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While Your Pet Is Still With You...

by Stacy Cole

As a pet owner, I feel I must share this information with you.  I don't just have pets, I have pets that are family members.  A sad day came upon my family on April 12th, 2013.  We had to put down our beloved Siamese/Tabby at the age of sixteen.  

When that painful moment came, I had many so many regrets.  Why hadn't I recorded more of his hilarious antics with my phone?  Why hadn't I done an ink print of his gigantic paws?  Why didn't I have some photos of us taken together? It was too late for those things with my sweet cat but it's a lesson I've shared with other pet lovers only to find that they hadn't thought of these things either.  

Pet loss grief is real and it's painful.  It's been 23 days since I said goodbye to my friend of 16 years and even though each day gets a little easier, the pain is not even close to over.  We spend every day with these animals and they love us unconditionally.  To not grieve their death would be unimaginable and unrealistic.  Of course, everyone grieves differently and some may not grieve at all.  These are just a few tips to capture special moments while you still can.   

I share this as a pet lover.  Take those photos and videos.  Go to a craft store, buy some Sculpey clay (make sure it's non-toxic) and make those LIVING paw impressions.  You'll cherish them for years to come, trust me.  I have one now but it was done after my Sammy had passed...somehow, it doesn't feel the same.  Have a friend that takes good photos come over and take some pictures of you with your furry family member.  Buy a non-toxic ink pad (at the craft store) and do a living paw print.  

Better yet, do these clay and ink prints when they're puppies and kittens and then when they're older so you can see the progression.  And, for heaven's sake...when you see your pet doing those crazy things they do, turn on that camera and record it so you'll have it to look back on when you need it.  

Learn from my regrets.  Take some MORE pictures of your pets, even if it seems a little crazy, at the time.  You will cherish these things when it's time to say goodbye.