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How Do You Get Over the Death of a Much Loved Pet?

We know how traumatic it is when a family member dies, and the people around us are usually very sympathetic and quick to offer their support. But what about when we lose a much loved pet like a dog or a cat? People often don't treat this as seriously, and many fail to appreciate just how much it is possible to love our pets. The death of a pet can be every bit as traumatic to the owner as losing a member of their family. When some of the people around us take the attitude, "Well, it was only a dog/cat" or "At least it wasn't a person", it shows a complete lack of understanding or empathy on their part, (and to be honest I think less of them for that).

I decided to write this hub because I am one of those people who does feel like my pets are family members. I have cried many tears over the death of various pets I have shared my life with over the years, and I still firmly believe we should be given compassionate leave by our employers when a significant family pet dies, in much the same way as compassionate leave is granted to employees who have lost a significant human family member!

People often ask the question 'How do you get over the death of a much loved pet?', and this is my humble attempt to explain how I have managed to cope with the grief and not be deterred from adopting further pets in spite of the pain I know I will one day have to endure when they die.

Our Beloved Greyhound Lady

Our Beloved Greyhound Lady

Some of you may have read a hub I wrote a few years ago called 'My Beloved Dog Died Yesterday' where I shared the story of our lovely rescue Greyhound 'Lady' and the depth of love we had for her right up to the very sad day when she had to be put to sleep. As a former veterinary assistant I was the one who raised her vein for that final injection that would end her suffering. She went 'to sleep' at home, with all her family/pack around her, lying in her favourite spot on her beanbag. All she would have felt for that final day was an overwhelming sense of love being directed towards her. Just typing this still brings tears to my eyes, and Lady has a very special place in all of our hearts, (as would any other much loved family member that had passed away.)

Lady was far from the first pet I had lost though, and before Lady I had lived through the death of at least four dogs and five cats, plus another cat since Lady died. Every time these deaths took place my immediate knee jerk reaction was to state I would never have another pet because when they died it was just too painful to bear, yet every time I have ended up with cats or dogs again. As I sit here now I have one of our two cats asleep on the couch next to me, and no doubt the other one is fast asleep on my bed or soon will be. You see I am one of those people who functions better and is more content with a life that includes animals in my home. I feel like 'half a person' unless my life has either dogs or cats included in my day to day existence. In other words I firmly believe the time I spend loving, and being loved by my dogs and cats makes me a better and nicer person. I can categorically say I would probably have committed suicide after my first Husband died from Bowel Cancer if it hadn't been for the two dogs we had at the time. They gave me the love and support I needed at a time when my family were living in Guernsey and I was living in England, and I will never forget the comfort they were to me.

How Can I Ease the Pain I Am Feeling?

So when one of your loyal and loving companions dies, how do you get over the death of your beloved pet? I believe that the answer is 'you don't', well at least not in a way that means the pain is gone entirely. At best you learn to cope with the loss, and over time the pain dulls to some degree. Eventually you reach a point where you can remember your deceased pet with smiles and laughs over the funny or cute habits they had, and looking through photos of them will no longer immediately reduce you to tears.

It is important to remind yourself of the wonderful gift they gave to you by being a part of your life, and ask yourself if you had known how much it was going to hurt when you lost them would you still have adopted them? I am guessing you would go through it all again just to have experienced those years of joy that having them gave to you, not to mention all the wonderful memories they left you with.

If you have spiritual beliefs then I hope you are as convinced as I am that there is a place in the next life, heaven or whatever you wish to call it, for our deceased pets no matter how large or small they are. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, and if you have ever looked into the eyes of your doting pet dog you will know that he or she must have a soul. The strong belief that one day I will be reunited with not only my lost human family members, but also my lost furry friends is what helps me to get over their deaths to the degree I can.

I have always found two pieces of writing an enormous comfort when one of my much loved pets has died, and although these passages may already be familiar to you, I am sure you won't mind reading them again, and perhaps even passing them on to someone you know who has recently lost a dog or a cat. Both can either be read in full on my 'My Beloved Dog Died Yesterday' Hub, or can be read online at the following locations:

Rainbow Bridge


Should I Get a New Dog or Cat?

