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A Pet's Passing

A Pet's Passing

 As they prepare to exit the White House, the Bush family will be without one key member: their 18 year-old cat, India. The black American shorthair died on Sunday.

And while people that don’t own or particularly care for animals won’t understand it, for many people pets are a part of the family. After all, who expresses unconditional love like a pet?  Sure, it's obviously not the same as losing a person, but it's still a loss that needs to be properly grieved (and acknowledged by others). When my girlfriend’s dog died a few years ago, I was able to find a pet-specific condolence card at the store (proof to me that people take the loss seriously). Another friend who lost his pet in a freak accident was so depressed that he cancelled all of his social engagements in order to deal with his grief.

As for me, I am so saddened by the loss of any pet that I can't even bring myself to read or watch Marley & Me (SPOILER ALERT: the dog dies in the end).

Have you experienced the loss of a pet? Share your stories below. –Linda DiProperzio

Posted: 1/7/09
cmartini

Over my 60 + years I have had several pets. All have had a special place in my heart and when I lost them it hurt. Several came into my life when I needed them most. One dog helped me through breast cancer. Another dog helped me through the illness and death of my husband and then 9 months later my Mother. That dog died suddenly just 4 years ago and I still miss her. I now have another dog and 4 cats who are helping me through a separation and divorce. I actually think God sent me the two kittens this past spring shortly before my husband moved out. They have been so loving to the point of whenever I sit down or go to bed they are right there with me cuddling. The kittens were born to a feral cat and we rescued them. One of the kittens has a bad heart and our vet said that she probably won't live a year. I have had her 6 months so far and her heart is getting worse but she is the one who is showing me how to pack the most fun in every day. She climbed my Christmas tree and if anyone gets into anything they shouldn't it will be her. My vet said how sorry he was that there is nothing he can do but I told him that if I had not rescued her from a life of living feral she probably would be dead by now. Instead she is my little furry angel showing me how to live a happy and fulfilled life. Yes, losing a pet is difficult and when I do, I write a "memoral" for them. I have several now and it helps to look back at them. We should live like our pets do--one day at a time and have an adventure every day, oh yes, love each other.

carolineshannon

I am so attached to my four feline kids that the mere thought of losing one of them absolutely sickens me. Their four little lives have brightened even my most awful of days. Pets are the most nonjudgmental and unconditionally loving companions that a human can have. They may not express their loyalty in words, but this is one situation where actions really do speak louder.

My sympathy goes out to the Bush family.

NicShop

I can totally relate. Our beloved canine family member of almost 12 years passed away a week before Christmas (Dec.11,2008). Our family especially our 3 young children are devastated. We were traveling to the grandparents to start our early vacation when Milo, our Jack Russell Terrier became sick in the car. Fortunately we were weren't far from town when we had to rush him to the vet, only to find out he had cancer. I think I am still depressed especially every time we see another JRT but we were blessed to have him for almost 12 memorable years. My oldest DD 9 years old took it the hardest because she was old enough to care for him more than her younger brothers. To help us all cope and help other animals in our community, I decided to put a letter together asking our neighbors, my toddler's playgroup, and my mom's group for donations of newspapers, old towels, blankets, pet food and toys for the Animal Shelter in our town to honor Milo's memory. My DD loved going around to the neighbors asking for help & receiving donations. We have been grateful for our caring friends & their response that have given us the hope that something great has come out of something so sad.

  • By NicShop
  • on 1/7/09 10:08 AM EST