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Monthly Archives: March 2017

A Pet Sitters Story

by Joan Morell

In every pet sitter’s life in the midst of happy times, a little rain must fall, but sometimes it feels like a monsoon…This monsoon has been going on for over a year now.  Here is my story.

As I watch Hank Jr. and Otis snooze on the living room floor, listing to their breath and snoring brings much sadness.  On the wall is a picture of LeRoy Brown, those soulful eyes watching me, photos of him and his family and…his ashes.  I look at him and say, LeRoy, I miss you, we all miss you.  He responds, I miss you, I miss everyone.  LeRoy, who will bring me your stuffed Pooh at night when I’m sleeping to keep me company?  The sadness deepens.

I’m writing this because I need to tell my story, my story about being a pet sitter, about being an animal lover and the attachment that forms with every animal I encounter.  I need to tell this story so that some of my sorrow leaves my heart.  To me, they aren’t just pets; they are family, my family.

It has been a challenging and heartbreaking year.  Last October (2015) started a long chain of messages from clients telling me that their pet had passed.  I read these messages and part of me goes with them, my heart aches.  You may think that it’s just a pet and well Joan, it’s not even yours.  Well I have this to say about “it’s only a pet”.  They are not just a pet, they are part of my extended family and I cherish every moment we spend together.  I love and adore them just as I love and adore my dog Guinness.  They greet me and love me just like Guinness does, I am part of them and they are a part of me.  This is why I love what I do, I get to share their lives and enjoy their company.  But with that love and compassion, there is the downside of saying goodbye as they make their transition to the Rainbow Bridge.  When that transition happens, a part of me goes with them.

Yes, The Rainbow Bridge, that special place in heaven.  Do I believe in the Rainbow Bridge?  Absolutely, every fiber of my being knows this place exists, I know that Einstein is waiting for me at the Bridge, his body whole and forever young.  I believe this Bridge exists because of the unconditional love given to us freely by our pets. They are rewarded with a beautiful place for them to wait for us when their time on earth is complete, only then will we make the journey to heaven.  Oh yes, I believe and sometimes it is the only thing that keeps me going when an animal passes, I know I will definitely see them again.  When I take my last breath and leave this earthly existence, this is exactly where I am going to land.  I will arrive with a tennis ball in one hand and an endless bag of treats in the other.  I hope to see them all, I hope to see my sweet Einstein, LeRoy Brown, Jack, Buddy and all the beloved pets I have cared for and loved, and I hope to see the stuffed Pooh again.

I may be a sentimental old fool and I am sure that most people think I am.  I’m OK with that because I have been loved by a dog (and maybe two cats) and that makes it worth it.

Don’t be sad, we will meet again.  Having a loved pet leave this earth takes a piece of us with them but they also open our hearts so that we can love another.  I won’t stop loving all the animals that are in my life, it’s who I am.  To all my clients, thank you for sharing your extended family with me.  Being part of this makes my heart sing.


Can blog posts have epilogues?  Well this one does.  I wrote this post in the afternoon of September 4, 2016. I had one more overnight visit with Hank and Otis to do that evening.  I opened the door to see my happy pups and both Hank and Otis were there to greet me.  This was odd because Hank usually takes his own sweet time to get to the door because he is snoring so loudly that he doesn’t hear me come in.  The beautiful thing about this exuberant greeting was not only did they both greet me, Otis greeted me with a stuffed toy, Hank behind him smiling at me.  Is this OK Joan, we picked it just for you?  It’s perfect boys, absolutely perfect.  I hugged them both and buried my face in their fur, absolutely perfect.

I am still sad for the loss but the love I feel lives on.  It’s been over 10 years since Einstein passed and I think about him often and I wonder when we will meet again.  It was Einstein who saved me from myself and I honor him for that.  It’s the purest of love that comes from our pets, that true unconditional love.  I hope someday I can live up to it and be the person my dog thinks I am.

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