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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Pets suffer with their owners

There have been many times in my life when a companion animal has comforted me. A cat when I was depressed. A dog when I was sick. Even a Cavy when I was injured. I’ve grown so used to animals comforting me that I forget that animals need comfort, too.

A dear friend is in the hospital. Her husband seldom leaves her side. A house-guest willingly took over care for the two dogs, but they haven’t been the same without their owners in the house. One dog ran away and we tracked it for nearly an hour before he came trotting up to me. I was preferred over the bicycle coming toward him from the other direction.

Now I’m going over each morning to take him for a walk with my two dogs and to see that his older companion gets time in the park, gets her meds, and that both get fed, petted, and comforted. We forgot that as their master suffers, so do they.

Like our dogs, Louie and Molly are very attached to their owners. We laugh that our dogs love anyone who will pet them, but they want to be petted by the alphas who live with them. It is not just affection. It is security, discipline, order in their pack. And since humans are not generally as pack-oriented as dogs, it is easy to forget how a missing leader disrupts the life of the lowest in the household pecking order.

If you know someone who is ill or has difficulty caring for their pet due to age or absence, pitch in. That pet is suffering, too.