Dear Annie: Nobody ever addresses how someone’s death affects the animals left behind. Dogs especially look forward to the return of their “master” each day with great anticipation. When my husband is away on vacation, our dogs wait at the door for hours and go through the same ritual each day until he returns.
When a loved one dies, the pet has no comprehension that this person is not coming back. When one of our dogs has passed on, we always lovingly place them in an open box where the remaining animal can be alone with the deceased for at least a half-hour. That seems to help them understand and reach closure of some kind.
Why can’t we bring the animal to the funeral home or other appropriate setting and let the animal be with their friend one last time? It’s the least we can do for our animal friends who give us unconditional love and companionship without asking for anything in return. – Rocky Mount, Va.
Dear Va.: Some funeral homes allow dogs as “comfort animals” for the bereaved. It is likely they would also permit an animal to attend a viewing before the service. It is certainly not an unreasonable request.
Dear Annie: “Don’t Want a Contest” feels his fiancee’s 13-year-old son is jealous. Please tell him to back off. It is normal for a single mom and her son to have this sort of closeness, and the boy will grow out of it.
My husband accepted my close relationship with my only child. My son would also sit in between us and want to snuggle in bed, but he came to accept my husband without resentment. My son died at age 15 from cancer. I never would have forgiven myself or my husband if I had missed out on one hug. – Understanding Mom