Psalm 68:6a - God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing.
To some people pets are seen only as creatures that eat the food you provide for them and let them out back to take care of their business. But to many of us we form a close bond with our pets. In some cases they are even seen as family.
Pets are important to those who live alone. In this case, they are much more than just companions. They fill an important void – to love and be loved.
Pets are easy to love. Cats love to cuddle and the sound of them purring sets off a smile on our lips that spreads to our heart.
Dogs, with their tails wagging, will bring a favorite toy and drop it at your feet waiting for you to play with them. And taking them for a walk not only provides exercise for them, but for you as well. In my case, I might otherwise stay in my apartment all day not wanting to go out, but my dog has needs. So out I go four times a day.
Even birds are fun to have around. When I had two finches they knew exactly when it was time to feed them. They would react to the sound of the refrigerator opening and begin to squawk up a storm.
Whatever pet you decide on you can bet that they will show you a side to love you may never have seen before. I believe that when God spoke in the Bible that he puts the lonely into families he may have also included pets.
The difficulty that comes is when a pet dies. It can be devastating to the owner. And as pet-loss.net states in their article, "Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss," remember: "People who don't understand the pet/owner bond may not understand your pain. All that matters, however, is how you feel. Don't let others dictate your feelings: They are valid, and may be extremely painful. But remember, you are not alone: Thousands of pet owners have gone through the same feelings."
Losing a pet can put the owner into some of the same steps of grief you can experience as the loss of someone you know. I say this not to lessen the loss of a friend or loved one, but to help you understand that losing a pet can cause grief.
And if your pet has been very ill you may have to take the painful step to have them put to sleep. I had to do this with one of my dogs, and it was really hard but in the end it was the most loving thing I could do.
After a season of mourning some may choose to not ever get another pet. While others, choose to find a new companion to join their family.
Have you or someone else you know ever lost a pet? How did it affect you? I look forward to your comments.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.