The loss of a pet is never easy and at times unexpected. It is something we knowingly choose to participate in when we welcome a pet into our lives. No matter the amount of pets we have shared our life with, when they leave us that pain still remains.
I have experienced the loss of a pet who has only been with me for 6 months and pets that have been with me for years. No matter the time the pain remains the same. Recently, Justin’s family had to say goodbye to their childhood family dog and it reminded me my childhood dog , Max. We adopted Max when he was a puppy and he lived happily with our family for 12 years. He was a staple in our home during all the big moments in life: new schools, graduations, boyfriends, breakups, you name it – Max was there! When he became too ill to stand, eat, or toilet on his own, we had to make the most difficult decision a family has to make.
Although Max is no longer with us physically, his spirit still remains. We remember Max fondly and know we talk about him for generations to come.
I love when my parents talk about their childhood pets. My mom had two spaniels: Lady and Tramp who grew up in her house, waited for her at the bus stop and were beloved by all the children in the neighborhood. My dad had an unusual pet – a woodchuck! I used to love (STILL DO) when I was younger and my Dad would tell stories of Nibbles the woodchuck.
The Story of Nibbles:
My Dad spent some summers living with his grandparents in New Hampshire and they adopted Nibbles was he was orphaned after his mother was hit by a car. My great grandparents took Nibbles in as one of their own. We have a scrapbook full of photos and a story my great grandmother wrote about Nibbles. Pictures of him eating next to the cats, enjoying chocolate, and even some of his baby teeth!! In my parents house there is a painting of my great grandparents house and that painting includes Nibbles gravestone. Its a story I love telling to anyone who sees it – and gives us a good excuse to pull out the scrapbook and my Dad to share all about his pet woodchuck Nibbles!
How to memorialize our beloved pets:
When we lose a pet its only natural to want to celebrate their life with us as well as keep their memory alive. One way to memorialize your pet is with a bronze pet memorial. East Point Foundry creates beautiful custom plaques are hand cast in solid bronze for a lifetime reminder of a life- long companion. This is a beautiful addition to your home to remember your lost loved one.
Do not forget to talk about your grief with others – you are not alone! If you know anyone in your life you has had a pet, they have lost a pet too. Do not feel you need to grieve alone, reach out to your support system for comfort.