When you’re an animal lover, like any normal human should be, you get attached to your pets fairly quickly. Your (human) family may seem to revolve around “when will we be home to let the dog out” or “who’s going to be home at dusk to lock up the coop”. That’s the love and commitment we show our animals. They become part of our routine and we love them- that’s why most of us consider them family. No matter if they’re feathered, furry, slimy, or scaled, we love them unconditionally.
What truly stinks is that we outlive our pets- “stinks” being a true understatement.
The loss of a pet is difficult, the circumstance doesn’t matter. Most of us feel regret “why didn’t I spend more time with Fido?”, and some feelings of guilt “I knew I should have taken Henrietta to the vet”. The truth is, this is just how the circle of life works. And it’s hard. It’s reeeeeally hard.
We lost our first feathered pet yesterday. Actually, the little chick wasn’t even feathered yet- just a little ball of fluff- 5 days old. It was heartbreaking for my husband and I to bury such a tiny creature. I sobbed, uncontrollably, as we laid her to rest behind the chicken coop. (I’ll plead the 5th on whether or not tears were shed by my husband.) We dreaded telling our daughter when she got home from dance class.
This is the worst part about losing a pet- telling your children one of their beloved “family members” has passed.
Julia’s response shocked me and proved (yet again) that she is wise beyond her 12 years. She said “Well, at least we gave it a chance at life.” See, we hatched these babies ourselves. Well, not literally. We tracked down fertile eggs, gave them to our 2 silkie hens, watched them grow inside the eggs and our hens sat on them diligently for 21 days until we watched them peck their way into the world. Julia’s response was accurate. Had we never given our Momma hens those eggs, the baby would have never had a chance at life. The chick may have only been on earth for a few days, but the short life it had was wonderful. It wasn’t born in an incubator in a chick factory somewhere, it was born with its (surrogate) Mom and siblings!
“We gave it a chance at life” is a statement that keeps repeating in my head. This is so true with all animals. Whether you adopt, find them at a swap meet, buy pure blooded from a breeder, or take in a stray… we are giving them all a chance at life. We never know how long we have with them, so we try to cherish every moment.
Love on your pets just a little more tonight. Give them some treats. Spoil those babies rotten! You won’t regret it!
This blog is dedicated in loving memory of Pickles, our sweet little angel chick.