Often times we as humans decide to adopt a pet.
Dogs, cats, pigs, lizards, ferrets – the list can go on!
Animal companionship is shown to lower blood pressure and even prolong life.
I have seen firsthand how pet therapy affects those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as with those with special needs and other medical challenges. They do wonders for the regular folks too.
About 14 years ago my good friend adopted this amazingly sweet pup on the fourth of July.
His name was Pete and we called him Pete the Sweet.
His chances of a long life were not great as he had a host of medical problems and kennel cough. However, Pete beat all of the odds and became the big brother of the family as they went on to adopt or acquire 5 other dogs.
But Petey was first.
His smiling face, soft, fuzzy body and the “harf harf” bark became the back drop for a visit.
As he aged he had problems with his hips, his vision and his hearing.
His mama loved him so much she would let him out and then if she wasn’t outside with him, would go bring him back up the stairs when he completed his business and his tour of the yard.
They talked about putting a ramp onto the porch so he could go in and out as he pleased.
Yes Pete was well loved.
I talk of him in the past tense as he finally crossed that Rainbow Bridge.
Our hearts are sad and the tears keep flowing.
The support on my friend’s Facebook page is overwhelming.
So many people loved that dog and she is a fabulous person.
I even changed my profile photo to one of the boy and Pete about 2 years ago.
To say that Pete was a family member is an understatement.
In the beginning it was Pete, then his brother Walter joined him.
Bootsy, Walter’s sister lived across the street, however she kept visiting and eventually ended up staying too.
Then Chunky and Pepper joined the party.
Supposedly there would be no more dog in their house. I mean 5 is a lot!
All well cared for house dogs and the mommy is OCD so clean was going to happen no matter what!
A few months ago, Pete got another sister in the form of Bella Bunny.
He was thrilled as he seemed to love most dogs and a few cats.
He was always barking. If someone moved, he barked to let them know to set down as he wanted to make sure all of his humans were together.
We have all said on many occasions, “Pete stop barking!”
I wish we could tell him that again.
They were fortunate the vet came to their home to deliver the “shot” to finally give him the peace he truly needed.
Everyone was home with him when he crossed over.
I have noticed more and more how people choose to do this over taking their pet somewhere.
It is so sweet to have them at home, surrounded by loved ones and familiar things, when they finally leave the planet.
Although it is hard, we know he is better off with no more pain and able to run again and bark at whatever he wants!
Selfishly I wish I could have had one more cuddle, one more lick from my buddy, but I am thankful I was just with him only a few weeks ago.
After talking with my friend I knew it was a matter of time.
It still doesn’t make it any easier.
I know when I walk into her house I will greet all the babies as I always do.
I also know the water works will start because they got Pete shortly after they moved into that house and he was one of the first to shove his way to you so he could get first loves.
It won’t be the same.
When someone we love dies we mourn that person and it takes us a while to get through it.
You never get over it but getting through it take times.
It is no different with animals who have become a part of our household.
For Pete, his humans were his mom, dad and big brother.
That was the “immediate” family.
Of course there is a host of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are also grieving the loss of our beloved Petey.
So for all you animal lovers out there, give a hug or scratch to you babies.
You never know when it will be the last time you get to love them up.
Please do so often and with joy.
I know the tears will fall onto my pillow and I will wake up tomorrow and think I will get to see him in a few days.
Then I will remember that he has now gone on and crossed that Rainbow Bridge.
I like to think he is playing with his doggy cousins and pain free.
To my friend and her family, my heart cries with you and I know this pain.
I wish I could take it away, but I know it is part of the process of grief and you would never have it any other way.
Until we meet again, have fun chasing your friends and barking yourself horse!
I love you Sweet Pete with the Fuzzy Feet.
P.S. I urge anyone who is thinking about to adopt a dog or cat from your local shelter!