We know you have questions!
Wyatt was my first therapy dog and the original Dr. Dog. He crossed the rainbow bridge on April 9, 2022. Wyatt was loved by many and will be missed. Wyatt was a certified therapy dog for two years. He participated in over 250 days of work with thousands of hours of combined volunteer and psychotherapy visits during that short time. Wyatt was loved by many and will be missed.
Ask Wy remains below in Wyatt's honor.
Let's be honest--we know you have questions! And we know it is, quite truthfully, sometimes easier to ask the big guy here than it is to ask the social worker in the room. We totally get it! So this is that space. You get to ask. Wyatt will answer. Krista will probably have to translate woof to English. Sometimes she'll add her thoughts.
The Dr. Dog is in.
Hey Wyatt! I noticed you've been out. I'm glad to hear you're ok but I started wondering, how do I cope when I lose my pet?
Thanks--I am so glad to be back at work! While I hope to be around for many years to come, it is true that my life as a dog tends to be much shorter than human lifespans. I know my family will be sad when I am no longer with them. When mom works with others who have lost family members (human and pet--she says we can mourn the loss of our pets in very similar ways we mourn human loved ones) she focuses on something called the Four Tasks of Mourning (Worden):
Task 1: Accept the reality of the loss
Task 2: Process the pain of grief
Task 3: Adjust to a world without the deceased
Task 4: Help the survivors find an appropriate place for the deceased in their emotional life
Usually our mourning process happens with the support of friends of family. Sometimes, though, people don't really understand how people can grieve the loss of a pet. Sometimes they say things that feel hurtful even if they don't mean to be unkind. If that's the case, you might want to reach out for some additional help. Pet Loss and Bereavement Support Groups can be helpful if you're struggling with the loss of a pet. Individual therapy is also available if you find yourself needing more help.
Worden JW. Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner. fifth ed. New York: Springer Publishing Company; 2018.
Most Popular #LetsAskWy
Hey Wy! I hope you don't take this the wrong way but what do you actually do?
Hey, no woofies! Sometimes I wonder that myself. From my perspective, here's how the day goes. Dad gets up at some ridiculous hour of the morning and walks me--oh, not that early in my day? Got it. The work stuff. More...
Dear Wy, how did you become a therapy dog? What's your story?
Mom says she didn't teach me to be a therapy dog on purpose. She says I just am. But I am trained and certified because apparently just BEING my awesome self wasn't quite enough. So here's my story. More...
Hey Wy! How do I know when I should come to therapy?
You know, that is a really good, really personal question. I would say you should come see me anytime you have treats for a good dog. But Mom says you're not actually coming to see me and that I'm there to help you. More...
Hey Wy! Can you tell me what type of treatment you provide?
Well, that's a little bit different from person to person. Sometimes I help by playing with people. I always play with kids! They're so fun and they really know how to play. Adults though, adults seem to have a hard time playing. More...
The contents of the Ask Wy are for informational purposes only. Ask Wy is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified mental health provider with any questions you may have regarding your mental health. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 911 or reach out to an established crisis line: