The results from an English study led by the University of Lancashire are clear: losing a dog can be as painful as losing a member of your family or a close friend.
Having a dog is no small thing: these animals are part of the family and they’re with us for many years. That’s why losing them can be a real hardship, and even as difficult as the loss of a relative: this is what a British researcher at the University of Lancashire has proved. So for those who don’t understand the important role your doggy has in your life - this will take them down a peg or two!
Appearing in an English journal, the study is the result of research done by an English professor from the University of Lancashire, specialising in human behaviour. This work confirms that the grieving process for an animal is the same as for a relative: the pain and suffering are just as real.
A real hardship
The study explains that mourning a pet can prove to be even more difficult than mourning the death of a person. Indeed, human society has put rituals in place to get through these times: burials, religious ceremonies, etc…But there isn’t really an equivalent for our pets. On the contrary, people who are upset over the death of their dog are sometimes mocked. It is not the done thing to equate the death of a person and the death of an animal.
The death of a dog is made more difficult due to their nature: they are animals that love unconditionally, as well as having the joy of living in the home. They are also fully part of the family, and knowing them from a young age makes their departure much sadder.
Man’s best friend…for 10,000 years
Dogs occupy a special place in our hearts. Domesticated more than 10,000 years ago, the dog was the protector of the community and its herd. Little by little, an exceptional friendship developed between man and canine. More recently, human tombs dating from 6,000 years ago have been discovered in Catalonia, where people were buried with their dogs alongside them. The dogs’ skeletons, embalmed with care, were placed near to their masters to accompany them to the afterlife.
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