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Please don't interpret anything you read here as medical, legal, or otherwise expert advice. Don't disregard any expert's advice or take any action as a result of what you read here.

We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

I know that some might think that pets are not appropriate as subjects after losing our spouses but I think they are.  After Don died I was helped so much by having a very loving kitty, Proto, who slept with me, loved me, followed me all over, made me laugh with his silliness and made it easier for me to be alone.


Today Proto was dx with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.  Next week he will have Ultrasound to see how much his heart has thickened.  No matter what, he will need daily medication in order to have a 
"normal" life for months or a couple of years.  It breaks my heart and I will do whatever is needed to keep him comfortable.



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I would be completely lost without my two dogs, since my husband passed.  They are part of my family.  I know they miss him too and they are very perceptive and comforting for me when I need it most.

I  agree...pets can be a great source of comfort and friendship, really.  I have had times over the last two years since my husband died that I really resented my dog (and a little bit my husband for leaving me with her).  She is a sweetie, but went through a very needy time period (LONG period).  She destroyed two door frames in my new condo and pooped nearly every day on the area rug.   Very very frustrating.  I took her to vet, got anti-anxiety meds for her (expensive).  She had gall bladder problems (unrelated, but requires medicine - again expensive).   But I started taking her to a doggie day care three times a week, and now I can't imagine being without her.

Our two cats looked and looked for him, and I would find one or both sitting and gazing at his desk, or his picture, or laying where his chair had been. They started following me around, and would come look into my face and meow when I cried. They have been very comforting.

We got a puppy, and that has unfortunately really broken up my gentle cat escort. They're all getting along more or less, but this pup is like a velcro dog and is pretty much stuck to me all the time. She's a loving pup, and an amazing distraction, so I'm glad we have her, but I really miss having my cats nearby.

I strongly believe pets are beneficial in many ways during the grieving process. My late husband and I always had at least 1 dog and 1 cat during our 10 years together, these pets were part of our family. I fed them, walked them, took them to the vet, etc...  I mourned the death of 1 dog and sadly had to rehome 1 other dog and a cat. We still have the dog that adopted us literally, his name is Sam. Sam is awesome, but always gravitated towards my son and husband. the cat we have is my daughters and prefers her.  I love having pets, but never really had a "connection" I didnt understand the crazy animal lovers that take animals everywhere and dress them up, you know what I mean, the ones who refer to them as their children or furbabies. 

A few months after my husband passed I decided I wanted to get a companion dog, a smaller dog. I wasn't in a financial position to care for it, nonetheless purchase one. I did though keep my eye on the rescue sites, local shelters and facebook. One day in June a woman posted a picture of the cutest puppy she was needing to re-home because her very young children did not understand that this little 4 lb pup was fragile!  I was one of the first to respond and we planned  to meet later that day. On my way out the door she contacted me saying she just couldn't give him up, she loved him.

3 weeks later she contacts me and asks if I still would like this puppy, her children were too rough. WIthin 2 hours I had him in my care. I named him J.A.C.K.

J (Jeff - my late husband) A (Amanda - me) C & K (the first initial of my son/daughter's names). 

Jack was a 16 week old Yorkinese when I got him. I have had him almost a year and he follows me everywhere. I am now one of those crazy dog people! Jack senses when I am sad, he knows how to make me laugh, he listens (i like to think) when I talk to him or ramble and more than anything, I realized I am capable of loving and caring for something new after such loss. Bringing Jack into our family after losing my husband 5 months earlier, into a house that was sad and emptier, filled the house with energy again. Jack didn't replace my husband or my kids father, but he gave us a positive distraction from the daily reminders.

Getting a pet during the early grieving process was a blessing for me.


I hear you there. Our new pup has helped us with our grief - we can't spiral down too far, the pup is too bouncy and energetic. her positive energy has been wonderful. We do not forget, but she lightens our hearts. 

Dear mannaribbit, Can't believe I'm the first on this webpage to tell you what a cutie pie you have.  I just said "Aaawwh" right out loud.

I lost my husband nearly two years ago. We were married for 33 years; since his death, John's family has dumped me. The only human contact I have is with my neighbor and with a friend.

Before John died, he bought me 4 hens for our 33rd anniversary. I now have 14 chickens, 3 Black Cayuga ducks and 6 geese. Two weeks ago Lucy (the goose) had 3 goslings. My little family has added a lot of joy to my life. I also have a python, 2 tortoises, a dog and a cat. My place is beginning to look a lot like Jurassic Park. There is no bird more aggressive than a goose, but I love the little love nips. If LeRoy (gander) sees my reflection in the window, he will charge. He is so proud of himself.

When a person is busy caring for others, he (or she) has less time to feel sorry for herself. 

Our German Shorthaired pointers were Wayne's hunting dogs. When he died they stepped in and filled a hole in my heart. They gave me a reason th get up in the morning. Gave me a purpose,
Now, the younger one, Jenny who is 12, has been having health issues....
I love them both so much!
Sad news, Jenny Puppy who was my dear husband's 12 year old German Shorthaired Pointer/ Hunting Dog developed cancer. We had to put her down the day after Christmas... Rest In Peace Jenny Puppy. 6/3/04 - 12/26/16

Talk about emotional...
I'm so sorry. RIP Jenny
Thank you Kaci, she was such a sweet member of our family...
I'm so very sorry. Pets definitely make a difference. At one time we had 3 miniature schnauzers. One was ours, one preferred Steve and one was my lapbaby. We lost the oldest (ours) 3 years ago and were left with his and mine. In an odd twist, we lost mine to a newly developed heart condition about a month before I lost Steve. So I was left with his baby who was totally immersed in grief for the first few weeks. I wondered if there was a reason or if it was just some warped twist of fate that it worked out this way but I am now convinced there was purpose. I dove into trying to console him which gave me purpose during those first ugly weeks. I walked him, I pampered him, I begged him to eat, I told him how much I loved him and I cried with him...ok...I cried he whined. Finally...he began to seek me out and make the type of loving gestures he had only made to Steve in the past. He had finally become my dog...(hence the screenname Avery's mom). In retrospect I can see how much of my helping Avery was for my benefit. I still miss my baby, Ash, but Avery is now my little piece of Steve's heart and I can see things worked out just as they should have.


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