“Hi, my dog died. Could I possibly have an extension on this assignment?”
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When Ashley Laderer lost her tiny seven-pound chihuahua, she had to send several variations of that email to her editors. What she lost wasn’t just a dog; what she lost was a family member of 10 years. When sent that email to her editors, she felt as if she was like giving a lame excuse — “like a version of ‘my dog ate my homework.’” But it wasn’t a made-up excuse, for she cannot make any other sentences, let alone write full articles.
As badly as I wanted to get my mind off my dog’s death, I couldn’t. It was impossible to work. I stared at blank Google Doc sheets while nothing (usable) came up. All I could picture was replaying the exact moment I learned she died — the way it didn’t feel real, the way I couldn’t breathe, the way I felt so guilty for not being there with her that night.
Many people develop deep bonds with their pets. According to a 2018 survey, 72% of Americans consider their pets to be family members, and research on pet loss throughout the years has consistently shown that the loss of a pet can feel as detrimental as the loss of a human family member.
Society, however, does not take pet loss as seriously as human loss.
Find out more about this over at Medium.
(Image Credit: HG-Fotografie/ Pixabay)