Counselor offers tips for dealing with sudden loss of pets
Updated On: Jan 17 2013 05:50:26 PM CST
A Reading woman is grieving after losing almost everything in a house fire, including her four dogs.
Betsy Rosa wasn't home when the fire engulfed her Centre Avenue home Wednesday night.
"I lost my home," said Rosa.
She was visibly upset from learning that, while her human family was safe, she lost her four Chihuahuas, which were like her children: Gordo, Bravo, Diva and Ruby.
"My dogs died," said Rosa.
Neighbors who were also affected by the fire said they know how much the dogs meant to Rosa.
"They were puppies. They were adorable. They were four, well not puppies, but they were little dogs and everybody loved them," said Edna Barbitta.
A grief counselor said people can belittle someone's grief when it comes to a pet and say, "It's just a dog." She said that can be detrimental to someone's healing.
"Loss is a loss, and we send sympathy cards and we do things for people, but when it comes to our companions, our animals, we tend not to recognize that loss," said Linda Kennedy Hassel, a licensed clinical therapist.
Kennedy Hassel said the best thing someone can say in a situation like this is, "I'm thinking of you."
"They deserve as much care and as much consideration as anyone else who might be hurting," said Kennedy Hassel.
Rosa is obviously hurting, and the grief counselor said it could be for a long time considering the compounded trauma she experienced.
"I don't have anything," said Rosa.
But if she has a friend who will listen, the therapist said she can begin to heal.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Morganelli: Police-involved shooting investigation could take weeks
Police: Man provides false information about Eric Frein
Foul language may stop plans to rename ASD field for Andre Reed
Returning soldier surprises family
Police ask for help find thieves stealing tires, rims
Deadly shooting shatters quiet at Washington school
Police: Stolen vehicle not used by Frein
Woman pleads guilty in animal cruelty case
Grandfather: Marysville school shooter hit cousins
Tractor trailer accident stops traffic on Route 422