Karen and Bennett
PAGE 9
To my beloved baby boy Bennett. From the day I saw your little face I knew we belonged together. My love for you grew and grew and grew, and it has never stopped growing. Bennett ate a piece of the dangerous Sego Palm plant, and it went into liver failure and I had to put him to sleep four days after being in the emergency room...I don't know if I can ever love another dog the way I loved you. I don't know if my heart is just closed to it, you were an extension of me and...I had such a hard time having to face the truth. Dr. Phil, other people eventually get over the loss of their pet and they're even able to adopt a new one right away. Why can't I get over the death of Bennett? -Karen from the Ask Oprah's All Stars studio audience

DR. PHIL: First, I am sorry for your loss. I'm a huge, huge animal lover. When you think about it, dogs are so noble because they have one purpose in life, and that's to companion us, to protect us, to be there...they're born and their whole focus is you, right? You all shared so much. People grieve differently and I hate to use words that you will "get over it." I mean, what's that mean? You'll never forget this dog, he'll always have a place in your heart. There will always be a sense of loss, but it does change across time. And what I would tell you is that this dog brought so many days and hours of joy to you, and right now you're focusing on the one day that he died. And that's not fair to him. I mean, he was a great dog, right? He gave you so much joy you don't wanna focus just on the day that he died: focus on all the joy that he brought you. Should you get another dog now? No. You're clearly not ready. You aren't through with this relationship yet. Dogs aren't just exchangeable, they have personalities. You had a bond with this dog. So, you wanna really give yourself a chance to heal and then get another dog. 'Cause you're obviously great with dogs, and, and you love them.

KAREN: How will I know when I'm ready [to get another dog]?

DR. PHIL: You will know. People grieve differently for people, for dogs, and you don't - that's not how you grieve. And the time will come where your heart is open to having another animal. And I tell people, always adopt, don't buy pets. I adopted my pet, and I've had her for five years and she's my constant companion. Too many dogs are, are being euthanized. Don't go out and buy a dog, adopt a dog. I thank you for doing that, and the time will come when you'll do it again. Don't rush yourself, it'll come.

ROBIN MEADE: It was so heartbreaking to hear that this dog ate a Sego Palm. What is a Sego Palm?

Dr. Oz's advice on Sego Palms and other plants that are toxic to animals.

Next: How do you tell people if they've got bad breath without having them to hate you for the rest of your life?

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