I would never suggest that after your pet dies and you could get over the death by rushing out and getting another one to replace them. The bottom line is that you can't replace them, (any more than you could replace a dead child simply by having another one.) The two pets (or children) would be different, they would each have their own personalities and unique qualities. However, that said, once you have allowed yourself time to grieve and for the tears to slow down, then you might well find getting another dog or cat will offer a great deal of comfort and will at least help to take your mind off the one you have lost. In time you will grow to love your new pet just as much as the old one, but for different qualities and character traits. You will be just as sad when this one finally passes on, and you will remember both pets with genuine love and affection, (and no doubt still shed a tear for them even years after they died.)

How Can I Pay Tribute to My Deceased Pet?

You might find it eases your pain if you do something that will allow you to immortalize your lost pet in some special way. Perhaps you could get a tattoo of your pet on your body somewhere. You can even get the tattoo artist to include some of the dog or cat's ashes in the ink so that your pet becomes quite literally a part of you that goes with you everywhere.

You could have an artist draw you a pencil sketch of your pet copied from a favorite photograph and then frame this and hang it on your wall. I did this for two of my dogs, and the resulting sketches were beautiful. They were drawn by fellow hubber rvsource and yes this did cost a small fee, but they were worth every penny and his talent is quite extraordinary.

Consider getting a very special headstone made for your pet. Again I did this for a doberman I lost called 'Odin'. The headstone was made of Cumbrian slate and I had it engraved with his name, his birth and death dates and the message 'A great friend, sadly missed'. It cost me over £70 at the time, but it still covers the spot where his ashes are buried in my parent's garden, and it allows me a special place I can go and visit him and talk to him occasionally.

Plant a tree over your pet's grave, and as it flourishes you will know that the tree is now a symbol of new life coming from old. Again this is a tribute that allows you to visit your pet whenever you want to and feel comforted by the presence of the new life that is coming from your pets remains. In a way it will feel as if your pet lives on within the tree.

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Why not put a wooden bench by your pet's grave with a memorial plaque screwed to it, and perhaps even a photo of your dog or cat in a waterproof window inlaid into the wood. You can then sit there and talk to him or her whenever the pain of your loss is particularly hard to bear.

There are many more ideas I could suggest to act as memorials for your pets, and many of them also apply to human family members you have lost. I wrote a comprehensive hub of ideas for memorials called Ideas for Memorials and Tributes to Our Lost Loved Ones if you want to get some more ideas. Another similar article I wrote focused on novelty ideas for what to do with your deceased loved one's ashes.

Remember, although the pain right now feels unbearable and the ache of loss seems never ending, it will get easier as each day passes. Don't be afraid to cry, letting the tears flow is all part of the grieving process. The very fact you care enough to need to seek out a way to get over the death of your pet only goes to show what a wonderful, loving, owner and friend you must have been to them, and why you should not be deterred from having more pets in the future.

I always think of the pain we face when our dog, cat or other pet dies, as being a trade off. We were given the precious time we got to spend with them, but the price we had to pay for those wonderful months or years was the inevitable likelihood that we would outlive our pet and have to suffer the pain of losing them. What we have to decide is 'was it worth it?' My answer to this question would always be 'yes, it was worth it for all the fabulous memories I have been left with, for the love I both gave and received, and the comfort they gave me during times in my life when I needed it most.'

Loss of a Pet & How to deal with the Grief

Dr. Marty Becker on coping with the death of a pet


Judimarie on September 19, 2017:


Thank you for your words of comfort and support. I miss my little guy alot. The house is so quiet when I come home from work. I have experienced loss before, but this pain from the loss feels like my heart is crushed. Fiji was a joyful boy. I loved the way he would look up at me with his blue eyes and head tilted back when he was sitting on my lap. He was an extraordinary furry child of mine.

Thank you again for y0ur words of comfort,


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on September 13, 2017:

Hi Judi

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. There is nothing I can say that will take away your pain, but it will ease in time and you will be left with memories that make you smile and laugh, even if tinged with a little sadness. One thing I firmly believe is that we all have souls, and that one day we will be reunited with all of our lost pets on the other side. I am sure Fiji will still be around in spirit and occasionally you may get a little sign, like thinking he has jumped on to the bed in the night, only to find there isn't a cat there. Stay strong. Xx

Judimarie on September 12, 2017:

Hello, I just lost my best friend and loving boy cat, Fiji, unexpectedly, and I am having a hard time with the loss of my dear boy. He followed me everywhere and we would have conversations. His fur was silky and he had the most beautiful blue eyes. It hurts so much that even though I smile at his photos I took of him, I cry. The other hard part of this is I lost my dear Oreo, a female tuxedo cat, 1 year 2mo ago to the date of losing Fiji. He was the one that helped me through that loss.

