Pet owners who are experiencing overwhelming grief because of the loss of a pet, are often surprised at how emotional they become. "I know he was just a dog, but he was a member of our family." I often reassure them that these feelings are completely natural because their pet faithfully waited with anticipation for them to come home, was always ready for playtime and was that reliable friend when life brought unexpected hardships.
"I was there until the end," he said, as he kneeled down beside the Yellow Labrador Retriever who had been his faithful companion for 13 years. "She waited by the door for me everyday for 8 hours until I came home. Being with her as she took her last breath was the least that I could do for her."
She died in his arms that night.
It was a long drive home as I contemplated the events of the evening. Sometimes helplessness is overwhelming for me, in that I wish I could make the loss easier for families. The only consolation that I can give them is to just take each day one at a time, and to focus on the memories and the joy that was shared, and that I will take care of their pet with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Maybe one day I won't have to hold back the tears with each death call. I don't see that as being any time soon.