A blog by the friendly folks at Midland Humane Coalition
A blog by the friendly folks at Midland Humane Coalition
Coping with Pet Loss
A friend of my owner’s came to visit our home last week. She was very sad and upset because her dog had died. That right there was enough to make her sad and upset, but she was also upset because someone had said to her, “the dog was old; it was for the best.”
“For the best?” I can’t think of one good thing about losing me.
My owner’s friend went on to say that another person had advised her to “pull herself together” since, after all, it was just a dog.
“Just a dog?” What does that mean? I wondered.
My owner buys me toys and special treats. She trims my nails and brushes my teeth. I ride in the car and sleep in her bed. She tells me every day how much she loves me. I’m special! Anyone who says that I am “just a dog” is barking up the wrong tree in my backyard.
But this did get me thinking about when a pet dies. What should my owner do when I go to the Rainbow Bridge? She will miss me terribly. I am her family.
Together, we read some books and talked to other people. We came up with some ideas that may help get past those initial weeks when grief is so severe on to days of happy memories of the life shared with someone special, someone like me —Wheels
Wheels died unexpectedly on August 1, 2018 and his loss was overwhelming to his owner.
Remember, it is okay to cry and to grieve for a lost pet. Unlike many relationships, you have spent every day with a pet and cared for them as you would a child. Loosing them is life-changing.
During this initial period, try to surround yourself with family and friends who share a love of animals and sympathize with your sadness. Avoid sharing your loss with those who do not understand the relationship between people and pets. Although they have no intention of being callous, they simply may be unable to relate to your pain.
Often memorializing the pet brings comfort. One person shared that she keeps all pet’s collars and hangs them on the Christmas tree each year as a reminder of the special bond they shared. Some people plant trees or flowers. Others install yard art or statues in the back yard where the animal played and sunned.
For children who have no understanding of death itself, the loss can be frightening as well as heartbreaking. Corinne Demas, author of “Saying Good-bye to Lulu,” said “I’ve found that writing about loss is one of the best ways to begin the healing process. Many children have shown me their own stories and poems about pets and people whom they’ve lost. Others have expressed themselves through art, while some children take comfort in simply sharing their feelings with a sensitive listener.” She added that if children are very young, writing stories and drawing pictures is a project the family can do together.
If you have a friend or loved one who has lost a pet, here are some tips you might keep in mind:
There are a number of books available that deal with losing a pet. Some are written for pet owners of any age, while others especially for children.
If you have children and pets, having one or two of the following books on hand may be a good idea:
“Dog Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant
“I’ll Always Love You” by Hans Wilheim
“Paw Prints in the Sky” by Warren Hanson
“Saying Good-bye to Lulu” by Corinne Demas
“The Tenth Good Thing About Barney” by Judith Viorst
People and their pets form a very strong bond. The joy they bring to our lives is all that can make up for the sorrow of losing them.
Here are some tips to help keep your furry family member in tip top shape, especially with the forth coming holidays that will be filled with company and parties.
Brush it! Start a home routine of good grooming habits when your puppy is new to your home. If you have a rescue, start slowly and time will usually make a good brushing something your dog will look forward to. Gentle brushing feels good, keeps the hair from matting and distributes the oils in your dog (and cat’s coat) just as it does in your own hair.
Bath time? Some dogs take to it, others not so much.
Don’t overlook their teeth. Brushing with a soft brush or finger brush and a pet approved toothpaste helps prevent tooth and gum problems.
Nails may need trimming, too. You can do this yourself or rely on the groomer if you are unsure about cutting them, but make sure they do not get too long as this causes problems with splayed toes, broken nails, etc.
Follow these simple rules and your four to six weeks visit to the professional groomer will be easier on everyone, and sometimes less expensive. Groomers often charge extra for a matted dog.
Her most important home grooming tip! Brushing! Especially if you have a long-haired dog. It is so important to brush them. And if you bathe them or let them play in the pool or water as a summertime activity, please blow them dry and brush them out. Otherwise, their coat will mat, an uncomfortable situation for your pet.”
