When we lost Spot I felt as if my right arm had been cut off. Even now, I can feel great sadness about his loss, but it is tempered with wondeful memories.
Every dog lover knows the great joy that they get from their dogs, and the terrible pain at losing them.
Anybody in that situation has my deepest sympathy.
We all cope with our grief and come to terms with our loss in different ways. There is no right or wrong way to do this.
It is worth talking to other dog owners - you will get a sympathetic listener in most people.
There are pet bereavement counsellors who can help at this difficult time. Ask other pet owners, talk to your vet. Your local animal rescue may be able to help. You will also find information on the internet.
Many dog owners who have suffered loss have found comfort in The Rainbow Bridge poem.
Its origins are unknown.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigour; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had been left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together
My sympathy to all of you in mourning, Ti