Humans aren’t the only ones who grieve when their loved ones pass away. Just ask Jeremy May, president of Elements Cremation, Pre-planning & Burial in British Columbia, Canada.
He recently met a dog named Sadie who demonstrated that truth in the most unforgettable way.
Earlier this year, after 13 years of faithful companionship, Sadie’s best friend died suddenly of a heart attack. She was there by his side, like she always had been, when it happened.
“After the paramedics came and couldn’t revive him, Sadie laid beside him and repeated put her head on and under his hand,” May told The Dodo.
The man’s wife and family were devastated, and so too was Sadie. Over the 10 days that followed leading up to the funeral, it became obvious that the heartbroken dog wasn’t able to cope.
“During that time Sadie would not eat, would not sleep by herself and spent the days waiting by the window and door waiting for his return,” May said.
Then that all changed.
On the day of the funeral, the deceased’s widow brought Sadie along — and May knew that she shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other family member in mourning.
Sadie was warmly welcomed into the chapel, so she too could say her goodbyes.
“The dog was as important as a spouse and child, so it was important that we allowed it to happen,” May said. “As Sadie approached the casket you could both feel and hear the emotion in the room from the guests. Not a dry eye in the room. It was an emotional and hair-raising moment.”
It was an emotional moment — but it was a healing moment, too.
That day, after Sadie returned home, she ate two full meals. Her spirits had been lifted.
The tenderness in the photo above has also helped Sadie’s mom cope with her loss. Sadly, however, May says that some
funeral homes still would forbid an animal inside to say goodbye as Sadie had. Hopefully, this dog’s story will help inspire things to change for family members like her.
“If anybody ever doubts the level of understanding and emotional capacity our dogs have, this experience should lay that to rest,” May said. “Our pets need closure as well. They feel loss and experience grief.”