A GIANT THANK YOU to Tyson Foods of Noel, MO for their extremely generous donation. I'm Your Huckleberry Rescue was the recipient of a Covid Relief Grant in July of 2020. Since receiving this grant we have been able to provide veterinary and spay/neuter services to 40 dogs and purchase 30 bags of Purina One and Purina Pro Plan dog food. Words cannot express how grateful we are for the amazing support of Tyson Foods! #tysoncares
"Why do humans feel such a deep loss for their pups? Because dogs are so much more than pets. As psychologist Julie Axelrod writes in a blog post the loss of a dog is so painful because people are losing a little life that we were responsible for as well as a source of unconditional love and companionship. There's a reason that most emotional support animals are dogs."
For anyone grieving the death of a pet, the pain can be overwhelming. Many dog owners view their canine companions as much more than an animal — to them, they’re members of the family. Losing your best friend is heartbreaking and can leave behind a profound sense of emptiness and loss.
Grieving the Loss of a Pet
Each person deals with grief differently, but that doesn’t make the death any less painful. Some people find it hard to express their feelings because not everyone around them understands the gravity of the loss, especially if they’ve never had a dog of their own.
Moira Anderson Allen, author of “Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet,” adds, “If someone has never experienced this kind of relationship, they genuinely don’t know how important it is to those of us who have.”
Things you can do to help ease the pain:
Join a Pet Loss Support Group - search social media for online groups
In addition to seeking support, there are easy ways you can honor your beloved pet’s memory.
They tell you not to cry.
They tell you that it's just a dog, not a human being.
They tell you that the pain will be over.
They tell you that the animals don't know that they have to die.
They tell you that it's important not to let him suffer.
They tell you that you can have another one.
They tell you it's going to happen to you.
They tell you that there is more pain.
But they don't know how many times you've looked into your dog’s eyes.
They don't know how many times you and your dog have looked into darkness alone.
They don't know how many times your dog was the only one who was by your side.
They don't know how much fear you have
at night when you wake up with your grief.
They don't know how many times your dog slept near you.
They don't know how much you've changed since the dog has become a part of your life.
They don't know how many times you hugged him when he was sick.
They don't know how many times you've acted like you didn't see his hair getting whiter.
They don't know how many times you've talked to your dog, the only one who really hears.
They don't know that it was just your dog who knew you were in pain.
They don't know what it feels like to see your old dog trying to get up to say hello.
They don't know that if things went wrong, the only one who didn't go is your dog.
They don't know that your dog trusts you every moment of his life, even in the last.
They don't know how much your dog loved you and how it is enough for him to be happy, because you loved him.
They don't know that crying for a dog is one of the most noble, significant, true, purest and warmest things you can do.
They don't know when the last time you moved him with trouble... making sure it didn’t hurt him.
They don't know what it felt like to pet their face in the last moments of their life....
In Memory of all those who went over the rainbow bridge. You all have a place forever in our hearts
AKC.org - Grieving a Pet: How to Cope With the Loss of a Dog
By Alexandra Anastasio
Aug 06, 2019
Southern Living - Why Losing a Pet Hurts So Much
By Melissa Locker
Jeff Rear - Facebook post July 7 - poem author???
The article I am about to share with you happens extremely frequently in our field of rescue, you will also see this a lot in the medical profession & first responders. So please understand we do our best, but it does take it's toll. If you would join our team, not only would you be helping our fur-kids, but you will truly be helping a human too!
This is written by The American Institute of Stress:
“We have not been directly exposed to the trauma scene, but we hear the story told with such intensity, or we hear similar stories so often, or we have the gift and curse of extreme empathy and we suffer. We feel the feelings of our clients. We experience their fears. We dream their dreams. Eventually, we lose a certain spark of optimism, humor and hope. We tire. We aren’t sick, but we aren’t ourselves.”
– C. Figley, 1995
Also called “vicarious traumatization” or secondary traumatization (Figley, 1995). The emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. It differs from burn-out, but can co-exist. Compassion Fatigue can occur due to exposure on one case or can be due to a “cumulative” level of trauma.
Cumulative process marked by emotional exhaustion and withdrawal associated with increased workload and institutional stress, NOT trauma-related.
Primary Traumatic Stress
Primary stressors are those inherent in the extreme event, such as what was immediately experienced or witnessed, especially those things most contributing to a traumatic response.
Mother Teresa Understood Compassion Fatigue
She wrote in her plan to her superiors that it was MANDATORY for her nuns to take an entire year off from their duties every 4-5 years to allow them to heal from the effects of their care-giving work.
Is it Burnout or Compassion Fatigue?
The Stages of Burnout have been identified as:
Commonalitities of Burnout and Compassion Fatigue:
Clear difference: Compassion fatigue has a more rapid onset while burnout emerges over time. Compassion Fatigue has a faster recovery (less severe, if recognized and managed early).
Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue
– Affects many dimensions of your well-being
– Nervous system arousal (Sleep disturbance)
– Emotional intensity increases
– Cognitive ability decreases
– Behavior and judgment impaired
– Isolation and loss of morale
– Depression and PTSD (potentiate)
– Loss of self-worth and emotional modulation
– Identity, worldview, and spirituality impacted
– Beliefs and psychological needs-safety, trust, esteem, intimacy, and control
– Loss of hope and meaning=existential despair
– Anger toward perpetrators or causal events
“First, you should understand that it’s a process. It’s not a matter of one day, you’re living your life with a great deal of energy and enjoyment, and the next, you wake up exhausted and devoid of any energy – both physical and emotional. Compassion fatigue develops over time – taking weeks, sometimes years to surface. Basically, it’s a low level, chronic clouding of caring and concern for others in your life – whether you work in or outside the home. Over time, your ability to feel and care for others becomes eroded through overuse of your skills of compassion. You also might experience an emotional blunting – whereby you react to situations differently than one would normally expect.”
When Helping Hurts by F. Oshberg, MD
Chart: Compassion Fatigue Process
Tips for Managing Compassion Fatigue
Find someone to talk to.
Understand that the pain you feel is normal.
Exercise and eat properly.
Get enough sleep.
Take some time off.
Develop interests outside of medicine.
Identify what’s important to you.
Look for a new job, buy a new car, get a divorce or have an affair.
Fall into the habit of complaining with your colleagues.
Hire a lawyer.
Work harder and longer.
Neglect your own needs and interests.
— Source: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center
The ABC’s of PreventionWhat types of cases contribute to your stress level increasing your vulnerability to compassion fatigue?
Think of events or situation that causes one to experience an unusually strong reaction and often overpowers one’s usual coping mechanisms.
Are you aware of any of these issues or contributing factors in your workday? If so, you could be at risk of compassion fatigue.
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THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF STRESS
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Phone: (682) 239-6823
Email: Contact Us
AIS does not provide any clinical services nor are we able to respond to requests for assistance with personal problems other than to suggest resources that may be helpful when appropriate.