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I’m sure you’ve encountered this situation at least once in your life before - someone you know lost a furry friend. You’re not quite sure how to react. A pet is different than a human, of course, so the grief may be slightly different. 

That’s what I thought before I lost my first pet, my cat, Wilson, in December. I’d had friends in the past who had lost pets, and I’d offered my condolences and support, of course. But I never realized just how bad it can hurt.

I got Wilson as a present for my 5th birthday. I’m 20 now, and he was very much a part of our family for the 15 years he was here with us. He was sick and we knew that he didn’t have a whole lot of time left with us, so we tried to make his last moments with us as good as possible.

He loved Christmas, so we set up our decorations nice and early so he could lay under the tree. It was at the point where I was coming home from school every couple of days because I wanted to make sure I could see him.

We ended up having to put him down, and it was one of the worst days of my life.

We know he’s happier now, and not in pain anymore, but it was a hard decision to make, and very personal and emotional.

If someone you know recently lost a pet, be kind to them. It may not be the same overwhelming type of grief that they would feel if they lost a human loved one, but it also could be. It hurts nonetheless. Pets are part of our family, and it takes time to get used to not having them around every day anymore. If you have ever lost a pet, I’m very sorry.

Take comfort in knowing that your furry friend is in a better place now, and you’ll see them again someday.

Rachel is a senior at Youngstown State University, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Advertising & PR. She was the founder of the Youngstown chapter of Her Campus and served as Campus Correspondent/President for 2.5 years. She now serves as the Campus Outreach Chair. She is also sister of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, where she serves as the Vice President of Programming. She is passionate about content creation and leaving a legacy in the organizations she is a part of. In her free time she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, family, and her boyfriend, and shopping.
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