What It Means To Lose A Childhood Pet

What It Means To Lose A Childhood Pet

If you've ever lost a pet, you're familiar with the empty feeling you feel when they pass away. Here are a few things I continuously noticed after I lost my childhood pet.

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When I was surprised with my puppy when I was nine years old, I instantly fell in love. We grew up together. She was by my side through everything until she became sick. I never anticipated the pain that would follow. In the months after her death, I noticed my life would never be the same. You don't realize the impact your childhood pet leaves behind after they're gone.

1. Your house is a lot quieter

You miss the sound of them running around all the time, barking at the mailman, and the jingle from their dog tags.

2. You no longer have a sidekick beside you during everyday tasks

You are suddenly lonely when you go on walks because you no longer have to hold a leash.

3. You no longer have a cuddle buddy

There was nothing better than your dog snuggling up to you underneath a blanket in the cold weather.

4. You don’t have to share your meals anymore

I could always count on my dog to finish my scraps, share my meals, and clean up any food I happened to drop on accident.

5. Your passenger seat tends to be empty more often

My dog used to love car rides and sticking her head out of the window, enjoying the ride. Now, my passengers can't possibly be as adorable. (Sorry!)

6. You don’t get greeted at the front door

For years, I got used to hearing my dog leap out of bed and run to say hi as soon as I got home from school.

7. Your heart breaks when you have to stay goodbye

You're never prepared to let them go, and realize how much you miss them after they are gone.

8. You no longer have someone to grow up with

As I grew up, so did my dog; we both learned new things over the years.

9. You lose a best friend

A pet is always there for you whether they want to or not, they listen to you talk, lick your face when you're sad, and enjoy your happy moments alongside of you.

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Top 10 Cutest Cat Breeds

These cat breeds are super cute and underrated.
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It seems that the only breeds anyone can actually recognize are those of dogs, cats really don't get enough recognition. There is just as much of a variety of cat breeds as there are of dog breeds, almost anyway, and they deserve love and recognition as well. So, here are the top 10 cat breeds I've deemed as the absolute cutest!

1. Exotic Persian

Exotic Persian cats are one of the cutest breeds in my opinion. Theses are the squished faced cats. The cats that perpetually look grumpy and disappointed. They're also super high-maintenance and believe you're supposed to cater to their every whim. Which, to be fair, you are.

2. Scottish Fold

Scootish Folds are super adorable because they're very unique. They're ears fold over, making them always appear to be begging you for something. They also always look a little bit sad, which, of course, only makes you love them more.

3. Himalayan

Himalayan cats are just magnificent and so prestigious. These cats are fluffy, deserve the best, and expect nothing but the best.

4. British Shorthair

I'm not sure what it is about these cats that makes them so adorable, but my roommate has tried to describe them as "fat and sassy." - Delaney Pulice. She's not wrong. They're pretty chubby and look like they're just a little bit too good for you. In all honesty, what cat isn't too good for us?

5. Maine Coon

These cats are particularly wonderful because they can be giant. I mean, giant. These cats can grown into the sizes of large dogs, which, of course, if everything we could all ever ask for in a cat. Who wouldn't want a giant cat that could probably double as a pillow?

6. Persian

These cats are only a little bit different from Exotic Persians, but there's a difference. Persians tend to have less squished face than Exotics, but every cat is different. The one above is a Silver Persian. He had to eat his food off of a plate because his flat face couldn't fit in a cat food bowl.

7. Munchkin

These tiny little guys never really grow much. Their legs are perpetually short and stubby, making them the ideal cats, because, if you had a choice, wouldn't you want your cat to be either giant like a Maine Coon or tiny like a Munchkin cat? Of course you would.

8. Siberian

These cats are just generally beautiful. They have long, shiny, fluffy coats and are just pretty cats. Plus, they look super cuddly, like they might purr for hours if you brushed them.

9. British Longhair

Another just simply beautiful cat. When you see those posts online that say "This cat is prettier than I am," yeah, that's these cats. They have long, soft coats as well that they like to keep clean. And as all cats do, they look like they're just a little bit above us and we have to cater to them.

10. Ragdoll

Finally, we have Ragdoll cats. These cats look a bit like fluffier Siamese cats. Which, let's face it, Siamese cats aren't necessarily the cutest. However, if you just add a lot of fluff, because the fluffier the better, they become much cuter.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Branch

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The Grief Of Losing A Pet Is Like Losing A Child And It's Never Easy To Say Goodbye

When you've been best friends since middle school, it's hard to say goodbye.

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Losing a best friend is hard no matter what species they are. Friends are the family you get to choose and sometimes their deaths are worse than others. With pets, you're used to seeing them daily and they are the friends who love you more than their own lives. The loyalty of a pet surpasses those of human friends more than half the time. For those who can't have children, it feels like you've lost a child. They say don't blink and your child is an adult, it's the same with pets and their greying faces. I blinked and lost my best friend the next day. The last I saw him, he was sleeping in his doggie bed. People go through experiences differently and sometimes you pour that love into that animal or human then you lose them. Pet parents have the right to grieve as human parents.

My family lost our dog on April 2nd and he was around 15 years old. When I was in sixth grade, we were looking for a family dog. My brother and I had convinced my parents that we were ready for a dog. My mom had grown up with small dogs and my dad had grown up with large dogs. The compromise was that we would get a small dog because my other brother is afraid of dogs and it would make him uncomfortable due to him having Autism. We searched for months; we went to animal shelters. We knew we wanted a small dachshund, and we weren't going to compromise on that. Fast forward to the day we saw our dog. My cousin had told my mom that a friend of hers was giving away an adult dachshund. The dog came in and sat down next to my autistic brother then my brother started to pet him. From that moment, my mom knew that was our dog.

Losing a special dog like that is like being shot in the chest. I know that he's in a better place where he is running around as if he is a puppy again. I've lost a lot of pets over the course of my life, but that dog has been a constant in my life. Having my family and my dog is like having my security blanket and now part of that blanket is torn. No matter what people say, it's okay to grieve over a lost pet. People go through experiences differently and sometimes you pour that love into that animal or human then you lose them. Pet parents have the right to grieve as human parents. I wished could have hugged him one last time.

I know he was old, but up until a month ago, he was doing fine. He was eating and walking to the best of his ability. He was there to greet me every time I would come home from school, dance, and Orlando. He was my snuggle bug when I went through my first break up and my first/only broken engagement. He was there when we lost my grandma, so he's been with us through a lot of heartbreak. He was the one that we could pick up to lay in our lap and he'll let us pet him as long as we want. He would bark at bikes and random strangers in the backyard. He was a wannabe guard dog with a heart of gold.

I will say this once more, It's okay to grieve over a lost pet and the grief can be as strong as losing a child.

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