Saying goodbye to a friend is extremely difficultPhoto: Shutterstock.com/SvetikovaV
– I remember very well the first animal I had to say goodbye to. I was 12 at the time and it was my parents’ dog, we euthanized him due to chronic cancer – Michał Fryga, a veterinarian, recalled. – When an animal dies, for many people it is a breakthrough, a drama, a blow after which it is difficult to get up. There are strong emotions, tears, very difficult conversations – he said.
When drugs are helpless. “People react very differently”
As he explained, an important aspect of a veterinarian’s job – in the context of the long-term treatment of chronic diseases in animals – is working with people. – The ability to approach the owner in such difficult moments is extremely important. If the dog is ill for a long time, people are prepared that it will pass sooner or later. However, it is always difficult to deal with it in the end – he explained.
Much more difficult – as the doctor argued – for patients to make a decision about euthanasia. – When medicine is helpless and people are faced with such a choice, they usually behave as if they would decide on the death of a loved one – he explained. – They try to postpone this moment at all costs, they seize everything to save the animal – he emphasized. – The role of the doctor is to mark the boundary when the patient suffers enough that his life ends and vegetation begins. This is when the animal experiences chronic pain that we can no longer manage, it cannot feed itself, let alone move, explains the expert. As he said, it works both ways. – The departure of the owner, when there is only a dog or a cat in the world, is also not without consequences, because it is such a strong stress that in some cases it even affects health – said the expert.
14:39 foursome vet 2021_12_07-20-19-41.mp3 When drugs are helpless. How to deal with the departure of a pet – explains veterinarian Michał Fryga (Private Zone / Four)
As the behavioral therapist Katarzyna Kucharska explained, the animal appears at some point in our lives, it is usually the moment when we need unconditional acceptance and commitment. – Then the dog is a great support for us, and over the years that we live together, it becomes someone very important to us – explained the expert. Therefore – as she emphasized – the decision to break up is all the more difficult. Also for other pets in the house.
Dogs love people. ‘They also suffer the loss of a brother or friend’
– It often happens that one dog at home supports another dog in illness, in overcoming fears and stress, and therefore, of course, later he can also feel grief – explained Katarzyna Kucharska. – On the other hand, our sadness and tears are shared by our pets because they function depending on how we feel. When we’re under stress — our dog will feel it — Katarzyna Kucharska said.
It is an individual matter to grieve. – There are those who get out quickly, and some who live at a loss for years. Some people, who already have a new dog, still miss the one that passed away. Then when I come for consultations, I change from a behaviorist to a family friend, and I support owners more than pets — she said. – It is worth closing a certain chapter, otherwise we will not progress. And only when people feel cared for can you work with the dog — she explained.
How to deal with the loss? “The cemetery is a place of relief”
As she emphasized, it is important to support loved ones during difficult times. – But you have to do it wisely. Let’s not immediately take another dog “for comfort” if the other man is not ready – she emphasized. One way to deal with the loss may be to visit your pet in the cemetery. – These are beautiful places, full of memories and love. You can tell the people who left their pets there loved them very much. It is a pity that there are still so few such cemeteries – emphasized the expert.
17:59 foursome of the chef 2021_12_07-20-43-17.mp3 How to deal with grief – explains behaviorist Katarzyna Kucharska (Private Zone/Four)
In the program we also heard a very personal story from one of the Listeners, who was mourning the loss of her beloved friend two years ago. – For me, the dog was part of my family, it was the full member, so still, when I talk about it, I can’t control my emotions – she told in an interview with the Four. – People bump their heads and ask me how to say that. And for me this dog, although it walked on four legs, and not on two, could love more sincerely than many people – she emphasized.
05:44 _PR4_AAC 2021_12_07-20-19-41.mp3 A story of loss and opening to a new canine friendship – tells the listener of the Four (Private Zone)
Program title: “Private area”
Leads: Jakub Jamrozek
Guest: Michał Fryga (veterinarian), Katarzyna Kucharska (behavioral therapist, Futrzon brand)
Release date: 07.12.2021
Time of broadcast: 20.08