About Pet Loss and Grief Counseling—Supporting the
Human-Animal Bond

Our relationships with animals are uniquely capable of connecting us to experiences outside of those we might ordinarily find in our human ones. Animals offer us a direct link to the natural world, and model its wisdom, laws, and beauty. Our relationship to the animals is capable of opening that liminal territory where we can explore our connectedness to the brilliance and basic goodness of the phenomenal world.

The experience of engaging with an animal in a primary relationship enables us, as individuals, to come in contact with parts of ourselves that we might not otherwise be aware of.  Relieved of many of the concerns and patterns we experience in our human relationships, we have the rare opportunity to connect with a sense of being utterly “enough” exactly as we are in this moment. In that rare and extraordinary place of non-judgment we are allowed to let go of our internal guards and critics and experience the vastness and resilience of our hearts.

Our relationships with animals provide us with a full-fledged opportunity to find the wisdom of our own animal bodies, its natural cycles, its interdependence, its strengths and weaknesses. Our animals model exceptional interpersonal skills and teach us to use our emotions to create connection and boundaries, to process pain and grief, to allow joy, enhance well-being, and to bear witness. They call us to explore non-verbal and interspecies communication thereby engaging a sense of creativity, metaphor, inventiveness, and humor. And finally, indeed ultimately, we experience those cycles of birth, old age, sickness and death with them.