(Washington Post) Joe Yonan—The death of pet can hurt as much as the loss of a relative

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How could the death of a canine possibly hurt as much as that of a family member? As the sadness lingers, part of my grieving process has been to try to understand the differences.

Researchers have long known that the animal-human bond is strong: A 1988 study in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling asked a group of dog owners to place symbols for their family members and pets in a circle representing each dog owner’s life. (The distance between the subject and the other symbols corresponds to the relative, real-life closeness of those relationships.) The subjects tended to put the dog closer than the average family member, and about as close as the closest family member; in 38 percent of the cases, the dog was closest of all.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* General InterestAnimals

Posted March 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Ad Orientem wrote:

I read this a few days ago and it was deeply moving.  It seriously needs a tissue box warning.

March 30, 12:30 am | [comment link]
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