The Loss of a Beloved Pet

Losing a beloved pet is never easy. Our pets weave their way into our lives with such ease. Before we know it that cute, mischievous puppy or kitten is a devoted companion who showers us with unconditional love. They don’t care what we look like or if we’re wearing the latest fashion, they know what’s in our hearts.

They ask very little of us; a warm, dry place to sleep and enough food to eat. They thrive on whatever amount of love we are prepared to give and they reward us with a devotion very few humans can emulate.

Of course they’re not perfect, but then who is? There will be misunderstandings along the way that need to be overcome. We need to remember that they operate in the world using a completely different language from the one we speak. They manage to learn to understand, to a greater or lesser extent, many of the words and signals that we use.

One wonders how many of us attempt to learn their language. They understand and react to body language far better than we do. A dog understands that closed eyes and a head turned away means, “go away, I don’t want to interact with you right now.” Waving arms to us means “don’t jump up and dirty my clothes.” But to your dog it means “come and play.” To get the “go away” message across we should put our hands under our armpits and avert our heads. They would so appreciate our efforts to learn their language. The fact that we don’t doesn’t lessen their love for us.

Of course there are many different species that become part of our lives. The cats, birds, horses, hamsters and even rats that share our lives are all sorely missed when they leave us. We miss those big brown eyes, that gentle purr and the merry chirping that brightened our lives. Unfortunately the life expectancy of most of our pets, except of course, parrots, is much less than ours so we may well suffer this loss many times and, for the animal lover, it is something we never get used to.

A remembrance star is a lovely way to have something to keep that will remind us of the love we shared with a special pet. A framed remembrance certificate of my beloved dog, Prince, hangs on my bedroom wall and elicits a gentle smile every time I look at it.

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