Throughout my life I have been surrounded by pets. My parents always had a cat and/or dog during my early years. Once I reached elementary age, I had my own cat or dog. I loved being surrounded by furry creatures that provide such comforting companionship. Currently, the only pets I have are ten chickens, as there are too many allergies to fur in my house. While they aren’t the cuddly sort of pet, they do hold a special place in my heart. Yes, when there is a different sounding squawk, I do hurry to check on them.
For those who own pets, the loss of one is devastating. A good friend of our family recently learned that his twelve year old dog has inoperable cancer. Although I have never met his dog, I truly understand how painful it is to know that your companion is dying. As an individual, I have dealt with the loss of many animals. As a mother, I have comforted each of my children through a loss of a pet. It never is easy.
To people who say, “It’s only a dog,” it simply isn’t true. These animals become a part of their families. The pain and grief are real. On our pet publication, Feathers Fins and Fur, one of our writers discusses the loss of his pet fish this week. In the article he has some excellent advice on how to deal with a fish’s death. While his article is directed toward the loss of fish, many of the suggestions are appropriate for other pets as well.
If you are fortunate enough to have a furry family member, be sure to give them an extra scratch behind the ear tonight. As my oldest child would remind me, the same holds true for your scaly, shelled, or slimy family members.