Why are people saying “its only a dog/cat etc”
People who don't understand a pet bond may not understand your pain but don't let others dictate your feelings. You are valid, your feelings are valid. Grief is grief and loss is loss. And remember, you are not alone, there are hundreds of pet owners have gone through similar grieving and mourning.
What do I do now?
The most important step you can take is, to be honest about your feelings. You have a right to feel pain and grief. Someone you loved has died. You have a right to feel anger and guilt too.
Some pet parents find it helpful to express their feelings and memories in stories, or letters to their pet, preparing a memorial such as a photo collage; and talking to other pet lovers about your loss.
Who can I talk to?
Pet lovers! Friends, family, colleagues, anyone who loves their pet just as much as you did. It might be especially helpful to talk to someone who has lost a pet too. They will empathise. Don't hide your feelings in a misguided effort to appear strong or calm. There are also pet loss counsellors and support groups.
When is the right time to euthanize a pet?
This is one of the worst decisions you will hopefully never have to make in life but if it sadly comes your way then your vet is the best judge of your pet's physical condition. You are the best judge of the quality of your pet's daily life. If a pet has a good appetite, still responds to attention, still wants cuddles and/or walks you may feel that this is not the right time. However, if a pet is in constant pain, unresponsive to affection, unaware of its surroundings, and/or uninterested in life, then you may choose to end the beloved companion's suffering as much as it will hurt you deeply.
How should I tell my kids?
Honesty is important. Especially these days, children know a lot more than we do! If you say the pet was "put to sleep," make sure your children understand the difference between death and ordinary sleep or they may never sleep for you again! Try not to say the pet "went away," as your child may wonder what he or she did to make it leave, and wait, tormented, for its return. Don't assume a child is too young or too old to grieve. I find the Rainbow Bridge story is great for children and adults alike. It explains death but allows us to feel at peace, knowing our furbabies are happy and free.
Do other pets grieve too?
Pets often form strong attachments to one another while living in the same house/venue. The survivor of such a pair may grieve for its companion. You will notice small things and you may need to give your surviving pets a lot of extra attention and love to help them through this time.
How soon should I get a new pet?
This is an almost impossible question to answer as every family and person is different in their moments of grief. You need to take the time to fully grieve and evaluate your circumstances. If you do decide to get a new pet, some will advise you to avoid getting a "lookalike" pet, which makes comparisons all the more likely. Or that getting a totally different looking pet will also draw comparisons. But then we got a new pet in the form of our late dogs' granddaughter and we love that fact. It is entirely personal and a difficult question to advise.
However you choose to remember your pet will be a perfect representation of the animal who captured your heart. This year, take a few minutes to sit down and think about the wonderful animals that have enriched your life. For those who are celebrating a pet who is still alive, be sure to give them a big hug and some extra love and attention on this very special occasion.
The Dogs of Ireland.
Being Irish I might have a special place in my heart for these breeds but I think they truly represent Ireland, the Irish spirit and the warm Irish soul.
Independent, stubborn, intelligent and always up to no good, the Irish Setter sounds like my perfect dog! It is a tireless puppy that will hunt in wet or dry weather. The name setter comes from the knack of ‘setting’ which means locating and point out game birds. It is a popular dog with American politicians.
Such a beautiful dog both physically and mentally, there are two types. The red one is the more physically glamorous with its luscious red locks. It is the icon of one of the most famous bus brands in Ireland Bus Eireann. The red and white one faced near extinction during WWI. So much so, that it is pretty possible that every current red and white Irish setter has descended from a poorly female puppy what was given to a Maureen Cuddy in 1940. She almost single handedly saved this special breed from extinction.
Another Irish breed - the little known (probably because of its name!) Irish pup is the Irish Water Spaniel. It’s such an interesting breed. It has two coats - one short, dense and thick layer that provides warmth and insulation. Their outer layer provides protection and water resistance.
Lastly we could not mention Irish dog breeds without mentioning the noble Irish Wolfhound. It has played its part in much folklore, many historic battles, featured in fairytales and more but there is nothing imaginary about this gentle giant. They are known for their hunting prowess but also their companionship, which gave way to the saying “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” Often owned by nobility Irish Greyhounds have been homed with Richard III, Anne Boyleyn, Henry VII, Queen Elizabeth I and George Washington to name but a few.
I’m usually pretty good with words, whether its talking or writing but for some reason this blog has taken me a while to get down on paper and, even verbally, I have only told a few people even though I knew it was my duty (sounds bit harsh) to tell you about it because if youre reading this, you are more than likely a customer of mine, whether directly or indirectly. Most of my customers know my vibe and whther its that Ive done a piece directly for you and your furry friend or you are a vet or groomer or crematorium owner who I work with to get my message out, you know how soft and sentimental (and squidgy!) I am, so this story means a lot to me and hopefully will to you guys too.
Two months ago I found myself at crossroads in life, I was splitting my time between NYC and Dublin, I had friends and family in both and loved both cities dearly. One was home and one was quickly becoming home. I have a great relationship with my mom and we love to do fun acitvities together. One of those things is the occassional trip to a fortune teller, tarot reader or some such!
So we headed up to Dundalk to a fabulous woman called Romina. I walked in the door, made myself comfortable and, as she asked me to, allowed my aura and spirit to fill the room. When she sat down she told me that although she was a card reader and not a medium, she often had spirits visit who wished to communicate with the living person who was having the reading. This was happening to me. She said there was a gentleman who wanted to communicate with me but she also told me that something else unusual was occurring and that was a noise of dogs barking and cats purring and both were trying to communicate a message. Not once did I reveal the business I was in, or even that I had a business! The man said that the animals just wanted to convey a simple message, a message of thanks to me.
Needless to say I sat there and cried. I have a pretty good relationship with anyone who has directly become a customer of mine, it goes with the nature of what I do. Most of my customers are beyond grateful that I can help provide them with some form of solace in their time of grief and this humbles me in a way I can never express. It’s a privilage to do what I do but to know that the puppies and kitties that have passed on and passed through my care were thankful too? Well that just signed my ‘calling card’ that this bsuiness and this career is the vocation for me and I am so happy to tell all of my customer of time passed that your little furry baby was more than likely a part of this gang who sent a message and just so you know, they are happy and waiting for you at Rainbow Bridge, have no doubt about that! <3