Why is losing a furry family member so tough on us? When they are gone there is such an emptiness left in our hearts.

Over the years I have owned many dogs. When they pass, the pain is so great. People that don't own pets will never understand the grief that people experience over the loss of their dog or cat.

It's more than "just a dog" or "just a cat". These animals become members of our family.

They are happy to see us when we walk in the door after being gone, they are constant companions, and they are always there to listen to us when we just need someone to talk to.

Scott Winters & Moose

My little dog, Moose, just crossed over The Rainbow Bridge at the age of 15-1/2. He was only a 14 pound dog, but the empty space that remains now that he is gone is enormous.

Why does it hurt so bad?

Southern Living published an article about the grief one feels after the death of a pet...

In the article it says that  "research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is comparable to the loss of a human loved one, in almost every way. According to Scientific American, symptoms of acute grief after the loss of a pet can last from one to two months, with symptoms of grief persisting up to a full year (on average)."

For me, losing a dog means losing someone who totally gets me. He didn't mind whatever I was doing and was always there to comfort me when I needed it. He was a great listener, travel companion. and sleeping partner. He just understood me so much.

"Research shows that dogs recognize people and can learn to interpret human emotional states from their facial expression alone. Scientific studies also indicate that dogs can understand human intentions, try to help their owners and learn to avoid people who don't cooperate treat their owners well or help them in their time of need. Basically, when you lose your dog, you lose your back up, too."

Other pet owners who have lost a furry family member truly understand the grief you are going through. Many have been to that point themselves. If you have lost a pet, take time to grieve. A couple of great websites to help with the grieving process are the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement; and the Pet Loss Grief Support website.

Rest in Peace Moose. I miss you sooooo much.