When you’re gone…

My apologies for missing the usual post yesterday. I was in Boston for the weekend to attend a funeral, and the air travel home on Sunday was writing-prohibitive. The airports were utterly bursting with people. The good news there was that Southwest’s flight attendants and gate crews were fantastic.

Finding the right words to cope with the loss of a loved one is difficult enough that I’ve been staring at the screen on and off since 8 am today. The loss was an eventuality, but it happened sooner and faster than expected. Most things were arranged in advance; some not. Amid everything that goes along with human traditions of grieving and funerals, any pets — in this case two — are silently in limbo.

We were able to find a home for the cockatiel fairly easily. The cat was a different story. Thankfully, a friend of the family was willing to give it a try. There are some behavioral issues with this cat that made it a difficult placement. Lots of the rescue groups are already overwhelmed or simply unable to deal with a special case.

So, what I’m asking all of you is to take the time to plan for your pets’ care in the event of an accident or illness that leaves you incapacitated or from which you do not recover. Whether it’s in your will or is simply an agreement with a friend or family members, please make sure your pets are going to be able to find a new home. If at all possible, provide a way for there to be some funds immediately available for care. Transport costs, food costs, veterinary costs, etc. all need to be paid for even if everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Often, a pet is a final link to the recently deceased. If nothing else, a pet will feel grief, too, and may need extra care and attention during the transition. Make sure that each pet is provided for. Also make sure that your wishes for your pets care are documented as well. They deserve no less.

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2 responses to “When you’re gone…

  1. Trena Van Hooser

    Great article. I have to admit that the care of my pets if something should happen to me/us wasn’t something I had ever thought about before. And it is so important. Thank you.

  2. Chris Miner

    So sorry for your loss, Hutch. Even when you know it’s coming, it’s still difficult, and grieving is necessary. Let yourself feel the emotions as they come. It’s important.

    Sage advice about making plans for care of our pets, in the event we go first. Truthfully, it’s not something I’ve ever even considered. I expect to outlive Ellie, but there’s always the unplanned; isn’t there? We will take your words to heart.