Having an animal friend in your life can be one of the most joyous, rewarding and loving experiences you'll ever have. As much a part of your family as anyone else, your pets love unconditionally and for many, bond in a way that's impossible to describe. Every dedicated animal lover knows how deep that bond can be. When owners and their pets give so much to one another it's no surprise that when our beloved pet passes on, the void is filled with so many raw emotions that are for many, almost impenetrable. These feelings can be as intense, magnified and painful as the feelings associated with the loss of any human being. And just like human loss, when we lose our beloved animal friends - we grieve. It's the natural order of things.

For a variety of reasons you can feel alone, isolated in grief, unable to see the path ahead. Inevitably you feel even more isolated without someone to talk to, someone to listen, someone to ease the pain, someone who genuinely understands.

Regretfully, so many people simply do not or cannot understand the feelings of love for our pets: many will say "it's only a dog" or "it's only a cat, a horse etc". Sadly, neither do they understand the grief; often appearing glib, trivial and unfeeling. It's understandable but it's undeniably unhelpful to anyone struggling to deal with such wretched feelings.

You may not be able to lean on family and friends - you may not even want to. If you're lucky enough to be supported by any of them, their support may diminish over time leaving you feeling even lonelier and ever more isolated. You may worry irrationally about looking silly and may never ask for help for fear of prejudice. Worst of all, you may live alone and may have done so for many years. Your pet was your best friend.

Having experienced multiple losses myself; some in the most desperately tragic circumstances, I set off on a journey to understand the forces that grip us, cloud so many of our thoughts and for many genuinely hold us back. I've experienced light from darkness and I've studied the path to help others too. Please click the link to learn all about my counselling service.