If you, like me, are a animal person and have wept buckets of tears over the passing of a beloved pet, you will not understand how some people think it is ridiculous to shed tears over the death of an animal.
We have always had at least one pet since the day we got married, in fact when Dave brought his yellow lab from his family home she was treated as our first child. Upon arrival of our first two legged child the dog claimed the infant as her own. When I took our first daughter home from hospital, I lay her on a blanket on the floor and Mandy sniffed her up and down then lay down next to her to love and protect the new arrival. No jealousy here, the dog took on role as nursemaid and nanny.
When daughter number two arrived twelve months later we followed the same procedure and the new child was accepted into the dogs care. However, by this time daughter number one learned to walk and the mobility of her eldest charge was a worry to Mandy, she would chase after Susan and stop her from going too far by holding the hem of her dress between her teeth. Mandy took motherhood seriously.
Several years later when our lovely furry kid passed away, a black cloud seemed to have settled over the house. A year later we adopted a poodle puppy, not Dave’s choice of dog but I wanted one that didn’t shed as by now we had four little girls to pull out stray dog hairs and trying to snack on same. The one poodle led to two and over the years five cats roamed into our lives. Only one of these babies was planned the other four were strays who wandered in and stayed. We were suckers for bedraggled, torn-eared cats who, once fed and bathed were taken to the vet for the snip. All our beauties lived long healthy lives and all were sadly mourned when they went to kitty heaven.
When the poodles passed we got a yellow lab again and had a total of three and always at least one cat. When the last of our labs went we were in our late sixties and decided that in the next twelve years or so, which is the average life of a dog, our living circumstances may change radically so opted for a smaller dog. Who knows where our next move may take us but it will definitely be a down size from our one acre lot.
Many walled communities have strange rules about only allowing up to a certain height of dog. I find this strange as little dogs are more yappy and annoying than the one big woof of a large breed and, whatever the size of dog, it needs to be cleaned up after, however, these are the rules. Our little white Bichon/shi-tzu was a good choice and found her to be a large dog personality in a small body. She is very independent, faithful and afraid of nothing. A couple of years later we got her a pal, the same mixed breed but she didn’t grow as large.
Our present cat had been with us for fifteen years but was fully grown when we adopted her so she is around eighteen years old. Some friends of ours had reluctantly taken her when their daughter moved house and couldn’t take the cat with her. Rosie settled down into being our cat immediately. On the ride home from the coast, where we picked her up, she climbed into my lap and has sat there for at least part of every day since. Although she is an old girl and sleeps much of the time, she tours her estate several times a day, loves to be among the flower beds and napping on the deck however, a few days ago a bird flew in through our open door and the sleeping cat took an enormous leap to get the bird in mid air. Unluckily for the sparrow she killed it instantly before I could retrieve it from the jaws of doom.
She quite often catches mice or birds when she is outside but very rarely does she hurt them. She brings them indoors as a gift to me. If I see her arriving with a mouthful of feathers or a dangling mouse tail, I waylay her at the door, hold her neck and she drops the gift in my hand. She then looks quite disgusted at me as I go to the end of the yard and release the victim over the fence.
This furry friend is getting to the end of her long life, she is diabetic and has a thyroid problem for which she takes medication. However, she is terribly thin and will probably not be here too long. I know when she goes I will be so sorry to say goodbye, she has been a lovely friend and so happy to be with her people. When they go it is such a wrench on the heart, like losing any other old friend. At the time of a pet passing we quite often think that this love cannot be replaced by another animal, and that is quite right. The love is not replaced it is kept in our hearts and minds with all our other loving memories. They are never forgotten but the hurt decreases as years go by.
If anyone reading this thinks it is a load of nonsense to get so upset over an animal, you have missed such an important part of your life to not have felt the joy and pain that is experienced by loving a pet. I feel really sorry that you have missed out on such a loving friendship.