I was extremely fortunate growing up to have always had pets around me. Both my parents knew how important it was for their kids to help raise a pet and the responsibilities that go along with.
I have had two dogs in my life (other than Bailey), and four cats other than my two. Our first dog Katie was a Border Collie/Australian Cattle Dog mix. We actually didn't know her breed until she was about ten years old, when someone passing by knew what her mix was. This dog was an AMAZING companion. She was very protective of us as kids, and was always well behaved. My parents did everything they could when Katie got sick, and helped make her last few months as enjoyable as possible. Sometimes I think I see some Katie traits in Bailey, which makes me unbelievably happy. My parents' current pooch is Sophie, who is an Australian Cattle Dog. She is hilarious and has this great ability to avoid eye contact. She's actually diabetic, and requires two shots of insulin a day (my parents are extremely committed pet owners). I've included a picture of her below.
One other pet that deserves honorable mention is Amy. Amy was my cat while I was living at home. My parents brought her home from the Ottawa Humane Society when I was seven years old. She passed away this past September. I've included her picture here- unfortunately talking about her is not as easy as I'd like it to be. I suppose when you lose a pet, especially one that has been by your side for over 15 years, you have a difficult time soaking up the fact that they are no longer there. Amy's story was featured on Alone to Home back in November- writing in her story really helped the healing process for me at the time. Putting her life into words was incredibly therapeutic, and gave Amy a few moments in the spotlight. I hope to write more about her here in the coming months. 
12/29/2011 05:04:58 am

Pet grief is a very unique challenge that only pet owners can understand. I am truly sorry for you loss and no no words will bring comfort but I hope that the memories of the great 15 years eventually outshine the sorrow of loss.
(I personally struggle with this almost every day).

12/29/2011 10:08:55 pm

Sophie looks a regal as ever in this picture. I like the little snowflakes on her head. She's so pretty.

So hard to loose a pet - I remember loosing our family dog, Millie, and I don't want to deal with that ever again.


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