When You Gain & Lose A Cherished Pet

Every pet owner will always remember two specific days.

The first of the two days is a joyous one…you arrive at a shelter, a breeder’s house, or a pet store to meet an incredibly special friend. A friend who will love you unconditionally, make you smile and laugh countless times, and will bring a joy to your life you didn’t even realize was possible. They’ll look at you on the first day you meet them as if to say, “Choose me!” And after you see their big eyes and adorable spirit, you will choose them and bring them home.

After you bring them home, ah, the real fun begins! You get the sheer joy (RIGHT!) of potty training your cute furry lil bundle, crate training them, and teaching them what is acceptable behavior inside the house or outside in their new yard. The training is not much fun, but the sacrifices you make for your pet develops a bond…a sweet friendship…that stays between you and your pet forever. You become family!

The second of the two days a pet owner will always remember is the super sad day they lose their sweet fur baby. The loss of sweet companionship and unconditional love is very painful!

Pets have such an amazing capacity to love and are incredibly loyal. They can pick up on your emotions and truly have a way of making a bad day better…so when you lose your pet, and are going through a very bad day, their presence is greatly felt and missed.

I always say: Pets are God’s way of making up for all of the unpleasant people and events you’ll encounter in life.

For a pet owner, the more grief encounters you experience in life, the likelihood is your pet helped you through some really tough times.

Just for the record, and I HATE to admit this, I used to be that person…the person who didn’t appreciate pets. I found most pets, other than my childhood cat and dogs, very annoying. Then I met our newest pet…actually my adult son’s pet…and fell totally in love! Our family had been through a major grief experience last year and we were really hurting. My son asked me if I would like to puppy-sit and help train his new puppy, and, of course, I said yes! It meant I got to see my son every day!

My son’s new puppy was only three pounds when we got him for our son as a Christmas present. He was a rescue and we were told he was a Great Dane…but he ended up being a huge German Shepherd/American Staffordshire Terrier (Pitbull) mix. He’s now a sweet, feisty, fun, adorable, very large dog who thinks he’s a lapdog! And, yes, I call him my granddog! 🙂

As I helped my son train his puppy, I couldn’t believe how much healing this new lil family member brought to our family…and how he helped to heal my heart.

When I look at my son’s puppy, I sometimes think to myself, “Who rescued who?”

You think you’re rescuing a pet, but the pet ends up rescuing broken pieces of your own heart. I saw my son’s puppy bring my son and our family “back to life” after deep tragedy and heartache…and in return, my son’s dog has my love and respect. God orchestrated the details of my son’s puppy becoming a part of our family. It truly is incredible how all of the details came together in rescuing him. It’s a great, and long, story that I’ll share another time. It’s such a cool story that I told my son he ought to write a book about it. I am so very grateful God helped us to find him, though! I love all of our dogs and I’m grateful they’re a great big part of our daily life!

There’s probably someone who is reading this and rolling their eyes. I know, I know, I was once that person, too! But, I can also guarantee there are some who are reading this who “get” it and I hope they fondly take a few moments to remember their sweet forever friend. If they have pets still with them, I hope they’ll give them some extra treats and hugs today, too!

If you know of someone who has lost a cherished pet, please be compassionate to them. Don’t assume it was “just a pet.” As with all forms of grief, it takes time to move forward from a loss.

Today, I fondly remember the pets that made a difference in my life. All of my furry loved ones (a cat and several dogs) made growing up a lot of fun and it was great to have them as a part of my growing up years.

I highly recommend anyone who is going through grief to rescue a pet. Studies have shown that pets can ease depression and anxiety. Pets are very therapeutic! (www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/the-health-benefits-of-pets.htm)

To all who have experienced the loss of a treasured pet, no matter the type of pet, I am truly sorry for your loss and grief.

Thank you for loving your pet and giving them a chance to brighten your world each day. You brightened their world, too!

Gratitude and blessings,


©2015 Grief Bites. All rights reserved.

Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book

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FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships 
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed 
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites 
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: (Coming November 4, 2015)

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