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Tribute To Snowie


Mark Hale, DVM

1661 E. Mt. Gilead Road

Bolivar, Missouri  65613



(and other wonderful animals I have known)


            Last week we said goodbye to our good friend Snowie.  We miss her very much and think of her often.  Snowie was the kind of dog who belonged with people and loved everyone.  She brightened any room she was in. We looked forward to her arrival each time she visited us.  She was a beautiful dog with a sweet face and lovable disposition.

             Although I called this "A Tribute to Snowie," it might more aptly be named "A Tribute to Snowie's Family."  Her adopted human family truly made her a part of their lives.  They provided for all of her needs—food, shelter, and medical care.  They made sure she had a safe environment. They provided love.  And they provided comfort in her old age.   The fact that Snowie lived to be 15 years old is a testimony of their care for their cherished companion.

            In addition to Snowie's family, I have been lucky to know many people like them who have provided exceptional lives for their companions.  I have shared their joy in having a good companion by their side.  I have also shared their sorrow when it became time to say goodbye to their long-time friend. 

            As you can see, I have many wonderful clients and patients.  Seeing the bond that has been created between these people and their companions makes my job worthwhile.  It is my wish that every pet be fortunate enough to happen onto such caring people. 

            Before you take on the responsibility of pet ownership, decide if you will be able to provide for it in terms of time, expense, and love.  Having the right animal companion can bring much joy into your life.  You are the only one who can decide what the right fit is for you.  For some people, a cat or two may be the perfect choice.  For others, a small indoor dog may be right.  Others may prefer a dog with which to hike or go to the lake. Think, and then think again, before you take a new pet home.  Shelters are full of adult animals who were taken home when they were little and cute.  Make sure you will be able to provide a long-term home for whatever pet you choose.  I know that Snowie's owners are glad that they chose wisely.  They had many years of companionship that they will cherish forever. 

            Following are some interesting findings from a recent study by the American Animal Hospital Association.  These findings show that pets are becoming more and more a part of the American family.

  • 20% of owners include their pet in their will.
  • 62% responded that they celebrate their pet's birthday, and 51% of them sing "Happy Birthday" to their pet.
  • 47% said their pet sleeps on their bed.
  • 52% include news about their pet or a photo of their pet in a holiday card.
  • 47% reported that they spend three hours or more of "quality time" with their pet per day.  

      Saying farewell to a good friend is never easy.  These companions hold a special place in our hearts.  The families who take a pet into their homes and provide a safe and loving environment have a huge capacity for such caring.  Oftentimes, after the initial pain of their loss has faded, they will bring a new little companion in to visit. Even though the new pet can never take the place of the ones gone before, they establish their own new special place.