When you lose that exceptional one

I was reminded recently while at a visit to the beach with my family of the powerful attachment some of us have to the dearest members of a family, our pets. While at the beach with our two dogs, a young man walked by and exclaimed to his family “he looks just like Franky” while pointing to my little chihuahua-mix. He then asked to pet my dog to which I said, “sure”. It’s important to understand that my chihuahua is a bit grumpy in his old age and doesn’t usually show affection to strangers. He knelt down and pet the dogs head and my dog responded uncharacteristically by giving him kisses on the nose. To watch the exchange of emotion between the two beings melted my heart. The young man told us his “Franky” had passed away a couple years ago and he was so happy to see a dog that reminded him of his treasured pet. In that moment, I was so glad my little dog could offer some happiness to this stranger. I was left reminded of the powerful attachment and that special bond some people experience with an exceptional pet, and ultimately the loss many feel after losing that exceptional pet.

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I have chosen to use the phrase “exceptional pet” to describe the pet that forms a special and specific bond to a person. The exceptional pet is the one that you remember most fondly and recall with the deepest emotion after they are gone. The one that cannot be replaced. It is a relationship and bond that likely cannot be truly understood unless experienced first-hand. I decided to reach out to a dear friend of mine who lost her exceptional cat earlier this year and also has the unique perception of working in the veterinary field and sees people every day who have to put down a beloved pet. She wrote the following words and graciously gave me permission to use them in this blog post.

“When you grieve the loss of a pet, you may feel guilty that you made the decision in haste. You may feel embarrassed that you are so distraught over an animal. You may feel angry that no one understands your pain. You may feel sad that you lost a friend and a life-long companion. These feelings are all natural and necessary. Please find someone to speak with; a friend, a family member, a therapist, or a support group. Find solace in knowing that other people have experienced the same feelings. Know that you are not alone in your grief.”


If you have recently experienced the loss of your exceptional pet and are interested in beginning therapy with a fellow animal lover, please contact me today at drsarah@doctorabi.com. Grief is not something that has to be experienced alone, nor be ashamed of. I look forward to speaking with you and hearing your story.

-Dr. Sarah Jacobs Paul


“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France

To make an appointment with Dr. Sarah, please call (619) 403-5578 or email her directly at drsarah@doctorabi.com .

Dr. Sarah Jacobs-Paul (registered psychological assistant PSB  94023195 ) is a wonderful doctoral-level clinician who works under the license of Dr. Abi Weissman (PSY 27497). 

Sarah Jacobs-Paul, Psy.D

Sarah Jacobs-Paul, Psy.D. 

Psychology Assistant, PSB94023195  

Under the supervision of Dr. Abigail "Abi" Weissman, PSY 27497

Pronouns: she, her, hers



Who I am:

I am Dr. Sarah Jacobs-Paul, a registered psychological assistant # PSB94023195 working under the license of Dr. Abigail "Abi" Weissman PSY 27497. I am passionate about the individuals I work with and am highly dedicated and loyal to my clients. I am a collaborative therapist who will meet you where you are at. I will sit with you in your pain, and in your joy. I will work with you and hold your hope and give it back to you when you are ready to take it on. I will advocate with you and walk with you through your therapeutic journey. 

What I do:

I provide individual, couples and family therapy in an inviting, supportive, and safe environment. I encourage personal growth and lasting change through helping clients gain insight into the sources of their anxieties and learn to live a life as their best self. I work with individuals who are 15 and older. 

I specialize in working with clients who are willing and wanting to take a closer look, examine, and make sense of the complexity of their inner selves. I often work with clients experiencing anxiety, stress, life-transitions, relationship problems, or depression that is preventing them from reaching their full potential. I help my clients better understand their challenges, build resiliency, increase coping skills, and promote self-advocacy. I frequently see clients who have come to a place in their lives where they are wanting to take a hard look at their relationships. We don't live in a vacuum and what you do and say impacts other people and vice versa. We can explore what your relationships are currently like and help unearth the tools within you that can lead to more satisfying and healthy relationships.


I believe the therapeutic relationship is one of the most unique and powerful opportunities to experience growth and change.  In a safe and confidential environment, I endeavor to help a client feel like a healthier and happier human being who can reach their full potential.

Contact me today:

If the current road in the journey of your life has bumps, curves, and road blocks, I invite you to call me at 619-403-5578 ex 701 to set up a consultation.