Here is an interesting survey from Purdue University. They are compiling infomation about how pet owners grieve after a loss. Pet Loss Survey.
We, the Jolly Family, have had three dogs, our current is darling Buddy, the wire-haired-terrorist. It is sad to lose a pet but we've always thought the pain in losing is offset by the joy of giving them a much better life.
Editor's note: The Jolly Family is a name we've called ourselves, darling husband, lil bird, and me.