Dear Barb – Lives Erased?or Not

Dear Barb:

Recently my 18-year-old cat passed away. I have two dogs at home, and, since Tabby has passed, they seem to be grieving. I am surprised as I didn’t notice them hanging out much together. The dogs are hardly eating and keep checking Tabby’s bed. Often they lay on the sofa with their heads down looking very sad. It almost seems like the loss is affecting them more than it is me. I have heard that animals grieve but I’ve never really witnessed it. Does this seem normal? Thanks, Kara.

Hi Kara,

Sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is a very traumatic event, even though we are always aware that it will happen one day, it doesn’t make it any easier. Yes, your dogs are acting normally. They have lost a companion. Even though you may not have noticed too much interaction between your cat and the dogs, the cat was part of the daily routine and now he/she is gone. There are a few things you can do, though. Keep the daily routine the same and don’t overprotect the surviving pets. Sometimes when people are very hurt by the loss of a pet they become fearful of bonding to the other pets they have. Give it time, as with any loss, time heals. This is a normal part of the life cycle. Thanks for writing in Kara.

Dear Barb:

I look forward to reading your column every week. I have a friend who has a three-year-old daughter who has been posting her pictures on social media since before the daughter was born. I say before she was born because she put her daughter’s ultrasounds on face book and instagram. Basically this child’s whole life has been posted for the world to see. Also when she was a baby naked pictures were posted. I understand that a chubby little baby is cute, but usually It’s only the family that wants to see these pictures. I just don’t understand why people are doing this. How are these children going to feel when they get older and their whole life is online, never to be erased! Brenda.

Hey Brenda:

Thanks for taking the time to read my columns. I tend to agree with you, but this seems to be the way of the world now. According to statistics, most parents post over 1000 pictures of their children. People choose to document every event in their lives and their children’s lives, even relationship issues, bad and good, are out there for everyone to witness. Parents frequently take pictures or video tape their children’s activities, all the while they end up missing the present moment. Frequently as these children grow up they are embarrassed and ask their parents to take these pictures down, but by then they may have been viewed thousands of times. Great topic Brenda.

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Email your questions to voice@voicemagazine.org. Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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