The text message from my friend Emily read, “Major’s gone…I’m not OK right now. Call you tomorrow.”
It’s devastating to lose a beloved pet and many pet owners find their grief just as overwhelming and heart wrenching as the loss of a family member or close friend. Our pets rely completely on us. They are happy when we are happy, and they lick our tears when we are not. The characteristics of grief fully apply, and the loss of a pet can stir up feelings of shock, guilt, anger, anxiety, and loneliness to name a few. Our day to day care of our pet is no longer, as is the unconditional love they give in return. The emptiness of their loss is palpable.

If you have recently lost a pet, be kind to yourself and give yourself time to grieve. Let yourself cry. Remember your pet by sharing stories with family and friends. Remember to be grateful for the wonderful years you had together. Take the time to write down fond memories. When our Bullmastiff Max died, I put together a photo book that to this day is on our coffee table. Celebrate your cherished friend and companion in whatever ways bring you comfort and peace.

Major was a friend and neighbor for over 10 years. My family and I are heartbroken for his human family who are dear friends, and we responded in a way we would normally in a time of loss. If someone you know has lost a pet, pay them a visit or give a call and be there to listen. You might send a sympathy card, bring flowers, make a meal, or offer to help in some other way. You can be sure that whatever you decide upon will be greatly appreciated.

The life of every living thing is in God’s hands and our pets are no exception. Our pets are blessings beyond measure for us to love and cherish. Proverbs 12:10 tells us that the righteous care for the needs of their animals.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Luke 12:6

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