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No more pets
June 5, 2009 - Jim Smith
Last week I wrote in my Sunday column in The Parkersburg News and Sentinel about having to put down our 16-year-old cat because of his failing kidneys and how difficult it is to say goodbye to a pet.
I was both amazed and appreciative of the e-mails and comments I received from friends, coworkers and strangers, expressing their condolences and support.
There is little doubt that as a society we have made our pets a vital part of our families. For the most part they are treated with the same love and care we give our human family members ... and in some cases maybe even better.
We cannot understand or tolerate those who abuse pets and we treat such criminals with the same disgust as a murderer, rapist or pedophile.
Numerous people have asked if we intend to get another pet and shake their heads knowingly when I tell them "no, it's too hard to let them go when the time comes." After all, over the last 27 years, we have had one of two cats for 26 years. We had to put down our then-teenaged daughter's first cat when it contacted cancer at 10 years old.
The inquirers understand, but almost immediately respond, "You'll miss not having a pet and will change your mind."
Such is the tie we have with our four-legged friends. We mourn them, but unlike losing a close friend or family member, we can get another pet to help fill the void ... an interesting concept.
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