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What your dog wants you to know...

1. My life is likely to last 8 to 14 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me....

2. Give me a hot second to understand what it is you want from me!

3. Please trust me and love me and care for me.

4. Do not be angry at me for long....I can't stand it!!

5. You have your work, your hobbies, your friends and your family. I only have you.

6. Talk to me often, I love to hear your voice.

7. Be conscious that whatever way you treat me, I will never forget.

8. I have sharp teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.

9. Before you scold me for not reacting as I should, ask yourself if I might not be getting the right food, or I'm tired, or my heart is getting old and weak.

10. Take care of me when I get old. Don't say: “I can't bear to watch”. Everything is easier for me if you are there....even when we say our final goodbye.....

Funerals for Pets

Should we or should we not have funerals or ceremonies for our pets? Pet owners would probably argue yes and non pet owners would probably argue that it's ridiculous and a waste of time and money.

I can understand both sides of the story. It's been interesting for me on this journey. I have lost a pet, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends. Each one costs time and money but both these shrink into the background as the emotion takes over.

I wrote a book on Funeral Planning in Ireland. It was published two years ago. It was for humans. Of course it was. When humans die we have a funeral. That's why when we lost Roxy 6 years ago and we came home from the vets, I was at a loss - in every meaning of the word! I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do. My friends didn't know what to do. There was no blueprint, no schedule of events to help us to figure out what was next. 

I was talking about my business to a lady today and explaining this to her and it's interesting - there has been two funerals I have missed out on or have not happened to loved ones in my life - my grandmother (I was in America) and my pet Roxy (we didn't have one) and whether it is because of the strong bond I had with them or the fact that I didn't attend a funeral for them, I still get massively emotional when I talk about either. Is this because of the strong bond with them or because I didn't 'go through the motions' a funeral brings? Does a funeral help to move you through the stages of grief or is it just a 'thing you do' when someone dies?

I'm in NYC currently and I know pet funerals are a huge thing here and will probably at some point make an impact overseas but is it necessary or just another way for people to make money from emotional life events?

Putting a Pet to sleep

Putting a beloved pet to sleep has to be one of life's worse decisions. I still to this day think of Roxy and when we chose to put her down nearly 6 years ago. It kills me. She went to sleep looking into my and my mother's eyes and part of me still wonders was she asking "why are you doing this to me?" or was she saying "thank you". I will never know. This video has me crying my eyes out into the keyboard as I type this because it brought back ALL the memories I had pushed down trying to forget but I never will. We had Roxy for 16 years - I grew up with her and she will always be my sister. This video will break your heart if you love animals so watch with a tissue.