Monday, March 27, 2017

Losing a Beloved Pet

I recently read an article by Frank McAndrew that states how much more difficult it is to lose a beloved dog then it is to lose a beloved person. The author speaks about the loss of his dog, Murphy. He makes this claim because while there are certain protocols and practices attached to the death of a person, non are in place for an animal.
I am fortunate that my beloved Maggie is still here with me but I can understand what the author is saying, as I have lost a dog when I was a young.
Recently a friend of mine went through the process of grieving for the loss of her beloved dog that was more like a daughter then a pet. While I tried to be there and lend support to her I also witnessed some unfortunate comments made to her. While sometimes we do not know what to say to a grieving person it is best to say “I am sorry” or “how are you doing today?” But if there is ever a time when you are unsure of what to say then it is best to remain quiet.
While visiting Bryn Mawr College last week I met a student that was happy to sit with Maggie. I could tell she was a ‘dog person’ by the way she was petting and talking with Maggie. When I asked her if she had a pet at home she first said yes, but then changed her answer to “I had.” I didn’t press her but she looked at me and opened up. Her family was living in Taiwan at the time and while she was away at school her dog was swept away in one of their bad storms.
“I’m so sorry,” I said.
She added that her family didn’t tell her right away because they wanted her to do well in school. One of her friends sitting with her said “you never told me that, you just said that your dog’s name was Jack.
The conversation continued for a bit but then petered out as the friends enjoyed just sitting with Maggie.

Losing a sidekick is never easy. Some choose to replace them immediately and while others need time to grieve. Whatever the decision as friends we need to show our support.

1 comment:

  1. A Dog’s Plea

    Treat me kindly, my beloved friend, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.

    Do not break my spirit with a stick, for although I should lick your hand between blows, your patience and understanding will quickly teach me the things you would have me learn.

    Speak to me often, for your voice is the world’s sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps falls upon my waiting ear.

    Please take me inside when it is cold and wet, for I am a domesticated animal, no longer accustomed to bitter elements. I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.

    Feed me clean food that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.

    And, my friend, when I am very old, and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight, do not make heroic efforts to keep me going. I am not having any fun. Please see that my trusting life is taken gently. I shall leave this earth knowing with the last breath I draw that my fate was always safest in your hands.

    Author Unknown