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ROTHENBURGER – Why it’s okay, and even necessary, to grieve for our dogs

(Video: Courtesy Kent Simmonds, CFJC-TV)

His dog up and died
He up and died
After twenty years he still grieves

— Lyrics, Mr. Bojangles.

I’VE ALWAYS MARVELLED at the ease with which those from one species connect with those of another.

Cats and dogs, born to be enemies, can become the best of friends. So can dogs and ducks, monkeys and tigers, giraffes and ostriches — all have been known to become best buddies. And we humans build relationships with all kinds of animals.

None is as strong as the bond between people and their dogs. We’re the perfect companions. It’s said life is better with dogs, that the only thing wrong with dogs is that they don’t live long enough.

I was reading an article that said scientists have found that when humans and their dogs gaze into each other’s eyes, there’s a spike in the hormone oxytocin in the brains of both. Oxytocin is associated with strong feelings of love and protection.

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Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former school board chair, former editor of The Kamloops Daily News, and a current director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He was awarded the Jack Webster Foundation’s lifetime achievement award in 2011. His editorials are published Monday through Thursdays, and Saturdays on CFJC Today, CFJC Midday and CFJC Evening News. Contact him at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

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About Mel Rothenburger (6184 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Why it’s okay, and even necessary, to grieve for our dogs

  1. lorneandkath@shaw.ca // September 1, 2018 at 12:24 PM // Reply

    I am so truly sorry – and we too are waiting for the inevitable. Our boy is 12ish – also a beautiful Golden Retriever. They are such gentle tolerant souls.

    I hope you have another dog someday because they need us as we need them. You’ll know when you’re ready.

    Katherine Fisher

    • Mel Rothenburger // September 1, 2018 at 9:15 PM // Reply

      Thank you to everyone for the many comments we’ve received – the condolences and hearing other people’s stories is very comforting.

  2. Thank you for sharing your grief, Mel.
    Years ago, we had a dog named Jay. When he died, it felt like the world had ended. Part of the grief process was to dare write a letter to the editor (you) and you entitled it “Jay knew that we loved him”. I still have a copy that I clipped from the newspaper.
    I wish that I could say something but but from experience, I know that isn’t possible. But, as a fellow dog owner, allow me to grieve with you.

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