In the past month I have had 2 cats die. Both were older cats but that does not make it any easier on the emotional roller coaster that I am still going on. Last year my little miniature pincher was killed by a deer. He was about 11 years old and I expected him to be my little shadow for many more years. The year before that my 26 year old Arabian horse passed away. We had him for over 20 years.
Thankfully I have family members that share my grief but I am often the one in the family that is affected the most since most of the caregiver duties of the pets fall to me. I feed them, I am usually the one to take them to the vet, I am usually the one who has to treat wounds or give medications and lastly, I am usually the one who has brought them home in the first place.
No one, other than another pet owner who has grieved for a former pet, will ever understand the grief that a pet owner goes through when a beloved pet passes away. My grief last year when my little dog was killed was so debilitating that I could not function day to day without bursting into tears at a moments notice. That was hard considering that I was working full time. My husband had a brilliant idea – “go out and find a puppy to replace him”
The hunt for a new puppy brought me out of my grief. A month after my little dog died, I found a 3 month old Pomeranian Italian Greyhound mix pup. Caring for him, housebreaking and teaching him not to chase the horses, took up my grieving time and helped me move on. He has been with us now for just over a year. While I have not forgotten about my little min pin and often remember the great times we had, I don’t remember him with a heavy heart anymore.
While getting a replacement pet for the one you have lost is not a solution for everyone, it did work for me.