Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite actors. He gave us the Christmas staple It’s a Wonderful Life and who could forget the memorable saying at the end “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings”? To me, that is the Christmas season, family and togetherness. Jimmy was also a wonderful speaker. He read a poem to the audience of the Johnny Carson show many years ago, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUNJjIwlHk8). Entitled Beau, he praised his pet that had just passed away. Needless to say, there was not a dry eye in the audience, including my own, from watching the video on YouTube.
All of us, as pet lovers, have to say goodbye to them one day. It is a sad fate that they live only a fraction of our lives. But they touch it just as much as one of our friends or family does. Let’s face it; pets are an integral part of our family. I often find that I learn more from my pets then they could possibly benefit from me.
Mourning a pet for many people is mourning the loss of a beloved family member. Many people are nervous on how to react to the death of a pet. Buy a new one immediately? Take a day off of work to recuperate? Or should you consider opening your home to a pet again, in respect to the deceased one? We all feel so inspired by our pets that some people go to the extreme of throwing a funeral for their deceased dog or cat.
When you lose your pet, after the initial shock of it wears off, it may be in your best interest to pay a tribute to your four-legged friend. Many veterinarians allow you to keep the ashes of your pet, sending you a lovely urn and card to go along with your memory. Other people get their animals’ paw print embedded while they are still alive; a wonderful monumental piece for your memories.
Katherine Adamchick has another creative idea. Katherine has started Kat With Dogs (katwithdogs.com), where she pays the ultimate tribute to your pet, by painting its portrait. That way, you may remember your pet in the better days of his or her life, and have a painted picture to remember the beauty of your beloved animal.
Another excellent suggestion is to write poetry to yourself, or share with others on various pet tribute websites, such as http://www.petmemorialwebsite.com/ where you can submit a picture of your pet and a lengthy description of his or her personality and some better memories.
Ultimately, we all grieve differently. Some of us are more private then others. These are just a few suggestions on how to channel your sadness into a wonderful tribute to your pet. Dogs, cats, birds and other creatures are our friends, confidants, and partners in life. They bring out the best of us, test our patience, and ultimately hold a mirror up to us, to show us that the simplest of lives are usually those that are most fulfilling.