|In Loving Memory: Sophie Osgood 3/15/2011|
But what I really believe makes animals have "human" qualities, I never saw leave her. Right up until the end, she knew who I was, trusted me, and loved me unconditionally. What's more human than love? Than trust?
Because I had chosen to be there when she had actually passed, I believe that this effected me more than if I had just sent my father to do it. I felt strongly that not only was she my dog and this was my responsibility, but I also didn't want her to be alone or scared - call it silly if you want, but I didn't want my dog to feel that just before she left.
As she fell asleep in my arms and slipped away under my hands on the vet's table, and her body was placed in a box for us to take home and bury in the backyard, I could only think that a) I would remember this for the rest of my life, and b) this was the way to we had to do it. We brought her home, wrapped her in all of her favorite blankets, and laid her to rest by a pine tree in the backyard, all sitting around a fire. We then went inside to talk about her, memories we had, our favorite things about having her in our lives. If this doesn't sound like a "human" funeral, I don't know what does.
Sorry to disagree, but I believe that not only can animals possess human qualities beyond simple companionship, but that mourning their loss is equivalent to mourning the loss of a family member. Google "dealing with pet death" (as I did when returning to my Boston apartment) and you will see countless resources on how the pet grieving process is to be taken seriously: that your feelings do matter despite what people say.
And if you are one of those people who disregards sadness over the loss of a pet - not only do I not respect your lack of compassion, but I pity your lack of this experience. As painful as it was to say goodbye to my animal, I would not take back one moment that I had with her.
Rest In Peace, Sophie Osgood. 3/15/2011