5% discount on Charm Beads when you order more than 1 enter coupon CHARMING24 Dismiss

Losing a Pet: Jilly Cooper and Barbara

Jilly Cooper and Barbara

Losing a Pet

Losing a pet is a very difficult to explain to people who have never had a pet, just as trying to explain to them the joy of having a dog/cat/rabbit/budgie in your home brings, the love they share, the feeling of how they turn a house into a home. And when you lose that pet, that member of your family, the impact can be really tough.

All of this is familiar to the novelist Jilly Cooper, who, in her novel Score!, had Rannaldini, a detested conductor, try to rape his stepdaughter Tabitha, only to have the heroine’s dog, Gertrude, rescue her by biting Rannaldini’s ankle. So he killed the animal.

“I got letters saying ‘How could you kill off Gertrude?’, Jilly recalls. “No one gave a stuff about Tabitha.”

The bottom of her garden at her Gloucestershire home “is a huge graveyard.” There are epitaphs for companions such as Barbara, possibly her most painful loss, and partly the inspiration for the fictional Gertrude.

“It says ‘Barbara, our most precious treasure’, says Jilly. “She was 15 when she died. I was devastated. On summer nights I go and talk to them. It does help.”

She recommends writing about a lost pet. “It’s therapeutic, and you can always read about them, and never forget.”

On one piece of advice, Jilly is adamant. Once grief subsides, “Get another dog, another reservoir for love.”

For some people getting a new pet can be a really helpful way to cope with the loss, but this might take some time, you may find friends and family urging you to get another pet to help you get over the loss but only you will know when you’re ready and it is very helpful to listen to your heart, it will tell you when the time is right.

It can also be helpful to mark the loss with a ceremony, whether you are burying the ashes or scattering the ashes, having a small ceremony where you can say some words and remember the good memories is a useful way of dealing with the bereavement.

Some people also find memorializing their pet can be another way to help them through the grief, you might find having a portrait painted can be therapeutic, certainly working with an artist to memorialize your beloved pet can be extremely helpful.  Even a small keepsake or planting a tree or shrub can be helpful.  Just something tangible to hold or be near when you need to spend some time thinking about all those cherished memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top