How do you explain that your fur baby is more than “just a pet”?

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Fur baby mug by Etsy seller PURELeecreations
Fur baby mug by Etsy seller PURELeecreations
With a heavy heart I waited for the mobile vet to come and put my fur baby to sleep.

She had been by my side for thirteen years — my rock, my best friend, my baby. She has been the best dog, the biggest comfort, most loyal friend and such a gentle soul. She has been with me through four breakups, the start of a marriage, and several job changes and mini life crisis.

I chose not to have human children and instead to have the four legged furry kind. A lot of people have a hard time understanding for me she is not just a pet she is FAMILY.

Most of the time I can choose to ignore the people who say “it’s just a dog.” But, after losing my fur baby, I cannot ignore them anymore. How do I accept their caring when they don’t get it? How do I help them get it? Or should I even bother to try? -Ducky

Comments on How do you explain that your fur baby is more than “just a pet”?

  1. It’s not just pets. Some people simply seem unable to understand other people’s grief unless they have been in the exact same situation. When my husbands grandmother died and I was in tears at work (I’d just found out) one of the first comments I got was “but…she wasn’t your grandmother?”

    It was meant in total innocence – the person saying it genuinely couldn’t understand why I was upset that someone who had been an important part of my life for the past decade and who I had huge respect for had died, because we weren’t biologically related.

    I try to remember that when someone else is upset over something (a death or another event) and I don’t really understand why they feel that way. It doesn’t matter how I’d feel in that situation, what matters is how THEY feel.

    But if I’m honest the main thing that comes to mind in this situation is the Dragon Riders of Pern series and Robin Hobb’s Royal Assassin series (and the Tawny Man series which follows it). Both deal with people who are bonded to animals – literally share their mind and their feelings with them. And both deal with the death of one partner in that relationship on various occasions. I know I can’t even really imagine what it would feel like to have that depth of feeling for an animal, or even another person. I cannot imagine what their grief would be like either. But I can understand enough to get upset about it (even just remembering it, and they never bloody existed in the first place!).

    It doesn’t matter if I understand why the other person is upset, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been in that situation, or can imagine myself in that situation or not. What matters is how THEY feel, and doing what I can to support them through it.

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