It's amazing how people get so close to their pets. These animal entries into households become just as valid as members of the family as that one crazy aunt out in Peoria. Sometimes, this treasured relative is something as simple as a child's first goldfish, a simple pet bought to teach responsibility.
So simple, but so close to the heart of the child that upon death, the goldfish is sent into the next life by an ornate ceremony, if a bit silly, with the special ceremonial flush and all.
What, then, is the exponential increase on this attachment when dealing to larger animals? Is there one? Or is it simple to say that one's favorite pet is one's favorite pet, and its passing is just as traumatic either way?
The writer of this article isn't sure. She's lost two treasured pets within the past year, and is having troubles letting both animals go. The first, a pesky white leghorn hen (yes, a chicken, if you have a problem with it, bite me) died when a hawk decided that she was to be its next meal--her neck was broken in an instant.
The second was the treasured family golden retriever. She came into the household on very amusing circumstances, and left this world knowing that each and every one of her owners loved her deeply. She will be missed and always remembered by the way she came into the family: a puppy too frolicsome to stay with her original owners, swept away into a luxurious life by a 12 year old girl who just happened to ride the same bus as the boy who once owned her.
Rest in peace, girl, wherever you may be.