In loving memory of Byron.
My dear friend Bess is grieving the recent passing of her beloved Byron. Byron lived a long happy life, showered with all the love and care that our loyal fur-kids truly deserve.
Bess and Rob,
I hope you find some comfort knowing you were as wonderful parents as a pooch could ever wish for- thank you for caring for Byron with such dedication and sensitivity.
Bess and Rob were married when they adopted Byron and while they decided to part ways- as many humans do- they never let this impact their love and commitment to Byron. They remained doting parents and successfully co-parented their Byron through it all.
I wish for all parents to follow their lead. Whether it's with human children or those with fur, continuing to provide protection, love, guidance and stability, regardless of the other stressors that life can present, is a fundamental responsibility of parenting. It is also how the human children around us learn empathy and a sense of personal responsibility.
Sadly our country's shelters are filled with thousands of loyal family pets relinquished due to divorce, remarriage, and all of the related circumstances that accompany life's changes. Despite the tireless efforts of shelter workers and rescue groups, the reality is that loyal companion animals frequently lose their homes- and in turn, their lives- in the wake of such unfortunate human circumstances.
The efforts of parents like Bess and Rob leave me hopeful that this tide will shift- and that more civic and societal support will become available to the many others who remain committed to these loyal, vulnerable little charges. Whether their humans realize it or not, much of the unconditional love, containment and protection one needs to weather life's challenges, is readily available and freely offered, by the loyal comrade already at their side.
On behalf of Byron, and others who remain protected by the loyalty of their humans- I am deeply grateful.
Dr. Pia Salk