How does a person cope with the loss of a guide dog?

A guide dog is much more than a pet. It is a person's eyes. Losing a guide dog is somewhat akin to losing one's sight all over again. Usually there is a transition period during which the old guide retires and a new guide takes his place. However, when a guide dies unexpectedly it can be very disorienting in addition to the grief someone might feel for the loss of a limb. Coping is pretty much the same as for any other great loss. It starts with disbelief, passes through anger and other emotions, and eventually ends with acceptance (hopefully). Since each person is an individual, each will experience the process in their own unique way.