Judy’s pair at Pet’s Corner

Coping with the loss of a beloved pet

There is help at hand – a new friend!

A subject we all fear is the end of a pet’s life. Starting out as the adopted member, the hanger on, the lodger, they soon become our “friend”, the one that never answers back, the one we can swear at, tell secrets to whilst on a walking session, maybe in the belting rain, pouring our hearts out to the furry one on four legs. Saying “goodbye” is never an easy decision, one that has to be thought about deeply, sometimes on our own. Looking back over the special, good times – first treat, first ball, first collar and lead…

Somewhere, deep down within us, is the need for bonding with a four-legged friend, going as far back as the ancient Egyptians, worshipping cats and dogs as deities. Dogs and cats are sensitive to our feelings and emotions. It doesn’t matter how many you share your space with, they are loved and treated as a family member. They have a special place to sleep; wriggle down in between the kids on the couch, nick the piece of chicken off the BBQ!

Indeed, saying “goodbye” is a tragedy. Nurturing, loving them as we do. The final kindness to your friend is not easy, but it has to be done. Talking to your vet beforehand is a good idea. Your friend is poorly? Is it treatable? Unnecessarily suffering? Will it pull through? Will it survive? Once the decision has been made, it is not easy. Time is a traitor to us all, waiting for signs of improvement, waiting for a wag.

APAA - Pottering About ‘Pop-Up’
APAA – Pottering About ‘Pop-Up’

Our feline friends sometimes inexplicably disappear completely. It’s hard to face, but sometimes our pussycat pals have an uncanny, un-canine way of dealing with illness, sneaking off somewhere quietly.

Coming to terms with our loss is a difficult one. Everyone handles it in a different way. The “empty space” gives way to a heartfelt, tearful bereavement. But there is help at hand – a new friend, a different one. ‘He’ or ‘she’ becomes uniquely part of the puzzle. The joy in retrieving one’s feelings for our lost friend that has gone, replaced by a different beat of the drum. And fond memories remain. Don’t forget our abandoned friends are always looking for a new home!

Pop into APAA’s next infamous ‘Pop-Up’ at O Tasco in Senhora do Verde, Portimão, on Good Friday, April 15, from 12 noon to 3pm. Book lunch direct: 282 471769. There’s bound to be an Easter gift or a “just because” present. Go along and meet new people. It could be Wonderland! Don’t be late for this very important date! And check out Pet’s Corner!

APAA Charity Shops

Alvor: Dunas Complex, Monday-Saturday, 10.30am-2pm

Silves: Rua Garcia Elias 20, Monday-Saturday, 10am-2pm

Contact APAA, the Association for Protection of Animals Algarve, on email [email protected] or visit www.apaaportugal.com. Check us out on Facebook!