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Why do we get so attached to animals.


Dax
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During my life had lots of animals, mostly dogs and horses and you'd think one would get used to them passing away, but that's not the case for me. Every one that dies effects me and it takes a replacement to heal the pain and at this age and having gone through so many animals, thought I'd be immune to their lose. Yet when a human I know dies, it seems to have no effect on me whatsoever and yet to work out why.

 

One of my horses passed away yesterday, had him for almost 30 years and he was a few years old back then. He's been going down hill all this year, getting slower and eating less. In the last few weeks he had deteriorated fast, lost all his condition and became very skinny, but was still happy and continues to freak the dogs out by standing over them and making a noise when one would go to sleep in the paddock where I was working. They would wake up and bolt with him after them, it always ended in a game of chase. Have been giving him extra food, lots of hay and some horse treats to get him eating again, but he just got worse.

 

Yesterday found him lying not far from the house, with his paddock mate standing near him, he was still alert so sat down and spent time with him as he seemed in a bit of pain and could see he was on the way out and he was telling me it was the end. Could have got a gun and shot him, instead called a friend who brought me some of her marijuana she used for her sons epilepsy and I fed him that in some copra, which he scoffed down. Kept checking on him and spending some time with him and about 1 hour later noticed he was sitting up and looking at everything around, so sat beside him and talked. After about half an hour, he slowly lay down again moved his head close to me, so I lifted it onto my my lap. He lay there for a while looking a me, then gave a big sigh and died.

 

Thought that would be it, but realised it had upset me quite a bit and so put a tarp over him and decided to bury him today as it was getting late. This morning left the dogs inside as they were also upset and extremely quiet. Picked him up in the loader and buried him where he liked to rest in the top paddock and could watch life. But it still effects me today, after burying him cut some wood consoled his mate and decided that was it for the day. You'd think after the number of animals I've had in life, you'd be immune to their death as it is so common for them to die well before us, but no, will probably be the same when the next one dies and will have to cop it sweet.

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You become very attached to your animals, because they give such unconditional love and trust. Dogs in particular. We have had many dogs over the years, and you never get used to losing them. Wept many tears. It has been my responsibilty to take them, and some of our cats, to the vet or RSPCA to be put to sleep when their condition deteriorates.

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I guess animals are a form of comfort for some, remove the comfort & sadness takes over. I've never owned an animal of any variety but often see the benefits for those that do. Having worked shift work for most of my working life I've not wanted a pet as they tie you down & even now retired I have no desire for one, legacy of not wanting an animal in my house, each to their own I guess. I do however have a few irresponsible pet owners around my property, cats & dogs wander thru my property like they own the joint not too mention the barking of said dogs....grrrrr

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1 hour ago, Fliteright said:

I guess animals are a form of comfort for some, remove the comfort & sadness takes over.

I see it as a responsibility to animals, we domesticated them to rely upon us and many treat them like toys. We not only abuse and enslaves animals for gluttony and greed, but many discard them when the going gets tough. I only got rid of one dog and sold one horse to a knackery, would never do it again, the fear and alarm they expressed cured me of that course for ever. So have a tendency to pick up the strays and rescue some animals that are doing it really tough.

 

The 4 dogs on the property now are all rescue dogs, as were the horses. Won't get another horse for awhile unless some poor souls comes along looking for a home, but the one who passed away the other day, was a lovely horse, gentle caring and always up for a laugh at the dogs or my expense. Now have just one horse and she is very upset to lose her mate, when i got her she was so traumatised no one has ever been able to  handle her, was lucky enough to get a lead on her and into a float, but in the last 20 years she's been with me, no one can touch her. The closest I can get is with some treat where she will lean out and take it, throwing her ears back to warn me, pretty funny but she was treated extremely badly by humans and has never forgiven any human. Thought after 20 years she may come round, but now she seems even more paranoid, watching her friend die wasn't in her mind until it happened and now she is running round the place calling for him. So have to keep an eye on her and show her she is not alone, bananas help.

 

Thanks for the kind words, now it's time to leave the past and look to the future, memories are always better than the separation in the long run.

