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  • Writer's pictureMarybeth Haines

A Tribute To Hope

Barbara and Hope ~ Photo credit: Couvrette/Ottawa, (613) 238-5104

Barbara Cartwright is the CEO of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies and a remarkable woman. It’s been an honour to get to know Barbara and the wonderful work she does for animals and for people. I had the pleasure of having Barbara speak at my recent Book Launch Gala in which we were able to raise awareness and funds for the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.

What an exciting event that grew from planting a simple seed, a thought in supporting others with pet loss after the passing of my beloved cat Kitty. It certainly has been a healing journey for me.

I wanted to express how I felt in response to the blog article she wrote in the Huffington Post.

First off, it is comforting to read a posting where the author shares their own feelings and thoughts about their pet. I find it helpful to know that other people share the same fears about losing their pet when a pet’s lifespan is typically so much shorter than our own.

Barbara’s family includes a fifteen and a half year old dog named Hope and Hope has the special needs of an aging dog that the family works into their life together. She speaks about being unable to do certain activities with others because of the care that is required for her pet. She writes “so I was caught off guard when I felt that subtle pressure from mainstream society to put my dog down and move on with life, that grieving for Hope would somehow be wrong and that organizing our lives around her final journey was ill-conceived.”

When I read her article I was moved when she spoke about being “given a gift to our family — the gift of a healing journey.” These positive words speak volumes about acceptance, and that sometimes, the gifts that come from loving a pet is more powerful than the uncomfortable feelings that occur when the pet reaches the end of their journey. I pictured a team approach with both pet and human working together to learn what they can from one another. She speaks about her dog at the age of 15 and a half still loving the smells of Spring.

In her article, Barbara gives the reader 3 simple things that you can do if you meet up with someone who lives with an aging pet and is ‘preparing’ or has lost a pet. I hope you find these 3 things in her article as helpful as I do. Sometimes something simple works wonders.

Barbara helps people and their pets and understands so much about this human/pet connection. After reading her article, which I found quite frank and honest I felt grateful to have had many animals in my life who taught me that anything is doable when you believe in the importance of the message.

Barbara Cartwright, CEO, speaking at The Power of Pets Book Launch Gala

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