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Acknowledging your special bond

created at: 2010/10/01The bond we have with our pets is extraordinary.  They enrich our lives in many ways, bringing us pure joy and endless love.

Pets offer unconditional love and companionship; they are always happy to see us, and are there for us through all the trials of our lives. We consider them valued members of the family.

Our pets have innocence about them and a dependence that we love to nurture. They have few expectations are loyal and trusting. They offer us comfort and affection and ask for little in return. 

We share our innermost secrets with them and we know that our pet will always be there for us, sitting patiently by our side. We can be our true selves. We can love without fear of rejection.    We find so much joy in our relationship with our pets that when their lives end and the physical bond is broken, we feel like a treasured part of us is missing. We grieve deeply for them and that is totally understandable.

The death of a pet is the end of an era in your life and the commencement of a new one in which we live without our pet by our side. It’s tough.  It’s painful. You may experience a range of feelings- from sadness to anger, to despair to pure sorrow for a long time. Our sadness is a testament to how much we love and care for our pets.

To make it even harder, sometimes it can be difficult for people who have never owned a pet to understand how much our pets mean to us. Comments like ‘it’s just an animal’, ‘you’ll get over it’, or ‘go get another one’ are dismissive and ignorant. Your pet is an important part of who you are and you have every right to grieve.

Our relationship with our pets is very special- it is a personal bond and our pets are irreplaceable.  But the love we have for our pets never has to end- they live on in our hearts and memories forever.  They teach us so much in their short lives and although you miss them deeply, honour them and celebrate the wonderful times you had and the many lessons they have taught us along the way.

Dr Katrina Warren