You can find the little red barn at 1801 SCR 1101, Midland 79706, behind the Booze Barn off Highway 307. Several groomers await to greet your dog and give them a delightful spa experience. Call Doodle's Grooming at (432) 528-0306.
RESCUE STORY: DAHLIA THE DOORKNOCKER
While we cannot rescue every cat and dog, we do our best to make a positive, life changing difference to the pets that come into our care. This is Dahlia's story.
We named her Dahlia.
Dahlia was so thankful to be off the streets and in the care of humans again. We tried to find her previous owners, but had no luck.
We started the vetting process so Dahlia can find a new home soon - vaccinations, microchipping, and surgery.
Everything was going well. Until the last and very crucial step : the Spay Surgery. In her past life, it seemed Dahlia had already had puppies.
Before she could be put up for adoption, she would need to be spayed. (All MHC rescues are spayed and neutered to prevent further reproduction as there are already too many homeless pets in Midland.)
An Unexpected Life-Threatening Emergency
When Dahlia came back to MHC, she did not seem to be herself. There seemed to be some complications that arose from her surgery. We immediately brought her over to the emergency hospital so she can be treated.
She spent a few days there so they can closely monitor her condition and aid in her recovery.
Had we not done that, Dahlia probably would have passed.
Thanks to our quick-thinking and fast-acting staff, Dahlia received the emergency care that she needed in time. She is now on the road to recovery.
Soon, Dahlia will be available for adoption.
DONATE FOR DAHLIA
Sometimes with great vet care, comes great vet bills. We never know what to expect with each pet we rescue.
Dahlia's vet care ran us up a hefty sum: $5,382.51
Thankfully, we had resources to get her this crucial emergency care.
Please donate so that we can replenish our pet vet funds and be ready and available to help out the next pet in need!
Dahlia's Vet Bill
NOTES FROM RESCUE LIFE is a blog series where we will be sharing some of our rescue stories and our day-to-day challenges & successes at the Midland Humane Coalition Adoption Center(inside PetSmart) and The Joe and Van Mabee Animal Rescue Center (our new rescue facility).
Depending on how you look at this, this could either be a sad or happy rescue tale. We choose to look on the bright side (and use this as a cautionary tale for pet owners with young kittens).
We were able to save 2 little kittens. Their names are Dottie & Dice.
In mid-July, we rescued a cat and her litter of six from the City shelter.
At first, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The momma cat and her kittens all looked and behaved as normal and healthy cats should.
We set them up in a foster home for their safety until we can get them all vaccinated and fully vetted. Everything seemed to be going well for the bunch.
However, after a while, they started showing signs of illness. We immediately took them to Legacy Animal Emergency Hospital to get them checked. They were diagnosed with FPV -- Feline Panleukopenia Virus, a highly contagious, life-threatening infectious disease in cats.
They were treated and prescribed meds to help them fight the disease. There is no cure or medications capable of killing the virus. Intensive care and treatment are critical to support the cat’s health until its own body and immune system can fight off the virus. Without this, most (90%) afflicted would not survive.
The fact that they were stray, unvaccinated young cats made them susceptible and increased their risk of catching this deadly illness. Kittens have high mortality rates.
Fortunately, in this case, two kittens managed to survive. Though we lost the other four, we are grateful that all our efforts to help this group did not end in vain.
Dottie & Dice are now happy, healthy and extremely playful little kittens. We will get them fully vetted and ready for adoption.
The only way to ensure cats are protected is to get them vaccinated for FPV. This is a nasty but preventable disease. PLEASE GET YOUR CATS VACCINATED. Consult a vet.
WE APPRECIATE DONATIONS
With rescue work, we never know what situations we will have to deal with each day. Having a steady flow of funds enables us to be ready for whatever challenges we may encounter as we help cats & dogs out of desperate situations. Help us continue to help more pets like Dottie and Dice! Thank you!
Hello! Welcome to our blog, pet lovers! We hope to share some helpful information regarding pet care, health and wellness here. Stay tuned for updates!
Enhanced Adoption Center
4206 West Loop 250 N
Midland, TX 79707
PO BOX 53213
Midland, TX 79710
HOURS: M - S: 12pm - 6pm
SUN: 12pm - 5pm
Adoption Center: 432-557-3405