Pet Death and Family Dynamics

The loss of a pet is devastating for all family members. And each person grieves in a different way. Some people get sad and depressed. Others get angry. Some people get busy. Some people make their way quickly to the nearest shelter to get a new pet.

When we lost our beloved dog, Brandi, I also became aware of how our family dynamic had changed without her.

Family systems are complicated systems filled with spoken rules (who does the chores and who walks the dog) and unspoken rules (how love is given or earned, how we manage conflict, etc.). A pet can…