogs may think it is an overreaction, but loss of pet feels a lot like having a limb cut off. Many even confess that they have grieved more over the loss of a dog than over a relative or friend dying.
What makes losing dog such a painful experience? Below are 2 reasons why losing a dog can be worse than losing a relative:
An interspecies bond like no other
Over the past 10,000 years, dogs have been the companions of humans and have done very well to adapt to humans. They’re the only animals to have evolved specifically to be our companions and friends. Another reason why there is such a strong bond between humans and dogs is that dogs provide us with such unconditional, uncritical positive feedback. MRI scans show that dog brains respond to praise from their owners just as strongly as they do to food. They recognize people and learn to interpret human emotional states from facial expressions alone.
Scientific studies also indicate that dogs can understand human intentions, try to help their owners, and even avoid people who don’t cooperate with their owners or treat them well. No wonder dogs are man’s best friend! This is a bond, not even biology can prevent it.
On the other hand, humans respond positively to such unqualified affection, assistance, and loyalty. If angels took on the form of animals, they would most likely be dogs. Just looking at dogs can make people smile. Also, dog owners score higher on measures of well-being and they are happier, on average, than people who own cats or no pets at all.
Like a member of the family
The death of a dog is more than just the death of a pet. It is close to losing a sibling or a child. It could mean the loss of a source of unconditional love, a primary companion who provides security and comfort. Losing a dog can seriously disrupt an owner’s daily routine more than the loss of most friends and relatives whom you interact with from time to time. For many owners, their daily schedules and vacation plans can revolve around the needs of their pets.
Although not everyone grieves publicly for their pet, grieving a pet is a difficult experience. There are no traditional burials, obituary posts, or anything that would show people the degree of pain but for sure, it is no easy grief to get over.