I try to remember the good times, but it is so hard for me to do that without crying. He was my support system whenever I went through a rough divorce, moved twice, and went through 2 hurricanes with me. He was my confidante and my comforter. How does one move on from the loss of a wonderful soul that enriched my life?

I read your comments and posts by others, and I understand time is what heals. I have one other cat that is still with me, and her name is Baylee. Oreo and Fiji were both loving, affectionate and my buddies. Baylee is what I call ADD even at the age of 14 years... more aloof and less affectionate.

I guess I just needed to write because many of my family members are either dog people or not so much of an animal person. I do not think anyone in my family truly understands the loss of my Fiji has affected me deeply. He was a part of me ever since he came into my life 13 years ago, as a wet scraggly little kitten. I realize I was blessed to have him in my life, but now that he is gone, and so suddenly, it really leaves a hole in my heart.

I can not read the Rainbow Bridge without the tears and pain. So reading this forum has helped me to understand that others feel deeply about their beloved furry children as I do, and we all go through that loss and pain, so I am not alone. Thank you for having this page to share with others who have experienced the same type of loss.

Thank you.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on May 09, 2017:

So sorry to hear about Peso Maria. Just remember the happy times and know that one day he will be there to greet you on the other side x

Maria Cecilia from Philippines on May 08, 2017:

Hi. I lost my bestfriend/most loved dog Peso and on June 7, 2017 will be his first year death anniversary....I am missing him still...and part of my heart is sad because of him

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 30, 2017:

Hi Christine. I understand, it takes time, and right now the pain is probably really raw. All I can do is promise you that it does get easier and I am a firm believer that we will all be reunited one day. Animal's are more genuine and sincere in their affections than most people. They deserve their place in the next life more than most people.

Christine Cox on April 29, 2017:

Still to hard to comment.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 10, 2015:

I heard you lost Hamlet from fb, I am so sorry and hope your fond memories keep you strong xxx

Holle Abee from Georgia on January 10, 2015:

We lost our beloved Hamlet this week, and I can't begin to tell you how much it hurts. I know you understand. I just wrote a hub about him.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on January 11, 2014:

Hi Alan,

I am sorry to hear you lost Oscar and of course your wife (I lost my first Husband when he was 48 back in 2001).

It never gets any easier, although having another cat does take the edge off the pain of losing a previous pet because it is a pleasant distraction that proves to you that love for another creature is possible.

We lost a cat called Reggie that is buried up by our fishing lake. We often go and talk to him, and our other main cat Ronnie has been seen by the grave many times. I guess they know something they recognise is there.

Alan on January 11, 2014:

As a regular follower of you Cindy I came across this post of pets dying and took part in the vote. My pet cat Oscar died last March at age 18, it was of course a sad loss, almost as bad as when my wife died nearly 4 years ago. She was 61, quite young compared to my older than average cat at 18. Nevertheless, no matter what age, its just as bad. I was not going to get another cat, however, my sister phoned me up two months after Oscar died and asked me if I could take in hers sons cat Eeshan to look after. I said yes, so I now have another cat, it does take your mind off the previous cat dieing a bit. Oscar is buried at the bottom of my garden. My 5 year old granddaughter Emily, with the help of her father made a small plaque for Oscar with the description on it "Oscar 1995-2013." For some strange thing or another Eeshan my new cat always was sniffing about Oscars 'grave' last summer, its if she senses that 'something' is underneath the ground, strange.



Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on December 27, 2012:

I am really sorry to hear this Peter, it doesn't matter what pet you have, it still hurts to lose them, especially at this time of year.

PETER- UK on December 27, 2012:

Just lost my chameleon Barnaby and I am devastated. Only had him for 1yr 7 months but still grieve for him the same way as I did for my cats over the years. He died Christmas Eve and I buried him Christmas Day in a quiet spot of the garden he used to look out on.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 13, 2012:

Thank you eazy20, I hope she is resting in peace too, at least until we meet again.

eazy20 on June 13, 2012:

Like your article. May Lady rest in peace.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on June 06, 2012:

I am so sorry to hear you lost your beloved cat Flora. It sounds like you gave her a fantastic life in her later years, and this is something you should be very proud of and I am sure she was very grateful for. I hope you do read Rainbow Bridge soon as I know you will find the words ever so comforting. I also hope you read 'Until We Meet Again' as I find that more comforting still, although it isn't what I would call a poem, more a very beautifully put together piece of writing.

