Rules for Life

The hardest thing about losing a pet

Dogs are called man’s best friend for a reason; they are truly the least judgmental and most loyal friends we will ever make. Cats are great companions too, even if they don’t worship the ground you walk on. When you adopt a pet and build a relationship with them, that pet is your rock. It’s always happy to see you, it’s there for you when you’re down, and it loves you unconditionally. This is possibly the perfect relationship.

A pet takes a piece of your heart and soul, while becoming part of your daily routine. At times, we take them for granted while they are alive because we expect them to always be there. When you lose a pet, a piece of you dies with it. That pet was a part of you, every day, for any number of years. You built a rapport with it. It made you happy. And most importantly, it made you feel important and needed. Some people will say that immediately adopting another animal after a pet’s passing can fill those gaps, but they overlook the most important aspect of the human-pet relationship.

It’s a unique relationship that occupies a specific time period in your life, and is forever tied to your history. Losing a pet is so difficult because your day to day automatically changes, and that period of your life ends. It is a big change for anyone to adapt to. You might look around the corner and expect your pet to be sitting there waiting for you. In the middle of the night you may wake up expecting to see your pet at the foot of the bed. When you return home after a long day, part of you may anticipate having your pet waiting for you by the door when you enter. Having to cope with the changes of these constants is extremely difficult. Having that unconditional love abruptly stripped away from you can cause severe pain and heartache.

In time, the best thing you can do is adopt another pet; not to fill the void, but to give another innocent animal an opportunity to live a great life in a loving home, the same as you did for your furry friend that passed away. It’s the best way to honor the relationship you had, and in time it will give you a new set of experiences to enjoy and cherish.

Til we meet again, Ricky.

4/11/05 – 8/5/18