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Dax thanks for sharing that with us. Many people will share your sadness, but can we truly feel the greatest happiness without the flip side?

 

My big brother loves his horses and dogs and they love him. He can get them to do almost anything and when one dies he is terribly affected. We are lucky we can have this bond with animals, around the world, so few people can afford any sort of pet.

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Over the years since my childhood we had dogs, my Grandad and Dad trained cocker spaniels(not for showing) as gun dogs, were great pets as well most were sold on, as an adult i loved sheppards always had one till i came to Aus,after settling here (Sydney) had a bloodhound,great dane,golden retriever, blue cattle dogs, sydney silky(used to travel on my motorcycle between my wife and I), and the last dog was a sheppard named Lucy, I had to get her euthenised  ,cancer of the hind legs was dragging around at the last, so since 2009 we have had no animals except for looking after kids dogs and cats , as you say we get attached  and they dont live long lives and it is heartbraking to have them go ,i find that as i get older i dont NEED animals ,but still like them

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My last dog was a beagle and had to be euthanised due to stomach cancer. However, we had a great life together and outside the office went virtually everywhere I did, even in the Warrior a couple of times (would lay ion the back seat and go to sleep wearing doggy ear muffs a mate of mine made up). Every Sunday we would go to the pub with him; he would meet his mates and then sit under the dining table patiently while we ate (dogs are allowed in eating areas in the UK - just not the kitchen and preparation areas). Every so often he was grateful for a morsel. Was very sad when he passed away...

 

A year to the day after, I didn't feel ready, but the family wanted another dog and we have an almost 8 month old cocker spaniel (working, not show). We all sometimes accidentally call him by the old dog's name (they are similar - daughter picked it), but he is a totally different dog - in a great way (we don't compare them normally). Took abou2 2 hours to be part of the family. Love him to bits... but still a pain to take to the pub... He is also a lot more spoilt!

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The wife found an older Golden Retriever on the web that someone needs (wants) to get rid of. Looks very like our previous goldie, not that it would be a replacement as such. This dog needs love and care in her senior years (a bit like me). My wife said she doesn't need a young dog that should live for 10-14 years. This one may only live another 4 or 5, but we could go at any time ourselves.

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Although as we age, the probability of nearly falling off the perch increases, we all could go at any time. I know someone who is fit and under 50 and suffered a heart attack..thankfully the right kind of one, if one is going to suffer from them. Apparently, he happened to be in the right spot at the right time for it, or it could have turned out a lot worse.

 

I wanted to get a rescue dog this time around, but was trumped (little "t") by the family... When this one matures a bit, may still get one.

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2 hours ago, Jerry_Atrick said:

 Every Sunday we would go to the pub with him; he would meet his mates and then sit under the dining table patiently while we ate…

We used to take our kid’s young sheppie to Sydney’s dog beach which was an amazing experience. Hundreds of dogs meeting for the first time and playing happily.

If only humans could.

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Just to add to this, found out yesterday, my youngest son died the same day my horse did and no one told me until my brother rang and offered condolences. That's what you get when dealing with ex's, even though she left me for what she assumed was better pastures, she hates me because I didn't try to get her back and all the assets she took, she sold and is now broke and alone. Seems the women in my life keep in touch and never tell the blokes anything, my brother found out from my sister who found out from her daughter, who found out from one of my daughters. Life is pathetic sometimes.

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Dax, I'm having trouble trying to understand how you had so little contact with your youngest son, you only found out about his death 4 days after he died? Was that because your ex refused to let you have any access to him?

Something doesn't seem right in your divorce settlement, all the people I know who are divorced, have access to their kids, even when they hate their ex.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your loss, my condolences to you.

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My son was 41, I brought him up not his mother, but he drifted to her in his 20's and cut off contact with most of the family. Never knew the reason why, but his mother is one of those twisted bitter souls who wanted everything but was never satisfied, so she runs everyone down who she disagrees with. I've had nothing to do with her for 30 years and it seems my daughter only found out through a mutual friend, families, not been the best experience in my life that's for sure. The effect is much more than I expected, not as strong as I thought psychologically.

Edited by Dax
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