The loss of a dearly loved pet is so difficult for some people to understand. How many times have I heard, “Why are you so upset? It’s just an animal.” For me they are never just an animal. They are a companion who accepts me for me & can’t wait for me to come home no matter what kind of mood I am in. They sense when you are not feeling well too. Most of them have been around a lot longer than some friends or the men in my life too!

We just lost Sallie last week & I am having a hard time not crying all the time. No, we didn’t name her. She was a “rescue” animal from the SPCA just like all of my pets over the years & almost all of them arrived with names that they already knew. I am never quite sure who rescues who though. It makes me think of the Talking Heads song lyrics, “Did I find you or did you find me? This must be the place.”

Over the years, I have had many dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, lizards, frogs, fish, birds, turtles, chameleons and even a goat. Yes, I love all kinds of animals. Dogs & cats obviously hold a higher spot in my heart than some of the others. Even with so many pets, it doesn’t get easier over the years to lose a pet. It is especially difficult when it was so suddenly & unexpectedly. Within 24 hours, Sallie went from being happy, lively, greeting me at the back door, sitting at my feet while I worked on my computer, wagging her tail & following me around to being buried in the side yard under the banana trees-one of her favorite spots. We didn’t even have a chance to get her to the vets. Now her sister Sasha runs around the house looking for Sallie & crying. She is not interested in eating much or never wants to be alone.  I understand. Poor thing.

I miss Sallie very much. It just isn’t the same without her. By the way, did I mention that Sallie was a cat? She always thought she was a dog. It is interesting because we went to the SPCA in Annapolis, Maryland (where I had volunteered as teenager) to get a dog. There were no dogs available that day but as we were leaving we walked by a cat cage, Sallie reached out & tapped my daughter on the arm, as to say, “Hey, pick me and I’ll be your dog.” Sallie was liked by everyone, even those who said I hate cats. Sallie, you were very special in every way. Hope that you are having fun barking at lots of dogs, lizards & birds as they go by.

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