Mourning A Much Loved Pet
WORDS:: CHYKA KEEBAUGH
IMAGES:: LISA ATKINSON
If you follow me on social media, then you probably know that we lost our beautiful dog Ollie a couple of weeks ago…
The loss of a loved family pet is an incredibly sad event especially when you lose a pet so unexpectedly. At 13 Ollie was living his little four-legged life to the fullest, he was enjoying walks, playing with his buddy Milo and most of all just loved chilling with us all when we were at home. His nightly position was snuggled up on top of my chest; he was so incredibly loyal and very, very loved.
We first took him to the vet with what started as a slipped disc. It was through this visit that we found out he was riddled with cancer. The vet was pragmatic and explained that the fairest thing to do was to put him down… this unexpected reality was such a hard thing to come to terms with, but for the comfort of our beloved pet, it was the right thing to do. So with Bruce and Chessie together in the US - BJ and I did what we had to do. Saying goodbye was just so hard and honestly, I cried for three days straight... I chose to hold him as he went to sleep and as horrible as that was made me feel, I can take comfort in the fact that he knew how loved he was when he went to sleep.
When you decide to get a family pet - it’s not something that is taken lightly. If you have children, you want them to be a part of looking after them; walks, poo pickups, feeding and of course playing with them. It’s such a great way for kids to learn responsibility and as anyone who has a pet knows, this love given is returned to you a million fold. After coming home after a busy day at work, the unconditional love, licks and tail wagging are enough to bring a smile to the face.
Unfortunately now with Ollie no longer with us, our other dog Milo has been fretting. He has never been on his own and the weeks following Ollie’s passing was very tough on him. He cried all night and spent the next few days looking for him…We have decided that we are going to get a new friend for Milo and although this new puppy will not replace Ollie- it will be hopefully a great new friend for us all to make memories with.
So what to do with an animal in mourning...
Don’t remove anything that still has the smell of the other pet. It’s comforting for them to smell their buddy.
Buy a new toy that is for them and ensure it goes to bed with them.
- Don’t change their usual routine, so where they walk, meal times, playtime and bedtime should all remain the same so that their lives aunt thrown out of whack.
- Our pets are very good at reading our emotions, so seeking comfort from a pet is OK but being overly distressed in font or with them will affect them also.
- Obviously, your pet needs more attention and love, so lots of walks and cuddles are a must.