Our Other Children

At a recent gathering of personal historians, I learned of a potential new niche for marketing my business: pet owners. As a whole, Americans adore their pets. And when a dog or cat dies, many want to memorialize their beloved friend through a photo book, a professional memorial, and even a life story.

I get it. Eight years later, I’m still mourning Bits, my beautiful Himalayan who slept on my pillow each night. Who licked my face until it was raw. And today, our Lab/Cocker mix, Cricket, is such an integral member of our family that I can’t imagine waking up without her, not having her there to greet us with utter elation when we walk through the door each day.

There are personal historians out there who work exclusively for pet owners. Their passion is to preserve the memory of furry best friends and capture the essence of the human/pet bond. To be honest, I’m not sure that’s my niche. As much as I love animals – and trust me, I do – I don’t think specializing as a pet personal historian is for me.

But as a human's personal historian, I will say this: Our pets can be hugely important parts of our lives. They give us unconditional love, boundless joy, and undying companionship, and we treasure these creatures with all of our being, as they do us.

If you’ve had a special pet that taught you about the universality of love, be sure to include him or her in your life story. Give your pet the attention they deserve and don’t – for even a second – feel silly acknowledging the place they held in your life and heart.

As the saying goes, “May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.”

What a nice legacy for a pet to offer.