Loss of a Pet. How much should we grieve?
Jem (Hooter) RIP
Dogs. They are very much on my mind at the moment. Firstly we lost our lovely dog Jem in July and we are still grieving. There was a discussion on BBC London Radio (Vanessa Feltz show) today about whether people should be allowed to take a whole week off work if their dog dies. Also, I keep being reminded from various sources that really we should 'get over it' and 'dogs only live a short time' and of course we 'shouldn't turn dogs into our children, they're only dogs....'. Needless to say most of these people either have never had
pets before in their lives, or they have children and can't imagine
other people loving anything as much as they love their kids. I am tempted to say to these people when they lose their elderly parents ' get over it, humans only live for 70 odd years, you should accept that' but I don't. This is what I feel. Grief should not be measured by assessing the value of the animal/person lost. Grief is the measurement of the sorrow felt by the person experiencing a loss of parent/spouse/friend/child/pet. Judging someone is not going to put a limit on thier grief although it may encourage them to repress it and only give vent to it in private.
I'd like to add that Jem was never our 'child' he was a dog, not just a dog, an exceptional dog to us. We should remember that we are all animals. Parents should remember that the protective kind of love they feel for their child that overwhelms them is after all an animal instinct. I respect the feelings that humans have for each other, why can't humans accept the love that some of us have for animals without thinking we have anthropomorphised them into substitutes for friends/parents/kids? Parents, if you lost your child you would grieve for the end of your days so give us dog lovers a break and let us grieve for our pets for a little while.