Courtesy of Land of PureGold Foundation 

Washington Irving quote

9 Important Essentials to Know

Your Golden is truly one of the family.
A Golden is a cherished member of the family. He or she can take you for a walk or just listen when you need someone to talk to. Their presence can also lower your blood pressure, change your heart rate or take away feelings of loneliness. Just as we have the ability to love, it is necessary to be able to grieve when our “best friend” dies. And, the entire family needs to be allowed to grieve. Parents may feel uncomfortable talking about the death to their kids. They think this will spare them some of the pain and sadness. But, this is wrong. The whole family needs to talk freely together, even if through tears. Kids certainly love their Golden pals with all their hearts and souls. Now that their “best friend” is gone, they need to be allowed to grieve.

Your Golden's death will be an intensely upsetting experience.
This is not “just a dog.” This Golden family member helps us to define exactly who we are and what we mean when we say the word “family.” Our society, though, may not understand how distressful the event really is. They don't think you need to grieve for a “pet.” And, you may even be teased for openly and honestly showing your feelings. This may cause you to bury, hide, or ignore your sadness. But, this is not a good thing. You cannot heal and come to accept this loss, if you haven't expressed your painful feelings.

Clichés don't help you feel better at all.
You and your family will probably hear many clichés when this death happens. Clichés are simple little comments that are meant to help you feel less pain. But, little Band-Aids don't work when you're heart seems to be breaking in two. Comments like, “It was just a dog,” or “You can always get another one,” or “Be glad you don’t have to take care of him anymore” are really hurtful rather than helpful. They make your grieving more difficult.

Golden memories are extremely helpful and healing.
Memories are truly one of the best Golden legacies after a death like this has occurred. It really does help to talk about and cherish these memories. Even those memories of destructive puppy-ness are important. It's healing to remember when this Golden wonder made you laugh, helped to comfort you, showed true love & devotion for you, or simply made you scream out in frustration. And, it's okay if some of the memories make you laugh. But remember, some are also likely to bring you sadness and cause tears. But, memories that were made in love can never be taken away from your heart.

You could have mixed emotions about the death.
When your Golden dies, you may experience many different emotions or feelings. You could feel confused, sad, angry, or guilty. But, it's important to express these feelings as ignoring them may keep you from overcoming the pain that you now feel. People may tell you not to show these feelings. But, that may only be due to they're feeling uncomfortable when they see you this way. And, they'd rather not see your distress when they know they have no ability to change what has happened. Just remember, its healthy and normal to feel this way. Each family member may have a particular way of showing their grief, because each probably had their own special Golden relationship. No way is the right or wrong way. Each of us has to grieve in our own way.

Euthanasia can actually be an unselfish, loving thing to do.
This is the toughest thing that anyone could be forced to admit. But, the choice to euthanize may be the right and loving one to make, especially if your guy is in extreme pain or the quality of his life has really deteriorated. Usually, your veterinarian can talk to you and explain how he thinks your buddy is feeling and what he thinks would be most humane at this point. The euthanasia procedure causes no pain, and the doctor can explain to you how everything works. Families have the ability to be with their hurting buddy when the procedure takes place. But, they do not have to be present. Each family member needs to do what is best for him or her. But, it is always important to spend some special time telling your guy what he has meant to you and making your final good-byes.

Golden family rituals can honestly be helpful.
Allowing a Golden funeral can be helpful and healing. It can allow time for each person to share memories and openly express their emotions. Of course, some friends or even people in your family may think that having a funeral is silly. But, this is the time to listen to yourself, and what you want. Each person does what is right for him or her. A funeral may provide relief as it allows you to formally pay tribute to your lost friend who was and will always be very much loved.

Trying to replace your Golden too soon can cause problems.
Families are often tempted to run out right away to get another dog after one has died. Certainly, that's what lots of friends and people in their family are telling them to do. But, it's really not a wise idea. We have to have a lot of time to heal, because we spent a lot of time loving. Having a new pup will demand lots of energy and attention, which will prevent you from having time to do your grieving. We need to be careful not to send out the wrong message. Your special buddy can never be replaced, just like any other family member could not be replaced. Could we simply go out and buy another brother if one died? And, what would that person think about your being able to replace him so quickly? There will surely come a time when you know that your family's grieving is over. And, then will be the time to build a new, though different, Golden relationship.

There Is One Best Place to bury a Golden.
"If you bury him in this spot, he will come to you when you call—come to you over the grim dim frontier of death and down the well-remembered path and to your side again. And though you call a dozen living dogs to heel, they shall not growl at him nor resent his coming ... for he belongs there. People may scoff at you, who see no slightest blade of grass bent by his foot fall, who hear no whimper—people who may never really have had a dog. Smile at them for you shall know something that is hidden from them and which is well worth the knowing..."The one best place to bury a good dog is in the heart of his master." Ben Hur Lampman, Portland Oregonian, September 11, 1925