Losing a dog is a difficult process. It’s like losing a human child, or a best friend. It is a terrible time for everyone involved and all they can do is lean on each other to overcome the grief.
If your friend has lost a dog, it’s your responsibility to help the grieving process be less burdensome. Here’s how you can do it:
More often than not, people worry about what they can do for a person in grief, when the reality is, all they can do is be there. Your presence is more than enough. Allow your friend to share at the pace he/she is comfortable with. If there’s no sharing happening, sit in silence. Do not attempt to minimize the emotions being felt and don’t force him/her to talk through the feelings.
Many people say “call me if you need anything” just to say something. Instead, make yourself available if something is needed. If the friend isn’t at the stage where they are comfortable making requests, make yourself available to cook dinner, or take out the trash. This will help more than you know.
Some people prefer to grieve in silence and solace. That’s fine, as long as you respect the boundaries set. So, back off if you are getting signs he/she needs to be alone. If he/she lashes out at you, don’t take offense. Just make it clear that you only want to help. In time, your friend will come around and will be grateful for your understanding.