On the Loss of Pets

I awoke this morning to find my beloved pet rabbit, Derby, had left this world.  I was up before the sun, which is normal, came down to do yoga and found him.  I am not one to call a pet my “baby” and I don’t consider them “people.”   But, this precious creature is one of several rabbits that have been entrusted to my care and enriched my life.  The first thing to escape my lips when I saw him and realized what had happened, was “Baruch Dayan Emet” – blessed is the true judge.

Derby's Greatest Hits
My Pet Rabbit, Derby – Greatest Hits

My husband and I grieved and buried him in the yard.  Then I showered and said my morning prayers.  I don’t think it’s appropriate to say Kaddish for a pet, at least not for me, so I’ll be looking for a way to acknowledge this hole in my life, my home, and my family.

Most likely I’ll begin by adding an extra candle to my Shabbat candles for tonight.  The prayer I said after we buried him was:

Blessed are you Holy One, the true judge
Blessed are you Holy One, who gives and takes
Blessed are you Holy One, who gave this creature into my care
Blessed are you Holy One, who gives and takes
Blessed are you Holy One, the true judge

Life will go on.  But there is still sadness and a hole that will need to be filled.

6 Replies to “On the Loss of Pets”

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss. No, they aren't people, but of course, they are beloved family members, and their absence is felt keenly.

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss! I woke up one morning, about three years ago, to my cat eating my pet gerbils. Talk about mixed feelings. I loved them both and was so angry at the cat, and myself for leaving the gerbil cage vulnerable to him. I wailed. I truly wailed. I laid their bodies under a shrub in the park and was mad at the cat for a few days.. but just a few. He was doing what cats do.

    I am interested to hear what you do to acknowledge Derby's passing. He will be missed.

  3. Pets are always a great loss to anyone, they are sweet companions, very much part of a family. So sorry for your loss. I too am interested to hear about how you acknowledge Derby's passing.

  4. Yes, pets are wonderful companions and fantastic teachers: the world feels empty and sad when they die. I'm sorry for your loss. Derby looked like he was a very sweet rabbit: may his memory fill your heart with joy and warmth.

  5. What a beautiful rabbit! He was obviously well loved and cared for by you. I am so sorry for your loss but as others have said, may you be comforted by your memories.

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