As I'm writing this, my family is in the midst of grieving the loss of our fourteen-and-a-half year-old cat we affectionately named Luckie Bear.
Luckie had been sick for several weeks and we feared the worst.
After multiple trips to the vet, and several medicines and shots, we reached the difficult conclusion that his time had ended.
To some, the idea of grieving over a pet may seem trivial.
In light of those who are grieving over the loss of a human, I suppose it is.
But we know that GOD loves His animals and keeps a watchful eye on each of them. Recall the words of Jesus:
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them...
(Matt. 6:26 NIV)
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
(Matt. 10:29 NIV)
Luckie was born a few months before my wife Holly and I married.
At the time I was living with my parents (we married very young) and our cat at the time had given birth to kittens.
Holly picked one of the kittens as hers. That one was Luckie Bear.
She asked me if she could have him and I told her that, if he was still alive by the time we got a house, he could come live with us. And he did.
I'm not a cat person.
I prefer dogs, and I would often tell people that Luckie and I had an understanding: he wouldn't mess with me and I'd allow him to continue living with us.
But I must admit, I did get attached to Luckie.
He was a good cat, very quiet, clean and had a laid back personality.
I miss him.
Most of all, I hurt for the rest of my family who misses him more than I do.
Any time I go through something like this or the much more significant loss of a human loved one, I am reminded and encouraged by the promise GOD gives that one day there'll be no more tears, sorrow, crying, or death.
No more saying goodbye.
We can and do learn a lot from pets, much of which translates to our human relationships and even our relationship with GOD.
- Every pet is different—enjoys certain things, dislikes others. If we want the pet to enjoy being with us and near us, we need to find out what they like and do that for them.
- Pets are loyal. They love us when we're kind and when we're not. Sure, they may run away for a bit, but they'll come back before long.
- Pets are forgiving. I need forgiveness and so do you. Let's extend it to other people.
- Pets are warm and cause us to smile. They bring us joy and leave us fealing better than we did before they were near us.
- We must invest time in order to both take care of our pets and build a stronger relationship with them. Many pets, especially dogs, need exercise. They crave attention and will do anything to be right next to you. My rottweiler used to sit down literally on top of you, in your lap, just to be close.
- Losing a pet is very difficult, but in the long run, the memories and fun times make it worth the pain of losing.
If you're an animal lover, or pet owner, what lessons have you learned from them? How did you heal after the loss of a beloved pet?