I was at a birthday party for a dear friend last night, and the topic of conversation turned to pets. We were all showing off pictures of our “fur children” on our phones, be they recent or memories from years past. One woman told us that she has two dogs now, but when they passed she would never have another pet. Good gracious, why not I asked. She explained that when it came time to have them “put down,” she just couldn’t bear the thought of having to go through that emotional pain again.
It’s true that Nature gave cats and dogs an extremely short life span compared to us and some other creatures, but that should not be a reason to deprive ourselves of the love and companionship so unconditionally given by these critters. I suggested she might try adopting a Galapagos giant tortoise with a life span of around 152 or an elephant that can live well beyond 50. At her age, either of these would definitely out-live her. I chuckled under my breath as I envisioned her out in the neighborhood walking either one!
Some of you “Senior” folks like myself will remember a song by Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkle entitled “I Am a Rock.” The lyrics stated that “If I’d never loved, I never would have cried,” and goes on to declare that “I am a rock, I am an island; And a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.” How true that is but thank the powers that be that the vast majority of us are not rocks, islands or psychopaths with no feelings or compassion. If that were the case, there would not be any no-kill shelters like Abandoned Pet Rescue. That would surely be a tragedy.
Having to “put down” a loving and devoted furry friend has happened to almost all of us at one time or another. All I can suggest is to love and spoil them rotten now because “that time” will come. Face the fact that your painful feelings are not for your pet, they’re for yourself. You’ll no longer be able to look into those eyes and know for certain that you are loved in return, and that’s going to hurt!
So, dear hearts, was the time you had with your fur child worth not being able to turn into a rock? You bet your sweet bippy it was. When you finally realize that fact, you can go down to APR shelter and check out a plethora of options awaiting you there. And remember, you’re not “replacing” them any more than you could replace a parent, spouse or child. You’re just seeking the medication that will over time help alleviate the pain and sweeten the memories.