petlossbuddy

They Say Time Heals All Wounds..

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
— Marilyn Monroe

 People love their pets, and most consider them part of the family.  However, I am always surprised to learn how many people give the standard “it’s just a pet” line to someone grieving the loss of their beloved animal.  As if that’s something that will help the other person move on.  Could you imagine saying that to someone who lost a different family member?  “It’s just a kid”.  “It’s just your mother”.  I would hope not.  So why do so many people think that a dog, cat, etc isn’t as worthy of such grief as a human is?   The world around me simply does not understand that Buddy was not “just a dog” and that I cannot “just get a new one.”

It got me thinking… Today marks 3 months since Buddy passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.  The grief I feel for him is still so raw.  I don’t think a single day has gone by yet that something hasn’t reminded me of him and forced me to fight back tears.  More often than not, I wind up on the losing side of that fight.  The callous way some people approach the subject of pet loss made me wonder – Am I doing something wrong?  Am I not grieving properly?  Is that even such a thing?

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Realistically, I know better than that.  I treat my pets as if they were my biological children.  I celebrate their birthdays, confide in them when I need someone to talk to, carry pictures of them in my wallet.  I have more photos of them on my phone than I do of anyone or anything else.  So I can only assume that it’s natural that I would feel more intense grief than someone who viewed their dog as just that…a dog.  I know that the grieving process is unique to each and every individual person.  For some it may only last a matter of days, for others the grief may feel overwhelming for weeks, months, maybe even years later.

So what helps us to move through the period of mourning, to get to a point where you can remember your beloved fur babies with smiles instead of tears?  For me, knowing that I work with some of the most incredible people in the world, who understand exactly how I am feeling definitely helps.  They have lost their own pets, deal with the loss of loved patients almost daily, and most importantly for me at the moment…I know that they loved Buddy just as much as I did.  It really helps knowing that when I’m at my wits end and don’t think that I can pull myself together for the remainder of the day without breaking down, that they get it.  That I can talk to them and they won’t judge me.  That they would NEVER throw out the “it’s just a dog!” line, because they are exactly like me when it comes to loving their animals…loving their furry children.

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I also like to create little memorials for my pets.  I have their ashes and paw prints close at hand, and pictures all over of them.  It’s hard when looking at them still brings me to tears, but as time goes on, I can look at the photos and smile…knowing that as long as they are in my heart, they will always be with me.  The memorial that was made for Buddy at the animal hospital is absolutely perfect.  I sneak away fairly often to visit him here and talk to him.  I can’t leave at the end of the day without stopping to say goodnight to him.  Looking at his face in this picture brings me to tears every time.  It’s just such a perfect capture of his personality and spirit.  He was always SO happy, and you could always see in his eyes how much he loved you.  How much he loved EVERYONE.

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Ever since I was little, I have chosen to believe that shooting stars are a way that loved ones let you know that they are still there watching over you.  My Grandpa was the most important person in the world to me growing up…I lost him when I was 10.  Each year on his birthday there is a meteor shower (Geminids).  The night that one of my best friends was killed there was the Perseids meteor shower.  Each year it falls on/around the day I lost him.  When I’m having a particularly rough night, I will always go outside for a walk, look up at the sky, and talk to one of the people or pets that I have lost.  Almost always, I’ll see at least one shooting star before I make it back home.  Even if in reality it may just be a coincidence, it makes me feel better.  It makes me feel as though the person/pet I was talking to heard me, and that it was their way of responding.  Maybe it’s a silly thing to believe in, but honestly…I don’t care.

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OreoHappyMothersDay

Warm Wishes For Mother’s Day!

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
Charles M. Schulz

BurgerMothersDay

“Mother’s Day” Question:
How do you feel about people making the statement that they are their pet’s “Mommy” or “Daddy”?

I saw an article written not too long ago shaming people who referred to animals as their children.  To be honest – that post made me see red.  It is my choice (and that of others) to refer to our pets as family members.  Pets are not just something that you throw in a closet when you’re not paying attention to them.  They are not toys.  They are not there to be paid attention to only when it is convenient for you.  They have feelings.  They rely on you for food, shelter, entertainment, and most importantly…for love.  Just like children, pets require your attention and your money.  Some people can’t have human children, and some people just don’t want them.  I honestly don’t think I could ever love a human child as much as I love my dog.  I am a GREAT pet mom…but I think I would be a TERRIBLE human mom.

So, why is it that people take it upon themselves to be upset about what others choose to refer to their pets as?  Why does it bother you that there are humans out there that care enough about their pets to call them their kids?

