'Cityline' expert Julia Grieve talks the 'stigma' surrounding pet loss: 'It literally knocked me off my feet'

The Eco expert spoke about the death of her dog, Riddick, in an emotional segment that's resonating with viewers.

Earlier this week, "Cityline" host Tracy Moore and the show's Eco expert Julia Grieve spoke openly about the heartbreak of losing a pet. Grieve spoke candidly about the impact the death of her dog Riddick had on her family.

"It hits you in so many different ways," Grieve began. "It literally knocked me off my feet... It was one of the hardest things I've been through." Grieve pointed out the stigma surrounding pet loss, noting that society often fails to recognize the depth of grief experienced by pet owners. She admitted that prior to experiencing the loss of a pet, she did not fully understand the weight of it.

Grieve also noted that many pet owners are faced with having to make the choice of euthanizing their pets when their quality of life is in question.

"That stigma has got to go," Grieve emphasized. "I think one of the other reasons it becomes super hard is — a lot of animals when this happens — it becomes our choice to decide what a quality of life looks like for the one you love so much. So I think making that choice is what's really so hard to do and to deal with... Living with that choice is really hard."

Moore weighed in, emphasizing the importance pets play in our lives. "You have aunts and uncles that you only see once a year, but that pet is underfoot as you're washing dishes," Moore reflected. "Your whole schedule and routine are based around that pet. They really are part of the family... It's a family member."

The show shared a short clip from the episode in an Instagram Reel on Thursday. Moore chimed in the comment section, sharing how the discussion hit home for her and her feelings for her own dog.

"I loved this conversation because I barely recovered when we lost our cat when I was in grade six. When Ozzie Perron goes I already know we’ll be in shambles. Let’s talk about it," Moore wrote.

The clip sparked an outpouring of responses from viewers, who shared their own experiences with grieving the loss of a pet and doubled down on how impactful it can be.

"I always knew that losing my little dog was going to be heartbreaking, but there are no words for that kind of loss," one Instagram user shared. "I’ll miss her every day for the rest of my life."

"Thank you for doing a segment about this. I recently lost my ride-or-die soul cat. It was so incredibly sad to say goodbye to him. Pets are absolutely family members and will never be forgotten," another person penned.

"Thank you for this, it was and still is the hardest emotion I've had to go through, harder than two failed IVF cycles, harder than an infertility diagnosis," a viewer shared. "I said goodbye to my 13-year-old Yorkie, who was there for those moments. I had to quit my job because I couldn't do it anymore without my Charlie there with me."

"Making the choice and having to watch it happen was one of the most devastating things I ever experienced. I had to put my cat down 11 years ago, and I still think about him and his final moments all the time," one person recalled. "Truly traumatizing. There should be no stigma."

Grieve paid tribute to 10-year-old Riddick on social media after his death in November 2023. "It’s so hard to say goodbye, so I’d rather think of it as 'see you later big guy.'"

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