Member Advice on Pet Death

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Member Advice on Pet Death

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Review of "Member Advice on Pet Death"

published 21/10/2010 | Gooseydyoo
Member since : 08/10/2010
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"The price we pay for love"

Pet Bereavement

All seasoned pet owners are only too familiar with the strong, emotional responses suffered, upon the loss of their pet, be it mouse, dog, cat or donkey.

This review is mainly about those responses and how we deal with them; and may well be more useful to none-pet owners, in that they may understand the exceptionally strong emotional reaction to a beloved pet's death.
I shall not be describing the demises of my own dear, faithful ones - so put those tissues back in the box and save another tree.

Because my episodes of bereavement were over the losses of my dogs, I will be writing with those experiences in mind, but also with the full knowledge that the same will probably apply across a whole range of family pets.

There are four distinct phases of pet ownership, starting with their introduction into the home for the first time. Oh, what joy! Oh what chaos! Yet it is never long before they will have completely captured your heart and become a firm, faithful, loyal and loving member of the family, just as a child. And whether you believe it or not, the bond is strong and permanent.

Hopefully, the second phase is the many years of pleasure enjoyed in the company of a healthy pet, though sometimes there may be periods of anxiety, especially when it becomes poorly or goes missing.

The third phase is when 'Old Faithful' becomes terminally ill and decisions have to be made as to when he or she should be humanely released from this life. It is one of the most difficult emotions to cope with - and often a lonely decision to make. A fierce battle commences between the 'selfish' side of human nature and the 'humane' side. For a time, the thought of losing the pet becomes unbearable, as does the thought of letting him suffer, when release is just a quick decision and phone call away.

Strangely, though, there does come a point when one actually KNOWS for certain it is time to let them go; to this day, I do not understand how that happens, but invariably it does. Of course, there are certain circumstances whereby decisions such as those, are not ours to make. Fate takes its own course.

The fourth and final phase is the parting and coping with the heavy burden of grief, where no one seems to understand the depth of sorrow suffered.

How often I have heard that extremely cruel and insensitive remark, "For goodness sake it's ONLY a dog, get over it!" - It is paramount to sticking another knife into an already bleeding heart.
The question "Are you going to get another one?" if asked too soon after the death of the animal, may also feel a little insensitive to a newly bereaved owner.

Many will have their pets cremated and either keep the ashes in a casket, scatter or bury them. I have known people hold a short service before interring their pets, then place a plaque over the grave. This is particularly helpful to the children who are grieving.
Each of us will have our own way of coming to terms with grief, but make no mistake about it; the grief suffered over the loss of a pet is no less painful than that felt over the loss of a family member.

Where children are concerned, the loss of their cuddly pal may be their first encounter with death and this situation needs sensitive and careful handling. Do not flush the goldfish down the loo!
My niece, when she lost her pet rabbit (Thumper) was told that he had gone to 'bunny-heaven' up in the clouds. Imagine her delight later, when told they were flying to Turkey for a holiday. On the plane, after takeoff, she turned to her father and asked, "Daddy, which cloud will Thumper be on, will we be able to see him?" - Bless.

Another consideration is the grief felt by any remaining pet at the disappearance of its pal. Whether it is the owner's grief being transmitted across to the pet, or the loss itself, makes no difference. It suffers along with its owner.

Weeks following a loss can seem interminably long and painful; the thought of getting another pet feels almost like an act of betrayal. Yet the gap left is cavernous. Eventually, and often reluctantly at first, because of the sure knowledge that it will be the start of another round of happiness and sorrow, a decision may be made to fill that horrendous gap left by 'Old Faithful,' and the urgent hunt for another friend begins. It would never replace the lost pet, but most certainly relieves the ghastly, almost paralysing sting.

The Queen, hit the nail squarely on the head when she said, "Grief is the price we have to pay for love."

I wrote a poem shortly after the death of one of my dogs. I shall just leave the last verse, then end with a more amusing ditty.


You closed your eyes and left me,
My faithful dog, my friend,
And though I do cannot know it now,
One day my heart will mend.
(Goosey 2006)


There's nowt as queer as folk you know; there's nowt as queer as folk.
Especially when it comes to pets, there's nowt as queer as folk.

We pamper and we cherish them and treat them like our child.
No matter what there nature - be it scatty, calm or wild.

But when that dreadful day arrives, to say our last goodbyes;
The strength of inner turmoil will take us by surprise.

Some inter their much-loved pets in a favoured piece of ground;
Mark the spot with wooden cross, a plaque or stone built mound.

Others scatter ashes, or keep them safe at home;
Beside the many favourite toys, its collar, brush and comb.

This strong, compelling, special bond twixt pet and owner's heart,
Forbids the very notion they shall ever be apart.

And even when there is a plan to spend some time away -
May take the casket with them - to share their holiday.

No doubt I'll see those knowing looks and make my neighbours talk,
When I fix wheels to my pet's box and take him for a walk.

Imagine what, in whispered tones, each one in turn will say.
"There's nowt as queer as folk you know, you see em everyday."
(Goosey 2006)


The price is steep but the rewards are worth it.

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Comments on this review

  • Deesrev published 16/06/2011
    Umm platitudes are pretty useless in comforting, love the quote 'It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt'! To underestimate the value of a pet to ones well being lacks knowledge! As time progress' it is becoming ever more evident how vital pets are to humans. Healthcare professionals findings now encourage folk to have pets; they assist greatly in those with severe depression, lower blood pressure far better than drugs and without the contra-indications, help exercise routines, increase our social network of friends, reduce stress, a symtom that kills! I can go on, but as a devoted pet owner, you know all this and far, far more than me Marjorie. It just offends me to hear folk refer to animals in such a derogatory way; afterall, thet often make far better companions than many humans! :D Superb insightful and moving post Marjorie. I'll be back to rate with an E asap xXx
  • pinky50 published 01/12/2010
    Such a beautiful review hun and a beautiful poem, well done and thank you, I lost my cat a few weeks ago x
  • jonathanb published 02/11/2010
    We have our first two dogs, the oldest of whom is only 4 but has had several health issues during his life. Because he's come through those and is now stable I think we're even more attached to him than we would be anyway. Hopefully it's several years away, but I'm already dreading the day when he dies, partly for myself but particularly for my wife and children.
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Product Information : Member Advice on Pet Death

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Listed on Ciao since: 11/10/2001