Good Dog Grief

Animals are a source of great comfort in time of need. Dogs, in particular, have earned the moniker “Man’s Best Friend,” despite intense competition from cats, rabbits, hamsters, lizards and more. Experts agree that canines possess the unique ability to sense when their masters are troubled. Whether they hear sniffles or see tears, they often run to their owners to offer a lick or snuggle up when the going gets tough.

Animal Therapy Grief FuneralIn fact, a University of London study determined: “Dogs were more likely to approach a crying person than someone who was humming or talking, and that they normally responded to weeping with submissive behaviors.”

Therapy Dogs

As a result of their innate sense of how and when to render aid, dogs make perfect therapy animals. They serve in a number of arenas across the world, from natural disasters to assisted living centers, from hospitals to schools and (our personal favorite) …funeral homes. A proud member of the Foothill Funeral & Cremation family is Lola, our bereavement pug. She was trained to be a bereavement dog and has nearly completed her certification.

Lola, Lo Lo Lo Lo Lola


Weighing in at 23 lbs., Lola cheerfully greets families and wanders the halls of our Glendora showroom on a regular basis. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) does not track the number of funeral homes in the U.S. with therapy dogs. However, the number has risen significantly over the last few years. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, we take it as a compliment that bereavement dogs have joined the ranks of mortuary teams across the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys as well as the Inland Empire.

Our Lola is five years old and has spent her entire life in a funeral home. She greets our families and will accompany loved ones to their service at the request of the family. She has a special bound with grieving children and does her best to bring them comfort.

Therapy Dog Death GriefDogs & Death

Not only do therapy dogs provide comfort, they improve overall mental and physical health. For example, petting a therapy dog increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. This improves mood by lowering stress, anxiety and depression. Interacting with a therapy dog also lowers blood pressure and helps the lonely, which is how people often feel immediately after losing a loved one. So, we invite you to come by our Glendora showroom and say, “Hello” to Lola. She (and we) will be glad you did!

About Foothill Funeral & CremationCemetery Burial Glendora Funeral

Although we jest, we take death very seriously. We know your loved one was very important to you. And we value the opportunity to celebrate his or her life or help you pre-plan a service for yourself. Feel free to contact us now to pre-plan your own memorial or at your time of need (626) 335-0615. Our relationship with United Methodist Church and Sacred Heart provide great places for mourners to host funerals and memorials. You’ll love the grandiose yet intimate settings in both locations.

We also specialize in helping with burial arrangements and proudly serve the San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles Basin, Orange County and the Inland Empire. Finally, working in the mortuary industry since 1996, our reputation is one of quality, sincerity and trust. Please allow us to help you at your time of need or in the future. Call today (626) 335-0615 or contact us via email.

One thought on “Good Dog Grief”

  1. Hello, I am a writer and I have recently written the following on “Our Beloved Pets” This short story has touched many hearts in my community. Please share, blessings Louise

    Pets help carry us through the highs and the lows as we go through life and are often in tune to how we feel during sadness and loss, but they are also in tune with other emotions such as happiness. They seem to connect to us on a deeper level because they have feelings too.

    Our pets are always by our side showing us loyalty and trust and hold no judgment towards us. They are accepting of who we are, and live in the moment as a free spirit. Pets do help us heal through the darkest times in our lives. Oh, how I wish they could talk!

    My daughter, Elianna passed away at the tender age of 12 in August 2011 from a brain hemorrhage. Elianna’s passing was very unexpected, and it was a shock to our family and the community. We will always remember her, the young girl with the radiant smile and the most beautiful mane of red hair. She had a caring heart and inner beauty that sparkled within and radiated on the outside. She was our eldest child.
    The pain of losing a child is one of life’s harshest blows to a parent. The grief is unfathomable, and I would not wish it upon anyone.

    A tragedy does change us because, in time, we start to look at life from a new perspective as we continue. We begin to grasp onto our faith which helps give us the strength we need to pull forward. Faith also helps us see the meaning of life and death and that death is just the beginning of a new life in heaven.

    Several years before Elianna passed away we adopted a special little dog, called Ace from a friend of mine. Ace was a Boston Terrier. Elianna maintained a very special little friendship with Ace and had his picture on her phone. Ace was partially blind, snored rather loudly, he had stinky breath and slept ALL day long. He only woke up if he could smell an aroma from the kitchen. These imperfect traits made Elianna love him even more probably because he was not a perfect specimen of a dog, but in her eyes, he was the most loving, and best dog anyone would wish to have.

    I have learned so much about my pets and how they have helped me through my grief.
    I would lay with all three of my dogs for hours until I had no more tears to cry. They would comfort me and listen to me in their unique way and would act as silent, loving companions giving me the love and attention I needed. I do believe to this day that Elianna was sending energy through Ace, her beloved dog which we sensed when we stroked and cuddled him.

    I believe all three of my dogs sensed something was different when my daughter fell ill that fateful August day. I feel they intuitively seemed to understand what we were going through as a family, and how sad we all were which is of great comfort in itself. I know they were sad too. They were able to reach us in a much deeper way through unconditional love which brings out a soul connection, and they were able to help fill this dark empty void within me and fill it with love.

    Sadly, Molly, Pepper, and Ace are no longer with us, but I will never forget their loving presence and how they comforted us during the darkest time in our lives.
    I do miss them still, but I know my daughter, Elianna was there to greet them when they crossed over, reunited once again exchanging heartfelt hugs and kisses with her beloved friends. I am a great believer in the afterlife, a place where love exists, and pain does not.

    A pets love is healing to the heart and the soul. They are able to bring out this Christ-like energy from within us which makes this soul connection. The love we have for our pets continues even after they leave us. Love is a connection to all things; love continues on from this world to the next and is the most powerful element of the universe.

    Louise Suzanne Boyd, M.Div

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