Stay strong, one day you will see her again, and in your future there are sure to be other cats that need your love too. Perhaps this is your purpose on earth, to be a carer for needy animals, who knows for sure, but if so you are doing a great job.

Flora Breen Robison on June 06, 2012:

I adopted Amy from the Chilliwack animal Sagfe Haven Society. This is different from a pound in that the cats can live out theirs lives their until they are dying of cancer, etc. before they are put down-space is not an issue as there are foster families among volunteers when the place is full. It is always full. But as such I can enter there knowing that anyone you choose will not be put to sleep tomorrow if you don't pick him asap. Otherwise I would want to take home everybody and become one of those well-meaning but ultimately bad pet owners who take on too much so that no one pet gets any needs met. you know what I mean. I cannot enter the pound.

But I don't buy pets.

Amy was the first pet of my family of me, or either of my parents-where we actually went out to find the pet. previously, the pet had always found us as we lived in houses and they would show up on a doorstep, a neighbor or family member would have a new pet that didn't get along with the other animals they already had and they had to stand by the pet they had first or the pets would attack each other etc (amy at some point was dominated by other animals though she was sweet). One time, my parents and I were at a place where Dad works and a family came up with a vehicle with two cats-sisters-and looking for a home. Our cat had just run away and Mom couldn't handle another animal right awway. But there were these two kittens. One was super friendly. The other hissed, scratched and wouldn't let us near her. Of course we took the latter and we had her for just under 16 years. Through means I won't go into, Mom has never gotten another cat-ever. She cannot even look at photos now and Katie died in 1999. But I waited nine years in between before I got my Amy. By then I was in a condo-no cat to just show up on my doorstep. So when I was convinced I should get a cat, I went to the Safe Haven. if it did not exist, I would not have gone to the pound. Anyway, when I got there I met a lot of cats. Some lived indoors and roamed free. Others lived outside together in heated cages that housed 20 a cage -all on a huge property. Pampered they were, but lonely. I told them I wanted a cat that others didn't want. That is what our family does. So I was introduced to certain cats both inside and out. When we were about to leave, a tabby cat who had been in the window when we drove up but disappeared jumped up on a chair and the president pet her and said this is amy. she was abused. I made up my mind then. I did not say so. I kept looking because I did not want to look rash. But without any other details, I wannted her. It turned out she was very old. Her teeth werehorrible. She had been abused in some way that she could not be adopted out to a place with men, children. and yet in her younger days she must have known lots of love because she was super friendly. My guess is thatt she belonged to a woman who died in her old age, the family shoved her off to someone who abused her, but she remembered the kind old lady who first knew her as a kitten-else, why be friendly? Usually abused animals remain untrusting of people-with good reason (think The Horse Whisperer) even when a person wants to help. There is too much baggage.

livin gin a condo-I would have to search another cat myself. I should get a new cat. Just not tomorrow, etc. like some people are rushin gme!

So I had just three years, nine months and thirteen days with my darlinbg Amy. mom was a surragate mummy-I called myself Cat Mummy because I have no human children-and Cat woman is a comic book character. Mom considered and she should indeed-Amy her cat too. I could not have taken care of amy without her. Pill giving is a two person job. as such, durin gthe last six months of her life any time either one of bent down to her, she thought "pills! Shot! Vet! Escape!" and we felt so bad. Amy had a stroke last week. I wasn't going to let her be in pain or not have dignity. I waited long enough for the vet to confirm what I suspected (I am no doctor) and set a day when she and staff could put amy to sleep at my home. That is what happened about 36 hours ago. and I am crazy making bizarre comments on FB that if people don't understand grieving a pet would think I have been takin gsome serious drugs.

Thanks for this. cannot read Rainbow Bridge yet. I wanted to write about her death ahead of time so I would copy and paste it on my blog when it happened but didn't get it done in time.

This post is a mess. I cannot type with both hands, I make typos, and as a guest I cannot edit comments. I cannot leave comments signed in anymore. I am happy I didn't hit a wrong key that is a shortcut to something and be sent elsewhere with my post gone.




Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 22, 2012:

I am so sorry about your beloved cat Muffin Deborah. It never gets any easier no matter how many pets you lose. I really hope you read the passage I link to called 'Until We Meet Again' as this is incredibly comforting to any recently bereaved pet owner.

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on April 22, 2012:

this is an awesome write. thank you so much for sharing with me.. I just lost my cat muffin of 14 years she was the most loyal cat I have ever had. I truly love this cat.. It is hard right now I know.. but I will get me a couple more cats., and I thinking of a German Shepperd.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on April 10, 2012:

Good luck Daz, I know it is going to hurt like hell for you, but if you can be with her at the end you will feel much better, and you will have the comfort of knowing she lived to 18, which is an excellent lifespan for a cat.

When the end does come please please read the two pieces of writing I link to in this hub, ('Until We Meet Again' and 'Rainbow Bridge') as I know they will be a huge comfort to you.

I wish you and Scully well. Good Luck

daz on April 10, 2012:

I fortunately have never lost a pet but Scully my cat has just been diagnosed with cancer. She has been with me for almost 18yrs and I know the day is coming when I have to make that decision. It breaks my heart. I, like you, want to be there holding her paw so she doesn't pass away in the room with strangers. I really feel for you :(

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 20, 2012:

Thanks Sharyn, I know I always want to have a pet in my life, at least until I am so old (if I live that long) that it would be unfair to take on a pet that might outlive me.

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on March 20, 2012:

Hi Misty ~ this is extremely well written. I agree with everything you say here. And I have known so many people, especially older adults who say they will never get another pet because of the grief they went through losing one. But in the end, most do get another pet because that bond is so important. Voting and shared!!!


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 06, 2012:

Thank you so much for saying this Eddy, perhaps you should think about getting a dog again as you are clearly a great animal lover.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 06, 2012:

This is such a wonderful and sensitivity written hub.

For the first time ever I don't have a dog and by now I feel that I am missing out.

As I was reading your words memories came rushing back.

Beautiful and so welcomed memories .

Thank you so much for this gem

Take care and enjoy your day.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 05, 2012:

I know exactly what you mean jandee, my Mum still has our first two dog's pedigree papers on file, and I am pretty sure I have my doberman's collar somewhere. I am certain Mum has Lady's.

Cesar Milan is amazing isn't he, I love to watch him work.

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on March 05, 2012:

Hi!Misty, just to add that this will show you how ON A DOWNER WE CAN BECOME. I had a cardboard box which the collars and leads and coat from my last 3 dogs, one of which was tiny little 'runt' Boxer, were put after they died,16,16,14 good age eh!. The times I would put these collars to my face and cry...........Misty I fantasize about a life like Cesar milan how wonderful !!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 04, 2012:

Thanks jandee, so sad and what a horrible way to lose a pet. I hope the person who did it got what they deserved. I am glad it didn't put you off having more dogs though.

Glad you liked this hub :)

jandee from Liverpool.U.K on March 04, 2012:

God! Life is hurt! Full of hurt.. My way around is (selfish way)by having three dogs always but even so I can cry anytime by just thinking of my first Boxer dog, from way back-Poisoned by some wicked being,he is in the animal cemetery in Jersey.C.I oh dear! time for me to go back to Jersey and remember happy days.......

well written hub and packed full of sensitivity,

best from jandee

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Thanks iamaudraleigh, I am really glad you understand how strongly I feel about much loved pets :)

iamaudraleigh on March 03, 2012:

Pretty amazing hub! I can tell how much you loved/love your beloved family member. I have been through it before. I remember all of my family every day! Voted up!!!

Mel Flagg COA OSC from Rural Central Florida on March 03, 2012:

I just lost the first dog I ever owned. Two years before that I lost Lady. With Lady, as long as she was around, I always new everything would be ok. After she died a pink rose bush showed up in our backyard. It has been mowed down, frozen, covered for days and it is still standing and thriving. I know she sent this bush as her replacement. When I was growing up, I never had pets, Lady and Dickens were my first two dogs ever. But you couldn't pay me enough to give up those 10 years I had with them. Depsite how much it hurts, to experience their love and affection and the bond I developed with them, I'd do it all again. I'd also give anything except that experience to hold them one last time.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Glad he is on the mend Kelly, let me know how he gets on :)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 03, 2012:

Yeah he's doing Much better but we have a ways to go;)) thank you!