Anyway.

Pet Moms can feel a bit left out when it comes to Mother’s Day.  I mean, it’s not like your cat or dog supposed to sneak out of the house to buy us a gift or card!  And no one has ever said, “Happy Mother’s Day mom, I love you!”   But then I got to thinking…  it seems as though Hallmark had to create a holiday to ensure that kids remembered to thank their moms and show their love and appreciation at least once a year.  Dogs and cats do that EVERY day!  When was the last time a human child greeted you at the door, so happy to see you that his entire body was vibrating with joy?  And cats don’t need a reminder to cuddle up next to you, kneading your shoulder while purring in your ear.  So while cards and gifts are nice (and yes, I bought my mom both!), maybe pet Moms are the luckier of the bunch.  The tinge of loneliness and the feeling of being forgotton on Mother’s Day is all in my head, afterall.  All I need to remember is the devotion and affection my furry babies show to me each and every day.

Perhaps one of the biggest perks of having only furry children is that I never have to deal with the sudden outbursts.  They don’t yell things like “I hate you” or “I wish you weren’t my Mom”.   Of course, our dogs aren’t going to take care of us when we’re old, so there’s that significant downside. However, with all the money we’re saving from not having kids, we should hopefully be able to save up for a home in a nice retirement community!

The lifespan of dogs and cats is short, just a flicker, compared to a human.  While during those few short years there are plenty of ups (puppy breath!  catnip play time!) and downs (illnesses and injuries), I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I know that one day the pets I have now will leave me just as the ones before them did…leaving a huge hole in what used to be a whole heart.  I try to make the best of every day with them, because I never know when they will be too old to want to go for a walk, or too sick to want to chase the laser pointer.  The saying that “a parent should never have to outlive their child” unfortunately does not get to apply to pet Moms and Dads.  Take advantage of the time you have, every day.  Make sure to spoil Fido with extra long walks and plenty of dogbones, and keep a fresh supply of cat scratchers and cardboard boxes in stock for Fluffy.

I’ll be working on the bucket list that I made for Oreo very soon.  Photos and stories to come.  I’m trying to come up with one for Burger as well; but thinking of exciting adventures to go on and goodies to try for a kitty isn’t half as easy as it is to come up with for a pup!

Until next time — Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms out there – both with furry and non-furry kids!

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Rainy day project – DIY Mango Bird Feeders!

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
— Groucho Marx

Normally on rainy days, I don’t want to get out of bed.  Today was no exception…until I got hungry.  I was eating some mango that I had bought the other day when I remembered something that I had seen on Pinterest.

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I had no real supplies (I’m not exactly known for being crafty), so I made due with what I had : a paper clip, some yarn and my mango rind.  I didn’t start taking pictures until I was half way through, because honestly…I didn’t expect much from this.  And while it still isn’t exactly Pinterest-worthy; it’s not bad for a first attempt.

I started by straightening out the paperclip most of the way and securing yarn around it.  Then I simply poked a hole through the rind with the paperclip and fed the yarn through.  I continued pushing until the paperclip and yarn went straight through to the other side.  I attempted to repeat this by doing a quarter turn and pushing the paperclip through the other side as well, but the top of the mango gave out.  So while this isn’t as sturdy as I would have liked, it seems to be working just fine so far.  I tied a knot on each end of the yarn to secure it to the rind, and pulled on the yarn to make a loop that I could use to hang the bird feeder with.

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With the mango “cup” completed for the feeder, I then added some bird seed.

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Upon my first attempt at hanging it outside, the bird seed flew everywhere.  So i brought it back inside to think of a way to make the seed stick a little better while still being safe for birds.  My solution?  Peanut butter!

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I mixed a forkful of all-natural peanut butter in with the bird seed to give it some “stick”, and it seemed to work!

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All that was left was to hang it outside again and see what happened.  Stepping outside and encountering my first gust of wind showed me that adding the peanut butter was successful – the birdseed stuck together for the most part instead of flying all over the yard.  I chose to hang it from a tree branch facing the bathroom window ledge where my cats love to sit and watch the birds and squirrels.

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I’m not sure how long this will stay hanging for, but I’m pretty happy with the result.  Next time I’ll stock up on some actual supplies and try something a bit firmer – an orange rind, maybe?   My cats are also happy with the result – while most of the birds are hiding from the rain, there have been a few who adventured out to get some seed, and Burger and Kitten Little are entertained watching them.   Now let’s bring on the rest of the hungry birdies!

Hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
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