Thursday, March 24, 2011

When caring for your critter comes to an end

When Michelle Afflitto called and told me about the loss of her sweet dog, Cassie, I was deeply touched by the story she shared of their journey together.

Cassie had been faced with many illnesses – way more than any critter should have to endure in one lifetime. Yet the spirit of this wonderful dog refused to give in to the physical challenges. She just kept going…until a few days ago.

Michelle said she wouldn’t have changed a thing.

“I will be forever grateful. It didn’t matter if it was hard or if I was sleep deprived…she gave me so much, she taught me so much, I am the person I am because of Cassie.”

Cassie required a lot of care. Her loss has left Michelle wondering what to do with all the “free” time she has now.

I know that feeling. When you’ve shared your life with a critter who was seriously ill, the loss of that furball means the end of being in the caretaker role. That can be very difficult for the person – it was for me.

As I said in my website article Grieving – How Do You Cope With the Loss of a Pet:

“I not only felt brokenhearted, I felt utterly useless.”

Last year I lost my beloved cats Dickens and Pippen. It would have been very hard to have kept going without the furry love and purrs of their sisters, Molly and Star.

If for no other reason, we need to take care of ourselves so we can continue to live in joy with the other animal companions who share our hearts and homes.

I asked Michelle to take good care of herself so that she and her Beagle, James, can continue on THEIR journey together.

I know Cassie would want that.


Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Do all your children have fur?

Mine do!

In fact, hardly a day goes by that I'm not saying that to someone. When you create and offer pet loss books for animal lovers, most of the phone calls you receive are from wonderful people whose hearts have been broken by the loss of a beloved animal companion.

Many of the women who call tell me they never had two-legged children. Their animals are their kids, so a loss among the critters is especially painful.

I completely understand their feelings, being in the same position myself. I never really thought about having children. I guess I always knew I was destined to be surrounded by four-legged kids!

Even though I never felt that yearning to bear a child, I understand how powerful it can be. That’s how I feel about animals! So my heart is overjoyed when loving people bring home a new baby and begin that glorious journey of being a parent.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t have strong maternal feelings – I do!!

Thankfully, the universe stepped in at various points during my lifetime and gave me the chance to experience being a Mom.

First came Jessie, the pregnant doggie I found running on the railroad tracks in 1982. She gave birth to several puppies in my bathroom, one of whom I named Martha – the inspiration for my book For Every Dog An Angel. Martha and Jessie joined Penny and Gypsy, and my family of four dogs brought joy to my life for many years.

Then there was the litter of three week old kittens that my dog, Jake, found under the deck in 1998. As many of you know, Dickens, Pippen, Molly & Star were joyfully brought in and added to our happy home. For Every Cat An Angel was written shortly thereafter.

I even had a nest of robin eggs that hatched one Mother’s Day – another lovely surprise. Is For Every Bird An Angel somewhere in my future?

So to all you folks whose children have paws or hooves, or may crawl or fly, I celebrate you and your families. Just remember, if times get tough, you probably won’t be able to move in with the kids!


Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Cats and Shoes

What is it about my shoes that my cat, Molly, finds irresistible?

Whenever I kick them off, Molly seems to sense this is happening, no matter where she is in the house. She immediately comes running to the footwear, curls up on them and goes to sleep.

Sometimes she sticks her entire face in there before nodding off!

Her kitty siblings have never done this. To them a shoe is a shoe is a shoe.

But for Molly, it beckons to her with such force she seems unable to do anything except succumb to their siren call.

For the record, the shoes are innocent bystanders in this strange dance. They have done absolutely nothing to encourage Molly's behavior - at least as far as I can tell.

Many years ago, I shared my life with a dog who had a similar interest in my footwear.

During the night, Phoebe would often round up my shoes and pile them in the living room. There they would all be, waiting to greet me every morning when I came downstairs

But for Molly, moving them is not necessary.

The ecstasy of plopping on top of them and taking in their...umm…fragrance is all she needs. Is this true love…or just something about my feet?


Chris Davis
Lighthearted Press
Publishing magical books for animal lovers