Posts Tagged ‘Pet loss’


This kindly friend of mine who’s passed
Beyond the realm of day,
Beyond the realm of darkling night,
To unknown bourne away
Was one who deemed my humble home
A palace grand and fair;
Whose fullest joy it was to find
His comrade ever there.
Ah! He has gone from out my life
Like some dear dream I knew.
A man may own a hundred dogs,
But one he loves, and true.


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The Tale Of A Dead Guinea Pig

A recent article by Christy Oglesby of CNN tells of a mother who kept the death of her son’s guinea pig a secret to protect him from the grief while he was studying for exams.

When Christy discovered the stiff corpse of Checkers the guinea pig she found herself in the middle of a moral dilemma that almost turned into an episode of Laurel and Hardy.

Knowing full well that her son Drew would be devastated by the loss of the pet he “loved like a daughter,”  and knowing that he was facing five tests within the next two days, she decided to cover up the death for a couple of days.

The crafty cover-up plot was not without its difficulties. But with a lot of creative distractions and fast talking she managed to maintain the secret for two days until the tests were behind her son.

Of course the inevitable grief still came once the sad news was broken.  But Drew was able to express his grief without affecting his scholastic endeavours. And the reason for the delay in breaking the news to him was fully explained.

Some people would, and did, say that Christy crossed a line.  Are third grade tests more important that a young boys emotional health?  Of course then there is the other camp who agree, that dead guinea pig is a dead guinea pig and a couple of days delay in breaking the news won’t make any difference.

What do you think?  Did the mother act responsibly or did she inhibit her son’s social development?
Smooth Coat Guinea Pig

Buy at AllPosters.com

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When We Two Parted

When we two parted

In silence and tears,

Half broken-hearted,

To sever for years,

Pale grew thy cheek and cold,

Colder thy kiss;

Truly that hour foretold

Sorrow to this!

The dew of the morning

Sunk chill on my brow;

It felt like the warning

Of what I feel now.

The vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame:

I hear thy name spoken

And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,

A knell to mine ear;

A shudder comes o’er me –

Why wert thou so dear?

They know not I knew thee

Who knew thee too well:

Long, long shall I rue thee

Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met:

In silence I grieve

That thy heart could forget,

Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee

After long years,

How should I greet thee?

With silence and tears.

By Lord Byron


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Thou wast all that to me, love,

For which my soul did pine-

A green isle in the sea, love,

A fountain and a shrine,

All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,

And all the flowers were mine.

Ah, dream too bright to last!

Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise

But to be overcast!

A voice from out the Future cries,

“On! on!”- but o’er the Past

(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies

Mute, motionless, aghast!

For, alas! alas! me

The light of Life is o’er!

“No more- no more- no more-”

(Such language holds the solemn sea

To the sands upon the shore)

Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree

Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,

And all my nightly dreams

Are where thy grey eye glances,

And where thy footstep gleams-

In what ethereal dances,

By what eternal streams.

Edgar Allan Poe

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The full impact of pet loss is often not appreciated.

Too long people have had to grieve the loss of their pet in silence – keeping a stiff upper lip.

The reality is that often people are affected more greatly by the loss of their pet than they are when losing a parent.

There are a number of reasons that the grief for a pet can be more acute than for a person. Pets for example, are able to love unconditionally. They place few demands on the relationship (food and companionship usually the extent of their demands).

It is often therefore easier to develop a bond with a pet that is greater than that which we experience with other humans in our lives.

Unfortunately the support that we receive in times of pet loss often does not reflect the significance of this bond. Reactions range from “it was just an animal” to “its no big deal – get another one.”

We cannot go to our boss and ask for time off work to grieve without being subjected to humiliation. It is not normal for people to send flowers, or cards. We do not hold public funerals.

This general response of ignoring the tragedy by society at large only increases the sense of loss and helplessness that a pet owner faces.

The death of a pet can also trigger other grief that compounds the feeling of loss. For example it may die in a manner similar to that of a parent, or it may have been the favorite pet of a recently deceased spouse. These kinds of memories and emotions trigger overwhelming responses that an outsider will not understand or appreciate.

Two groups often affected the most are children and elderly.

To a child a pet is often a surrogate parent – left with much of the baby sitting duties by two busy parents. They become a companion that is often with them they have their greatest personal triumphs. Losing the pet they have spent much of their short lives with is often their first experience with death and is often misunderstood.

Elderly, like children, often find that most of their time is spent with a pet. Many times caring for their pet will become their sole purpose for living. The pet is also often the only link to their past, especially if they have lost their spouse and have moved into a care facility.
soft hearted pillow

Dealing with the loss of a pet is different for everyone.

Some of the common ways to assist a family member or friend to cope with their loved pet include: recognizing the significance of the pet in their lives; being open to talking about their pet if that is what they want; creating a memorial that will help give closure and an ability to express the grief they feel, as well creating something that will allow their memories to live on.

One thing that you must not do, especially with children is lie. Do not say the animal is sleeping or has gone away. This will often create a fear in a child that sleep is permanent or that when a family member goes away they may not come back.

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She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove;
A maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love.

A violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the eye;

Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;

But she is in her grave, and oh
The difference to me!

William Wordsworth

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Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye (1904-2004)

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