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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple Is Devastated by Sudden Loss of Dog

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently lost our beloved pet of 12 years, "Bootsy." He was our first "fur baby." His death was very sudden, and we are devastated. We don't have children; it was as if he was our firstborn. What can we do to get through the death of our beloved dog-child? -- SUFFERING IN THE SOUTH

DEAR SUFFERING: I am sorry for your loss. An unfortunate aspect of being emotionally invested in a pet is the reality that they have much shorter lifespans than humans do. Start the healing process by reminding each other that you gave Bootsy the best life possible. Consider making a contribution in his name to an animal rescue organization. Then contact the veterinarian who cared for Bootsy about joining a grief support group to help you through this time of bereavement.

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