Losing a pet.
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Losing a pet.

Some angels have paws instead of wings.

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Losing a pet.
Teela Sammons

Growing up my family never put much value on pets. If we didn't have the accommodations for them then it was simple. We let them go to a new home. My relationship with a pet was just that. I didn't understand the value that they brought to my life until I was in my early 20's and adopted two cats.

These two boys gave me affection and eventually, my view of a pet changed from something you own to being a part of the family. I moved from Texas and had to say goodbye to the dearly beloved fur babies that had grown to be like children to me.

Once more I moved and found that my fiance's dog was the perfect family pet. She truly changed my outlook on how I viewed animals and the bond we shared was monumental compared to the other pets that had come and gone throughout my life. We took walks together and became a happy human/dog pair.

I wouldn't trade the precious four years I had with my beloved Haley for anything in the world. Some people view pets as strictly property and nothing more. Some even wonder why they are allowed to live alongside humans and be treated as a family member. I was one of these people until Haley stole my heart.

Losing her to Lymphoma was probably the worst thing I have experienced in my life. We had grown so very close and I deemed her as my daughter. The ache that is left within my heart makes me feel empty and longing for her furry face to peek around a corner somewhere to see what I'm up to.

My view of her will always be that of the beautiful relationship we had. Her life was too short with us. I've found myself depressed and sad over her loss even though she passed at home with the family. I'm happy that her final moments were here instead of in a hospital with doctors trying to revive her.

Her last moments will forever be within my mind. Playing them over and over again trying to work the scene in hindsight and think of what could have happened differently. I lost a very dear friend in Haley. I don't think I'll ever get over it instead, I'll learn to live with that loss.

Grieving for a pet is much the same as grieving for a human family member. The stages of grief are the same, but there is one element that is different. With people, they get to decide their treatment so long as they are old enough. With animals, the pet parent has to make all the decisions. The pet involved doesn't get to decide their treatment plan because they cannot talk to us. This has been a huge part of the grief process for my fiance and me.

Haley didn't get to decide on what was best for her. She had to go along with whatever we decided for her. Ultimately she paid the price for a decision that we thought best. In the end, the one treatment that was supposed to save her life was what brought about her passing. There is so much grief surrounded by the option we chose. But again, in hindsight so many things are different.

Haley will be forever missed and her happy memories will remain with me for the rest of my life. It's what gets me through the bad days when I find myself down about losing her. In the end, I have to remind myself that we gave her the best life that we could and did everything that we thought was right in treating her. She was an angel that graced our lives for a blessed five years even though I was only part of four of those.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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