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Thanks Carol, that is a lovely compliment and it is great to see yet another genuine animal lover here :)

Carol from Greenwood, B.C., Canada on March 03, 2012:

Oh (snif!) What a beautiful hub. Thank you for posting this. I have lost quite a few four-pawed family members over the years and I will always miss them. Our beautiful Cricket died two years ago in June and I still shed tears when I think of him. He was the most handsome, regal, intelligent and loving Maine Coon cat with a temperament that just couldn't be beat. Very well written! Thanks again.


Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Thanks for posting Maria, and I am sorry for your loss too, but glad you still have Peso to love. I agree that spending time with fellow dog lovers can help a great deal.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Thanks Realhousewife. So sorry to hear about your poor dog. I hope he is quickly back to his old self and not too traumatised by what has happened.

Maria Cecilia from Philippines on March 03, 2012:

Cindy, for me there is no getting over, we just go on with our lives but we never get over... we can only get over if we decided not to get a pet, but as long as we have pets, the possibility of getting hurt when they leave us is always possible..I guess it is something we can never get use to... I have lost a dear dog 2 years ago, and although I still have my Peso with me, I was devastated and depressed at that time, but Lord woke me up by reminding me that Peso also has an ailment, that I need to continue giving him special attention. I had Pissy cremated and there were many memorabilia's given to me aside from her ashes in Philippines native Jar. I have one hub about it. One way to ease the pain and to cope is to meet with fellow dog lovers...They will definitely understand your pain... nice one Cindy....

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on March 03, 2012:

Misty - my dog was just attacked by a neighbors large lab - I thought I was going to have heart attack! He is just home from surgery this morning...I was beside myself...he's okay though. I'm so sorry about your losses - I do know how painful that would be! All of my pets are my companions, loyal and protective! I know if they could speak - we would be so surprised at all they really know!!

Voted up and awesome and everything but funny:)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Thanks Ardie, one of the things I am loving about this hub so far is the amount of genuine animal lovers it is attracting who all understand the depth of loss you feel when a much loved pet dies. It restores some of my faith in human nature :)

Sondra from Neverland on March 03, 2012:

Aaw this made me remember my sweet white cat I had to have put to sleep a few years back. I still get all teary just thinking about it (like you did with Lady). She wasn't the first pet I lost either but she was the first one that I bonded with like that. It took me a good month to stop sobbing - I'd still peek in her favorite hiding spots to see if she was sleeping. Thanks for this Hub (hug)

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

We feel exactly the same about our dogs and cats Brian, the best you can do is learn to cope with it and treasure the memories. I believe you can take some comfort from knowing what a loving home you gave to them in life when they may not have been so lucky and had an owner who didn't care.

BRIAN SLATER on March 03, 2012:

Cindy, never really got over losing my pet spaniel dog. She was very much part of our family, we still miss her.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Hi Jaye,

Wow, you are a woman after my own heart. I just wish more people cherished their pets in this way. Yes it will hurt like hell when you lose her (assuming as you say she doesn't outlive you), but the rewards will have been worth it. I am glad you did end up having the experience of a dog in your life rather than going through your entire life never knowing what you had missed out on.

Cindy Lawson (author) from Guernsey (Channel Islands) on March 03, 2012:

Thanks Susan, I am just like you, my pets are family and I break my heart when I lose one. Glad you liked this hub :)

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on March 03, 2012:

Okay, I cried my way through your hub, but it is beautiful and I agree with everything you wrote. I've never lost a pet because I never had one until I was 61 years old. (What a waste of years, you're thinking. You're right!)

My beloved miniature Schnauzer girl just turned seven, and we are growing older together.

Since this is true, what worries me the most is that I might leave this planet before she does, and it's doubtful anyone I know (including family members) would cherish and treat her in the special ways I do.

I know if I outlive her that I will be devastated to lose her, but love is wanting the loved one not to hurt. That is why I would be willing to grieve for her rather than have her grieve for me (I firmly believe animals do grieve) and wonder why I abandoned her.

I don't think these sentiments will seem at all crazy to you, but some people don't agree with you. Their opinions ("loony old lady") don't bother me. I KNOW my dog loves me, regardless of what anyone else thinks of me! She has brought such joy to my life that I must agree--even knowing the possibility of pain and grief ahead, I'd do it all over again.

Thanks for a beautfiul hub.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on March 03, 2012:

Pets in our family have always been considered family. It is very hard when they die but the memories of them always live on. Beautiful hub!

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