The death of a pet can be every bit as devastating as the death of a human loved-one. However, many people experience the pain of those around them not understanding this fact. For some, the idea of a pet dying is not as impactful as that of a human; for others it has even more impact. What makes the difference?
Like everything else, it is the records held in the subconscious that determine the response to the death of a pet – and the response to those who are suffering from the death of their pet. In other words, those who cannot understand why someone reacts with the same grief to the loss of their pet as they would to the loss of a family member – are carrying records in their subconscious that provide “evidence” that the loss of a pet is not as bad as the loss of a human.
Each person is seeing the situation through the filters of the records held in their subconscious; and the perspective of each person appears to them to be the only reality.
What’s the Difference?
Different people form different attachments to their pets; and the way a person feels about animals is determined by the references they carry in their subconscious. Here’s an example of how two people developed very different perspectives regarding pets. Naturally, each individual’s experience will be unique, so this is just a simplified example for clarity:
Jacky’s family always had dogs. As far back as she could remember, her parents always kept dogs. The two she remembered most vividly were a pair of Alsatians named Salt and Pepper. They were beautiful, affectionate dogs, and well-loved by the family. Although her parents loved the dogs, they were very clear about boundaries.
The dogs were not allowed into the bedrooms; and during daylight hours they were kept outdoors. Jacky’s friends also loved to visit, and play with the dogs for an hour or so in the yard before settling down to play in her room.
The dogs always ate in the yard, and were never allowed near the dining room table. One of the reasons Jacky’s parents enforced these rules was an incident that happened to her mother’s sister a few years before Jacky was born. Jacky’s aunt had an Alsatian called Aslan that had a wonderful nature. He was affectionate as well as being protective.
Although he was aggressive with other dogs, and would pull the person walking him on the leash so they had trouble hanging onto him, at home, he had never actually attacked another dog. At home, he would bark whenever the doorbell rang, and would sometimes unnerve visitors; but once he was used to the person, he was very friendly.
Aslan was treated as part of the family – he even slept in the bedroom with Jacky’s aunt and uncle. When their baby son was born, Aslan seemed cautious at first, but they encouraged him to get used to and accept the new baby. He seemed fine with the little boy at first; however, when their son was two and a half years old, he pulled himself up from a sitting position, using Aslan’s fur to heave himself up.
Aslan’s reaction was fast and shocking. He turned suddenly and snapped at the child, grabbing the baby’s shoulder in his grip. Fortunately, the boy’s father happened to be in the room at the time and managed to rescue the child. The boy suffered deep wounds to his shoulder and was admitted to hospital for treatment.
The parents were devastated – they had treated Aslan as a member of the family, and his vicious response to their son had come as a shock and hurt them deeply. When Jacky’s mother heard what had happened, her husband pointed out that it was because the dog hadn’t been trained properly.
He had been raised to understand that dogs need to be treated like dogs, and not like people, in order for them to be happy and balanced. The shock of the incident resulted in Jacky’s parents adopting strict rules regarding their own dogs. Growing up with this background, Jacky’s subconscious automatically absorbed and understood the perspective that her parents shared.
When Pepper died, the family was very sad. They missed him, and they felt sad for Salt – who seemed to be pining. Their sympathy and sadness were intense, but not as intense as they would have been if one of their human loved-ones had died.
As an adult, Jacky was given a puppy as a gift from her boyfriend at the time. It was a cute fox-terrier mix. The dog was great company for Jacky after the break-up of her relationship, and she adored him. When he died, years later, Jacky was very upset, but not as much as she had been when her dad died a year before. Jacky’s subconscious had a clear, programmed distinction between humans and animals; and as much as she loved her dog, and all animals, she didn’t have the same connection with them that she had with the people in her life.
Laura had always desperately wanted a puppy, but her parents had explained that the fact that they lived in an apartment in the city meant it wouldn’t be fair on the dog. Her mother would often talk about the Maltese poodle, called Sooky, she used to have, and how much she loved it. She would tell Laura stories of how Sooky would snuggle under the bedclothes and sleep right next to her. Sooky would snore in the cutest way, and looked just like a furry baby lying in the bed.
As Laura listened to the stories of Sooky, it made her even more desperate for a dog of her own. When she left home to move into a house that she shared with a friend, she finally got her puppy. A beautiful little Maltese poodle she called Angel.
Angel was unbearably cute, and Laura took the puppy with her wherever she went. She bought a special bag to carry Angel in, and the two were inseparable. When Laura found out that her boyfriend had been cheating on her, she went into a deep depression, and Angel was the only thing in her life that she felt was good.
When Angel died, many years later, Laura was inconsolable. In fact, her grief seemed to be deeper and more painful than her grief for her aunt who died a couple years earlier, and with whom she was very close. Laura’s friend, Jacky couldn’t understand why Laura was as devastated as she was. It wasn’t like her mother had died.
Jacky could understand Laura feeling sad, and missing the dog, but she was grieving as if a member of the family had died. Laura was deeply hurt and confused by Jacky’s lack of understanding – understanding that Angel WAS a member of the family.
The Difference Between Jacky and Laura
The difference in perspective and response from Jacky and Laura is based on what their subconscious interpreted and filed while they were growing up. The subconscious filters every new experience through the information it already holds – interpretations of previous experiences. This is how we learn about who we are, and how the world works, in order to survive and thrive in our environment.
Jacky’s subconscious interpreted her experiences with dogs while she was growing up, and filed these interpretations as references. These experiences included what she was taught, what she heard, and what she witnessed around her. Her perspective, based on these records, was that dogs are wonderful animals – but they are not humans. This was not a conscious understanding, it was a core, automatic emotional learning that provided innate “proof” that it was the truth. She loved dogs, but they were not humans.
Laura’s subconscious interpreted her own experiences regarding dogs, and filed those interpretations as records that would be constantly referred to throughout her life. Her experiences included the feelings she felt when her mother described her own bond with her dog, Sooky. They also included the desperate feelings of wanting a dog and not being able to have one. All of these experiences formed the foundation of Laura’s perspective – that dogs are incomparable treasures. Again, this was not a conscious decision; it was an automatic program. From Laura’s perspective, dogs were more precious than humans.
How to Deal with the Death of a Pet
Having understood where the differences lie between Jacky’s perspective and Laura’s perspective, is it clear that there is no way to convince one of the other’s point of view using reason or logic. Each person’s perspective is unquestionably true for them because it has a subconscious foundation of “proof”.
No matter how much you love someone – whether that is a person or a pet – grief is not the ideal state. When you lose a loved-one (including a furry, feathery or scaly loved-one) it is important to bear in mind the effects of grief on the body, brain, and all other areas of your life. Grief causes the body to go into the emergency fight-freeze-or-flight state.
This has a knock-on effect on your health, the decisions and choices you make, your communication, and your ability to think straight. Although it may seem like grieving is the right thing to do, it is worth considering the following:
- Would your loved-one (whether human or animal) prefer you to be happy or sad?
- Would your loved-one prefer to be remembered for causing you pain, or the happy, fun and crazy times you spent together?
- Would your loved-one prefer to be remembered for the pain or the fun?
Once a person or animal has died, they’re gone; and no amount of grieving or feeling bad in other ways will bring them back. The only thing you can do is choose how you will remember them – based on how they would like to be remembered.
Instead of focusing on the loss of your pet, wouldn’t it be better to focus on your love for them? Instead of recalling the memory of when you discovered they had died, wouldn’t it be better to recall the memory of your favorite times with them – hugging them, snuggling, playing, the funny things they did?
How to Change the Program
The grief and loss you’re feeling is a program, just like everything else. Your mind has latched onto the fear, sadness, and other stress emotions because they are the states that would usually help to ensure survival. In this case, they are not necessary for survival, and are actually causing harm. There are a few steps you can take to help clear the bad stuff, and replace it with the happy memories.
Take a deep breath, and think of your pet. Think of the worst thing about losing them. Notice how you feel; notice where in your body you feel it, and how strong the feeling is. Then, use the FasterEFT technique to address that feeling.
Think of the moment you found out about your pet’s death, and use the FasterEFT technique to flip that memory. Keep going until it has completely flipped. Think back to when you’ve felt this loss before. Perhaps as a child or teenager – whatever memory comes to you, use FasterEFT to address it and flip it.
Now, go to your favorite memory of your pet. Remember it in detail. Feel the feeling of being there, and enjoy it. While you are feeling this feeling, you are with your pet again – since your brain and body don’t know the difference between reality and imagination, as long as you are reliving that memory, you are effectively there, with your pet.
From now on, whenever you feel sad or feel a sense of loss, or miss your pet, use the FasterEFT technique to tap out the bad feelings, and then go to your favorite memory and spend some time with your pet in that memory. Fill your pet with love instead of feelings of sadness and loss.
For more information on dealing with grief and loss, visit: Grief and Loss.
For a detailed guide in using FasterEFT, read: The FasterEFT Technique – Step-by-Step.
For more information on how and why FasterEFT works, read: The REAL Cause of All Your Problems.
To watch FasterEFT in action for grief and loss, watch the videos in the playlist below: