Grief is a human emotion, but it can also be a canine one too.
Sadie, a 13-year-old Border collie/Dalmatian/shepherd mix, recently lost her owner and loyal companion, Andy Beaulieu, to a sudden heart attack, reports GlobalNews.ca.
The dog, who Beaulieu had raised from a puppy, started showing signs of grief seconds after her best friend died.
“She was putting her head on his hand and tried to nuzzle him,” Jeremy May, President of Elements Cremation, Pre Planning and Burial of Langley, British Columbia, tells PEOPLE about how Sadie reacted to Beaulieu’s collapse before the ambulance took him away.
After spending every weekday going to work with her dog dad, Sadie became despondent during the 10 days between the owner’s death and his funeral.
“During that time she displayed all the signs humans do during a loss,” says May, whose company helped plan Beaulieu’s service.
She waited by the window for her departed owner to return, refused to sleep alone and wouldn’t eat, causing her to drop 10 pounds.
Beaulieu’s wife knew that the devoted dog needed to say a real goodbye to her best friend and arranged to have Sadie attend Beaulieu’s funeral service.
May says that Sadie was the last to come into the visitation, calmly approaching Beaulieu’s casket with Julia to pay her respects. The canine placed her front paws on the casket and peered in before stepping down and exiting the service.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” May says of the reaction to Sadie’s appearance, calling her emotional reaction “electrifying.”
After saying her final goodbye at the service, Sadie returned home and ate two meals worth of food and soon went back to her normal day-to-day activities.
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For May, this service was a moving moment, but not totally out of the ordinary. The Elements president says that more and more people are choosing to pre-plan their funerals and a number of these individuals are choosing to include pets or more unorthodox elements.
“We understand the needs of the family need to come before the needs of a traditional funeral service,” he says of Elements’ approach to requests for unique funeral venues or activities.
While Sadie’s inclusion in Beaulieu’s funeral was not pre-planned, May advises that animal lovers who would like to have their pets as part of their funeral service make note of these wishes in advance to ensure family members, loved ones and the planners of their funeral service know to make the desired arrangements.