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Dog Lovers Understand These Things When Their Dog Passes Away

Dog Lovers Understand These Things When Their Dog Passes Away

Losing a dog is never easy.
Knowing that your four-legged friend will never be by your side to cuddle while watching TV, or chase birds with you is heartbreaking. The important thing is to cherish the good memories and find comfort in the fact that your dog had a happy life in your home.

Here are some other things that dog lovers go through after their dog passes away:

Your grief might not be recognized

The feelings someone experiences when a pet dies is often labeled as disenfranchised grief; this type of loss is not recognized by other individuals as a major life event, especially by those who have never owned a pet. Other experiences that can be associated with disenfranchised grief include abortions and perinatal death. Your dog’s death may not be something to mourn over with others publicly as you would a deceased person, but your dog was still a major part of your life and you know that all the stages of grief are applicable in this situation as well.

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You know that pet loss support groups can help

Animal rescue organizations like SPCA offer meetings free of charge that cater to pet owners who have recently lost their furry friends. You know how important it is to have support groups like these, since not everyone can relate to the loss of a pet.

You know that having a funeral can help provide closure

It is important to give your pet a proper ceremony and invite those who knew them, so you can share good memories about them. You also know it is important to ignore anyone who thinks a funeral for your beloved dog is unnecessary.

You know that getting rid of any reminders can help

Throwing away your dog’s favorite chew toy might be hard, but you know that it is an important step in moving on. Anything that serves as a reminder of your dog should be removed from your home, otherwise the grief process will become a lot more difficult.

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You know that a new dog would never replace your old one

When you start thinking about getting a new dog, you know that it will bring joy to your life, even if it cannot replace your old one. You know that sometimes the best way to get over the grief of losing one pet is to occupy your time caring for a new one.

You know that it is important to maintain a daily routine for your other pets

It is hard to go on your daily walks with one less member of your group, but you know it is important to stick to a daily routine, for the sake of your other pets. Your pets are very sensitive to any emotional or physical changes in their home, and it is important that they can still enjoy their familiar routine.

You know that remembering your dog on special days is important

It will be hard, but taking a moment to remember your dog on their birthday or the anniversary of when you first brought them home will bring you joy in the long run. Sharing a happy moment with loved ones through reminiscing about your dog is an important way to memorialize them and work through your own grief.

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You know guilt can be present

There can be a certain level of guilt that you feel surrounding the way you acted during your dog’s last days. Maybe you remember the time that you yelled at your pet for having an accident on the carpet or that you didn’t walk them as long as you usually would have due to stress at work or at home.

You know it will take time

The way that people grieve is different for everyone and it is important to also remind yourself that grieving takes time. You may feel sad one day and angry the next. It is all completely normal.

You can experience complicated grief

Mourning the loss of your dog is a normal emotional state, but you know that sometimes it can turn into something a little more complex. Complicated grief is when mourning turns into something like depression and it is a serious condition that should be remedied. You know that losing your dog is a life event that has impacted you greatly and that you need to keep tabs on your grief in case it turns into a mental illness.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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