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A Therapy Dog's Journey Through Grief

Hello, friends. My name is Ed, and I am a therapy dog in training. Today, I want to share a deeply personal story about grief, healing, and the journey we sometimes must take when we lose someone we love dearly. This story is about my friend and mentor, Rothfuss, who recently crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

Rothfuss was more than just a mentor; he was my best friend and guide. From the moment I joined the family, Rothfuss took me under his paw, teaching me the ropes with patience and love. He showed me how to offer comfort to those in pain, how to bring a smile to a child's face, and how to sit quietly with someone who just needed a friend. Rothfuss was the best at what he did, and I always looked up to him.

But now, Rothfuss is gone, and my heart feels heavy with the weight of his absence. Grief is a strange and powerful thing. It comes in waves, sometimes crashing over you, leaving you breathless, and other times, it’s a gentle ripple, a reminder of the love you once shared.

As a therapy dog, my job is to bring healing to others. But what happens when the healers need to heal? Here’s what I’ve learned through my own journey of grief:

1. It’s Okay to Feel

The first thing I realized is that it’s okay to feel sad, lost, and even angry. These emotions are natural and a part of the healing process. Rothfuss taught me that emotions are not something to be hidden but something to be embraced. It’s through feeling that we begin to heal.

2. Remember the Good Times

Rothfuss left behind a legacy of love and joy. I remember our long walks, the way his tail wagged when he was happy, and the warmth of his presence. These memories are now treasures that I hold close. Remembering the good times helps keep his spirit alive and brings comfort on the darkest days.

3. Lean on Others

Grief can feel isolating, but it’s important to remember that you are not alone. I found solace in the company of my family.. They provided a shoulder to lean on and a listening ear. Talking about Rothfuss, sharing stories, and expressing my feelings helped lighten the burden of grief.

4. Find Purpose in Healing

Rothfuss’s legacy lives on through the work I continue to do as a therapy dog. Every time I comfort someone, every time I bring a smile to a face, I am honoring Rothfuss’s memory. Finding purpose in healing others has been a powerful way to navigate my own grief.

5. Give Yourself Time

Healing takes time, and there’s no set timeline for grief. Some days are better than others, and that’s okay. It’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the healing process to unfold naturally.

My dog mom is struggling with the loss of Rothfuss too. She was very close to him, often relying on his calm presence and wisdom. I've seen her cry when she thinks I'm not looking, and I've felt her sadness when she holds me a little tighter at night. We're both finding our way through this difficult time, and it's brought us closer. Her grief reminds me that even those who seem strong need support and understanding. We're healing together, finding strength in each other as we remember and honor Rothfuss.

Grief is a journey, not a destination. Along the way, you may discover new strengths, new insights, and new ways to connect with others.

As I continue my training and work as a therapy dog, I carry Rothfuss’s lessons with me. His spirit guides me, reminding me of the power of love, the importance of compassion, and the beauty of healing. Through my own grief, I have learned that even healers need to heal, and that’s okay. It’s through this healing that we become even better at bringing comfort and joy to those who need it most.

So, if you’re going through a similar journey, remember that it’s okay to grieve, to feel, and to heal. Take it one day at a time, lean on those around you, and find purpose in the love and memories you hold dear. Together, we can find our way through the darkness and emerge stronger, with hearts full of love and paws ready to heal.

With love and pawsitive vibes,


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