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Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

When a pet dies

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace D. Chong - The Freeman

Many of us have pets.

Over the years, my family has had many dogs of different breeds. At one time, we had a huge German Shepherd we called Boris, and a tiny Chihuahua we called Gloria.

Each time the doorbell would ring, Boris would put his paws on the upper part of the gate and look over it. On the other hand, Gloria would peep from the tiny space of the gate below and look under it.

One barked like a soprano and one barked like a basso. They were opposites in everything, but they were the best of friends. What a beautiful sight they made together!

* * *

When Boris died because of old age (he was 12), Gloria wouldn't eat and wouldn't bark. Eventually, she became sick herself and died a few weeks later.

My three sons grieved over the twin deaths. So I explained to them that every living thing - people and animals - will die at a certain time. For those of us who have pets, these loyal creatures are more than just animals, they are members of our family and our best friends - our BF.

Unfortunately, they cannot be our BFFs, because there is no forever between animals and people. Animals have short lives.

* * *

The joy of owning a pet goes hand-in-hand with the heartbreak of losing one because of different reasons: old age, illness, or accident. And that is very difficult.

In the last few years, we have streets dogs, one at a time. Right now, we have with us Attorney (that's her name!). She was named by one of my sons, who is an Attorney or a lawyer by profession.

Attorney is the first to greet us when we come home from work. On weekends, my son, the Attorney, would spend time talking to Attorney, the dog.

* * *

It's a beautiful friendship. Our dog wags her tail and yips softly; and my son coos and smiles his widest! Indeed, we look to our pets for comfort and companionship when we are stressed, tired, ill, upset, or simply feeling yucky.

And yet, at some point, they leave us. They die, and so we grieve.

But I believe that this grieving process can help us cope with other losses we may experience throughout life.

* * *

Right now, I am in grief.

I did not lose a pet; I lost something more. The newspapers announced that three-year-old Pamana, the Philippine Eagle cared for by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), was shot to death. She was one of only 400 of her kind (the biggest eagle in the world!) left in the country.

She was actually in the care of the PEF for two years because she was found with two gunshot wounds. PEF nursed her back to health and on June 12, they released her to freedom.

Then just last week, Pamana was shot again - this time, she did not survive.

* * *

Why would people shoot a helpless animal, especially our national bird? We may never know the answer, but we can all help - in our own little way - in stopping these cruel people from doing terrible things to animals.

How?

For one, we can discuss among friends and family (as often as possible) how important animals are in our lives.  Through these conversations, more people will be more aware that animals are God's creation. Therefore, they need to be cared for, not harmed or killed.

* * *

Do you have a pet? Please share with me how you care for him/her. My e-mail address: [email protected]; my website: http://leavesofgrace.blogspot.com.

ALIGN

ANIMALS

BUT I

GERMAN SHEPHERD

ONE

PAMANA

PHILIPPINE EAGLE

PHILIPPINE EAGLE FOUNDATION

QUOT

SO I

WHEN BORIS

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