Blessing of the Animals Service
Oct. 7 • 4 pm • RUMC Commons
|God has given each of us many blessings. Those blessings can extend to our pets as well. Come and share the seventh annual Blessing of the Animals Service, Sunday, Oct. 7, at 4 p.m. on the RUMC Commons.
Remember to bring water and your animal on a leash or caged, if appropriate.
Donations of new or gently used collars and leashes for medium to large dogs, or monetary donations will be accepted to benefit a local organization, Atlanta Underdog Initiative, an all-volunteer foster home based organization whose primary focus is promoting responsible dog ownership. For more information: www.atlantaunderdog.com
Members of our own Pet Ministry, Paws for Smiles, will be in attendance and seek additional volunteers for this wonderful ministry.
Information: Cindy Hamrin, email@example.com, or 678.234.1461
Grieving the Loss of the Pet You Love
by Rev. Carol Rawlinson, D.Min.
Everyone who has ever had a pet has a story. The stories are often tales of a beloved animal companion’s unique personality or delightful quirks. What usually becomes apparent in the telling is the close attachment the person shares with his or her companion animal. Often a pet lover will tell of the unceasing loyalty, kindness, gentleness, and unconditional love shown by the animal friend. For some people, bonding with a pet can be every bit as strong as bonding with a human companion. Beloved pets are commonly treated as members of the family.
My beloved 12-year-old golden retriever, Bailey, gives me daily reminders that though our emotional bond is ever strong, his body is not. As I have watched him age and now see him struggle mightily to get up and down with arthritis-ravaged hips I recognize that our time together is short. Bailey, a fabulous rescue dog, gets every comfort I can give him, including medication, and deserves to be extra-loved and pampered. But the truth is, as I anticipate the inevitable time to say goodbye to him, I am deeply saddened.
If you have loved and bonded closely with a pet who has died or is declining, you know the profound feelings of grief and bereavement that accompany the loss or the anticipation of death. Grief over the death of a beloved animal companion, for many people, is as intense as it may be over losing a human family member or companion.
Sometimes the deep emotions around the death of a pet can be misunderstood, minimized, or even scorned. You may feel overwhelming loneliness or unabated depression. Grief over other losses may get stirred up as you deal with your pet’s death. If you are struggling with the loss of a beloved animal there is help available. A passionate animal lover herself, Dr. Carol Rawlinson in the RUMC Counseling Center offers an opportunity for you to receive empathetic, compassionate, and supportive counseling as you work through your grief process. To contact Carol for information or to set an appointment for individual or group therapy, call 770.261.1785.
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