I have always grown up with dogs, and as heart wrenching as it is to lose a pet, I never fully understood the loss until I held my dog Stella Blue during her last breaths. That loss, still hurts. Even nearly 11 years later. Stella Blue was my first baby girl and no doubt her spirit lives on strong in the daughter I birthed a year after Stellie’s death. Friends speak of the silence immediately following the death of a pet. Like the quiet of the house becomes deafening. No barking, howling, meows. It’s quiet. It’s strange. And it hurts.  Scientists now know that grief associated with pet loss is specific. It can be as intense as losing a loved...

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