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Remembering Your Special Pet

June 18, 2012 - Amy Jo Hanna-Eckenrode
Starting next month, the Altoona Mirror is going to take an even bigger leap into the world of animal lovers by publishing pet obituaries and remembrances as a new feature in the paper. Details ->

Now, those humans who think this gesture might be odd or even extreme should take a moment to reflect on the fact that even if they don’t share the bond that some people have with their pets, grief is none-the-less an emotion we all possess.

Grief is a very personal journey. Everyone has their own way of dealing with loss and if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a pet’s unconditional devotion you understand how easy it is to become emotionally attached to a furry member of the family.

I feel so richly blessed to have ‘been rescued’ by many senior Goldens over the years as well as some very special cats. Whether age or illness shortened our time shared, I consider every single one of these souls as some of the greatest joys of my life.

The loss of each was equally as hard but I found comfort in many things including the knowledge that I was able to give each the best last days/years of their lives, the love and concern of caring friends and great veterinarians, and memories. Many, many wonderful fur-filled memories.

Like many people, I’ve also lost some very dear human souls in my life, as well. Yet, for some, the love of a pet is often (and, sadly) the strongest bond they may have ever shared. And, if submitting a remembrance or writing a poem or posting a billboard or requesting a song brought comfort while trying to come to terms with loss, who am I to deny anyone their right to love, be loved or share love.

I hope you, too, find comfort in this new addition and that it awakens many warm memories that you’ve shared with a special pet.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France

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