Man's Best Friend
Pets bring joy and value to our lives. When we bring home a four-legged "baby", chances are there will be sleepless nights, chewed up shoes, scratched up furniture, bathroom accidents or all of the above. However, everyone knows that once you get past all of the adjustments, it's completely worth it! Many people call their pets "children" - especially if there are no two-legged children at home. These fur ball friends provide wonderful memories and bring fullness to our lives.
It's pretty safe to say that no one ever takes a pet under their wing without investing feelings, emotions, money, time and energy. Which means when our pets die, we lose more than just a pet - we lose little pieces of ourselves. What do you say or give to someone who lost their loyal buddy? I wrote a post about what to do when someone loses a loved one and I think most will agree, the same thoughtfulness applies when someone loses their pet.
My friend Christy has a job that I totally envy. She is hired to buy gifts for the family, staff and employees of a very successful woman. Christy has an un-limited budget which makes me wish I could be her for a day. I can only imagine the wonderful gifts one can buy if one doesn't have a budget. It would be like the complete opposite of thoughtful pinches. Lol. Alas, for now, I will continue to give little gifts with big thoughts. Anyway, back to Christy and pets... she shared two ideas on what to give someone who lost a dog - Maggie's Light candles and Custom Pup socks (both make wonderful pinches anytime for dog lovers). For little kids (who are we kidding - adults would love it too) she recommends the book, "Dog Heaven".
So I followed Christy's recommendation and sent my friend Janet a Maggie's Light candle. Janet was so sad over Bandit's death. She hadn't even planned on being Bandit's mother at first but a friend of hers was not able to keep him full time. Janet had offered to babysit him whenever her friend couldn't care for him. It wasn't long before Bandit became one of Janet's children and was living with her full time. It was just mean to be. She cared so much for Bandit that when it was time for him go, she wrote him a letter. In the letter she asked him to go find my dad, her dad and our other bestie's dad. I wish I could have flown to CA just to hug her because I felt her deep sadness. I checked in with her over the next few days and was glad to know that she had been reading quotes in order to feel better. She shared some with us in a group text. "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Coincidentally, the custom candle I bought for her had that exact quote as an option to be engraved on the dog tag. My note told her to light the candle whenever she needed some Bandit time and I hoped it brought her comfort.
In searching for more ideas on unique thoughtful pinches that would be appropriate for situations like this, I went onto Pinterest to see what was being shared. Lockets that can contain either ashes or hair from the pet's remains are available for sale as are many sweet quotes engraved on plaques and headstones or sewn onto blankets. The site had many examples of these wonderful ways to commemorate pets. However, these items should probably be purchased by the owner - it's very thoughtful but a little too personal. I did run across a pin that fell under the Pet Grieving section during my Pinterest search. In a grieving woman's post, she advises us to use eight phrases to replace the two words, "I'm sorry." 1. That sucks. 2. My heart breaks for you. 3. I am so sad to hear. 4. You are in my thoughts 5. Sending you hugs. 6. There are no words. 7. I am here for you. 8. He/She will be missed. It's probably a good idea to keep these phrases in mind when someone shares their pet loss with us. Nowadays, stores that carry greeting cards have within their Sympathy section, cards for pet loss. This is the sign of the times. Many households have pets these days; which means that many households will miss, at some point, a family pet, after he/she dies. A card or text that contains one of those eight phrases could bring a lot of comfort to someone that you care about.
Every time I read a Facebook or Instagram post about someone losing their four-legged buddy, I get choked up. I know that my dog's days are numbered and I know that the hole he will leave behind when he dies is going to be very big. He was our first "child"; the child given to me in order to stall having two-legged children. Hopefully this gave you some ideas in case you may need one. I'm glad there are ways we can comfort those who lose their pets.