Saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy, even when you think you’re prepared. Losing a pet is gut wrenching and not any easier than losing a person that we love. Sometimes society expects people to bounce back from the loss of a pet faster than losing a person and that isn’t fair.
The relationship between a person and an animal becomes a very tight bond over time. We develop our own silent language with our animals and they seem to love, trust, and understand us in ways that are different from people. Their personalities are unique and seem to shine especially for the people that they care about most.
Those are just a few examples as to why we humans get so attached to our beloved pets. In the past I have had pets in my life that I loved and they either left without saying goodbye or had to leave this earth because it was their time to go. It was never easy and sometimes I still have dreams of a reunion with a runaway dog or playing with a pet bunny from the past. Though I’ve had several pets growing up, I’ve never had such a strong bond with the two dogs that I have now. They are my family. While I know in the back of my mind that their life expectancy is less than I desire, my heart wants to believe that they will be with me forever.
Over the weekend my friend’s 14 year old lab passed away. Fourteen years is a very long time and I know that she gave Abby a great life. I think that one of the ways to come to peace with the passing of a pet is to know that you gave your animal the best love that you had in your heart.
It’s hard to know what to do or say when someone is mourning a loss. However, compassion is always a good way to go. Just because a loss is an animal doesen’t mean it is any easier than losing a person. Pets are always good at teaching us things. I think that they deserve some credit for teaching us humans to give each other the same compassion that we express to animals. -pm