As Bustle reported earlier this week, newlyweds Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas just suffered a devastating loss: one of their dogs, Alaskan Klee Kai Waldo Picasso, was hit and killed by a car in New York City on Wednesday, July 24. According to TMZ, the couple waited until Friday, July 26, to make a police report, in which they stated that a car struck Waldo and left the scene without stopping. They delayed reporting, TMZ said, while they consulted a therapist in order to deal with their grief — an important move to mirror, numerous psychological authorities say, if you're struggling with the loss of a pet.
Turner and Jonas' dogwalker was walking Waldo when he was "spooked by a pedestrian," subsequently breaking from his lead and running into the street, TMZ reported. After a car struck him, he was taken to a veterinary hospital, where he later died. In a statement to Bustle, the New York Police Department said, "A police report was filed for a motor vehicle collision involving a dog struck at Bowery & Broome Street, within the confines of the 5th Precinct."
"On Friday, July 26, 2019, a female complainant filed a report stating, on Wednesday, July, 24, 2019 at approximately 2335 hours, a vehicle struck the dog, did not stop and left the scene. The dog was brought to the hospital where the dog later died. There is no vehicle or driver description," the statement continued. "We cannot confirm names of the person filing the report nor can we confirm the owners of the dog. No further information is available."
Waldo was the brother of Turner and Jonas' first dog, Porky Basquiat, who was gifted to Turner by Jonas. The couple brought Waldo home in April 2018, according to People. Jonas later told the magazine that the dogs "live a pretty fabulous life," travelling to "France, England, Canada, Amsterdam and all over America" alongside the Game of Thrones set. Porky was a prized guest at the couple's wedding, W Magazine reported, wearing an extremely cute dog tuxedo.
As Psychology Today notes, losing a pet can be "a profound experience of hardship and loss," while refusing to address your grief can negatively affect your "psychological and physical health." The Blue Cross observes, "Feelings of despair, loneliness and even depression can be overwhelming," explaining, "These feelings are normal and a testimony to the special bond between people and their pets." A 2018 Scientific American article called pet loss "an emotionally devastating experience," adding, "Symptoms of acute grief after the loss of a pet can last from one to two months, with symptoms of grief persisting up to a full year (on average)."
Here's the problem: as Scientific American puts it, "as a society, we do not recognise how painful pet loss can be and how much it can impair our emotional and physical health." Feeling embarrassed about your grief can prevent you from seeking the support you deserve — which, the magazine points out, "complicates the process of recovery by making it more lengthy and complex than it should be."
Struggling with the loss of a pet? If you're able to, follow Turner and Jonas' example, and seek professional support. The Blue Cross offers a Pet Bereavement Support Service, which you can contact via phone or email. And Psychology Today provides various self-care tips after losing a pet, including giving yourself space to grieve, confiding in friends and family, and finding a way to memorialise your pet. Your grief is real and it is valid — don't deny yourself the help you deserve.