Fellow pet lovers will fully understand how our animals are part of our family and as such we care about them and look after them when they are ill and often stay with them right until they pass away.
I remember fondly one cat, the runt of the litter lived to a ripe old age of 18.5 years against all odds. She was diagnosed with cancer and I could ease her pain and prevent any unnecessary suffering.
As my local vet explained recently often our animals have clever ways of bringing to our attention that something is wrong by doing something out of character when they are unwell. My own cat did just that and quickly got my attention and giving me the opportunity to get her to the vet and be treated thankfully without a serious operation, but the first few days I was reminded just how special a place she has in our family unit.
I often accompany friends to the vets if they have to have a pet put to sleep. It’s a horrible thing to have to do but sometimes we have to make that choice when a pet is seriously ill and too old to carry on fighting.
As with humans I remind the owners to remember the joy the animal has brought and how well they looked after it giving it a wonderful loving home… and really that’s all of us can ask for.
What we mustn’t forget is that for some people living a lone their pet is also a real companion and the void left is huge.