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For all those affected by the floods…

In the wake of so much destruction to lives, homes and treasured possessions, of memories lost and families thrown into turmoil, the extraordinary mobilizing of communities across the country to support people in flood affected areas has brought enormous comfort to those affected and to those of us who feel so helpless in the face of such devastation.
The rebuilding of communities is a long road, the clean ups are underway and yet, as time goes on the true extent of peoples losses become apparent. Once the initial shock and numbness subsides, so many emotions surface.
Loss, sadness and guilt are often present for people when it comes to acknowledging the reality of the emergency situation- so much is left behind. For some people, their pets are chief among them.
Our pets so often symbolize family integration and unity and all that is good, comforting and secure about our lives. The utter devotion of our pets and the joy we take in being able to care for them simply compounds the feelings many are experiencing of having failed in our duty of care towards them.
Returning to devastated homes often brings up the brutal reality of the loss and knowing that we could not save our lives and those of our pets may bring guilt to the surface.
It’s the hard truth of imminent disasters- we must just go and when we do our pets, livestock and wild animals are left to fend for themselves. And we have all read of amazing stories of survival and reunion.
But this post is for all of those people who return to nothing and who are wracked with not just loss, but guilt and remorse, for what they couldn’t do for the animals and pets they loved.
At Our Wonderful Pets we honor all the lives lost in the recent floods. And we give voice to the unconditional love our pets have for us and say to all those people mourning the loss of so much, to go easy on yourselves at this time and that we acknowledge the enormity of what you have lived through and what your survival brings with it.
The remorse and guilt felt for pets, livestock or wild animals is real and we ask you to forgive yourselves in the face of the impossible situation you found yourselves in. 
If your pets have died, we support you to honor your pets alongside all else you have lost and are rebuilding. If they are still lost or missing, we hope they come home safely. And if they don’t, we will be here in the coming days and months for you and welcome the full expression of your experience and we will do all we can do to meet you needs as you rebuild your lives and your families.
Victoria Spence


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