Pet Loss - saying goodbye to old friends


We're animal lovers - that is a common thread that binds us. For those of us that have chosen to make caring for animals our lifes work and for those of us that can't imagine life without pets - grief at the loss of a pet or pet/client is a very real thing.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard "but its only a dog" or cat or snake (whatever) from a non-animal person - our grief somehow diminished because we mourn an animal. The loss of a beloved friend - regardless of species, leaves a ragged hole in your heart. Time will soften the edges of grief, dull the pain and hopefully leave the good memories intact - the hard part is doing the time.

In Memorium: Mr Cat

We lost one of my favorite patients Friday. I got the call just after we had opened the clinic to a particularly busy morning. Several emergencies and a heavily booked appointment schedule and non-stop phones made for a very chaotic few hours. I didn't have time to react to the time to cry. Instead the busy morning went on - other pets, other people had immediate needs. I was just kind of numb - Mr. Cat was dead, and I didn't have time to cry.

Well, I'm crying now..he was a great cat. One of those lanky, scruffy fighters that just has to patrol the boundaries of his world..duking it out with any animal foolish enough to enter his territory. He spent a considerable amount of time hospitalized for battle wounds..sometimes we were sure he couldn't make it..but home he'd go..a few more gladiator scars trailing through his orange tabby fur - that loopy grin in place.

We thought he'd die in battle. Instead we lost him to the heartworms so prevalent in our tidewater area. I hate it.

Michal Justis


Tribute to an exceptional Greyhound


(4/3/1993 - 09/03/2004)

Bragging about Zeus is not my intention,

But, now when I think, I would like to mention;

His power and strength, grace and affection,

always willing to please any given direction.

He didn’t have one negative habit,

Yet some might frown, ‘cause he caught a rabbit!

The pride in his prance when he brought it to me,

showed what he was trained for, what a rare sight to see.

When I was sad he would bring me his toy,

amazed at this sight, turned my sadness to joy.

His eyes, he didn’t only use them to see,

They were his way, of speaking to me. … 

to me they did speak every day of his life,

sometimes they said happy,

sometimes they screamed strife.

Although some might think these words are my fable,

I was witness to Zeus, he was smart, and so able.

Words can’t express the sorrow I feel, 

he was one of few, in my life, who was real.

The mutual bond we had for each other,

makes it hard right now, to think of another.

I fight every day to think of the good,

then my heart finds the places where he once stood.

Mourning for him hasn’t come to an end, 

“good-by”?  that’s too little, for a such a dear friend.

My only wish I hope and pray, t

o help him cross on that fateful day,

through my tears he heard the words I would often say. . .

“It’s okay Zeus, its okay.”


Only God can create such a wonderful creature, I learned from Zeus, he was my teacher.      



Missing You Sugar   

I miss you Sugar, and all that you were.

Maggie sitting with you in the yard,

as she combed out your fur.

I miss the long nights,

as Maggie held you to her side,

As the rumble of thunder made you tremble inside.

I miss the look on your face, as Skeeter taunted you so.

Wanting to bite her so bad but dreading us saying “NO!”

And most of all dear Sugar I miss the way you made Maggie smile

And now in dog heaven, as you enjoy eating that perfect bone

I know you are waiting for your sister to come home.                                                  




There is grief support available at Rainbow Bridge as well as other sites found online. The Rainbow bridge is the oldest and probably the dearest to many animal peoples hearts. It is often said now among those that lose their beloved fur friends, that those loved ones have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.  

Last edited 12/31/07