Sad News – Pet Bereavement is hard

Yesterday, after a gradual worsening of his dementia and then a sudden illness , Buzz the Jack Russell Terrier went over Rainbow Bridge. It is always a horrible decision to make, even though I knew it would be needed sooner rather than later.

He had been part of our family for over 12 years and was a huge character in a small body. Our house is now very quiet. I haven’t been out for a walk today, apart from in a field on another farm near the coast (whilst delivering packed lunch and phone charging cable to hubby!). It definitely doesn’t seem right walking without a small dog to talk to.

I have already been asked when we will be getting another dog. I had made the decision last year that Buzz would probably be my last dog (I have had at least one continuously for 25 years, and had other dogs in the years prior to that). I was struggling with the care involved, the stress of having an older dog with health problems and the worry when we had to leave him (either for a few hours, or when he went to the kennels). Our life will not be totally settled for the next few years – perhaps we will be spending most of the year in Spain, but who knows right now. It is time now for me to have more freedom to craft/blog/design, and I hope to cycle more now that I am not doing 3 dog walks per day.

I have had many dogs in my life and it doesn’t get any easier to say good bye.

This is the last photo I took of Buzz (take a look at my Instagram @iamaliwade for lots of photos featuring him over the years). It was on Sunday in our garden, which he loved. He would walk around, inspecting the flowers, several times per day with my hubby.

I am not sure if I will be continuing with this blog long-term, as crafting/design is taking up so much of my days now. However, I will leave it up for now – and my range of printables for pet owners.

My main piece of advice for any pet owners is – GO AND TAKE TAKE PHOTOS/VIDEOS OF YOUR PETS TODAY!! You never know when they will be gone.

Crying again now!

Please comment below or send me an email – hello@aliwade.com – if you need any support over the loss of a pet.

Ali x

Four Steps to ensure that your pets are cared for in an emergency

  • Firstly, carry a card in your wallet notifying any emergency personnel that you have pets at home, and display a card in your door/window at home to show that there are pets in the home (or garden/yard/fields).

    I have designed a printable that has these (plus a keychain tag) on one A4 sheet. Lots of different options for your non-human family, including the most popular dog breeds, and I will be adding many more in the next few weeks. I can also do a custom order, with perhaps photos of your pets. Click HERE to visit my Etsy Shop.

  • Ensure that at least two separate people you trust have access to your home – sets of keys, knowledge of where keys are hidden, alarm codes …

    Try to choose people who live close to your home, are around when you are at work, know your pets and are happy to care for your pets temporarily.

  • Prepare an emergency kit for your pets (so one per animal).

    These could contain, for example,
    – Any pet insurance details
    – Vet and vaccination records
    – Information about any medication your pet needs, and where these are in the home
    – A carrier for a small pet
    – A slip lead for a dog
    – Information about any behaviour problems/habits, feeding routine etc.

    Ensure your ‘Emergency Guardians’ know where these emergency kits are (which should be in waterproof containers). Also, always have enough food/medication for at least two weeks.

  • Put into writing permanent arrangements for your pets.

    This could detail the permanent caregiver(s) for your pets, permission for pets to be put to sleep if this is the best thing for them (only you can decide on that), and either a trust or other financial arrangement to ensure they are cared for. This could be in your will or another formal written arrangement.

    However, keep in mind that you need to ensure that there are written instructions to ensure your pets are cared for immediately, as a will for instance will take some time to come into effect.

  • Organisations in the UK that will ensure your pet is cared for if you die or are unable to provide long-term care

    Dogs Trust
    Blue Cross
    RSPCA
    Wood Green Animal Charity

  • This is a lot to think about, but once done (and updated regularly) will give you some peace of mind knowing that in the case of an emergency your pets will be cared for appropriately.

    This is just a very basic guide. Every pet family will be different and your circumstances will vary a lot as well.

    Think about the extra arrangements needed for animals kept outside, particularly large animals such as equines/cattle/sheep/alpacas etc. I will be writing a separate blog post with information for owners of such animals. In the meantime, if you need any guidance, please contact me at hello@aliwade.com.

  • One final tip – take lots of photos and videos of your pets. These will be a huge comfort if you are unable to care for your pets anymore.

  • Take at look at my Pets Page, with some affiliate links for shopping and pet care.

  • If you need some advice on Moving House with Pets, take a look at this guide from GoCompare.