Infertility and the Loss of a Pet

It happened. I lost my pup and four-legged companion of over a decade. It was a sudden event and there was wailing. I didn’t expect it. I had all of about 3 minutes to say goodbye, most of which was spent moving through the initial shock… I went nuts. Crazy even. No time to prepare emotionally.

My Jack was completely healthy and of course, in my attempts to live life a little more carefree, had my guard down about losing him. He died in an accident on the farm. 
There are plenty of people who grasp and know the worth of pets to our family unit. They are an integral part of our lives. I’m speaking to those who actually like animals. Obviously, if you’re not a ‘pet person’ this doesn’t apply to you. The rest of us, we all love our pets

But, when a barren loses a pet, is it really the same thing? I have found this to be a big fat “NO”.

I knew my pets are important to me; just like a lot of people in this nation valuing their pets. I grew up with them and have always loved animals. In fact, when I was younger, I was always the one someone called to be the house-sitter and pet-sitter. Animals and Jil go together like PB&J.

But, I can say as a barren, I didn’t truly realize WHO Jack was to me. All this time, he had been my outlet against my barrenness.

I’ve always said, ‘God has not given me children but He’s given me my pets.’ But, I didn’t know how strong a bond I had allowed.

As a woman, I naturally have a motherly instinct to nurture, love on, and care for something. That’s how God created me. I have love to give and I need to give it. Most women… 7 out of 8 of them… have a child or baby that they can love on. When they need a hug, they cuddle with their kids. I’m always seeing a post on Facebook about one mom or another cuddling their sick kids and saying how it’s tough they’re sick but, boy, do they love the snuggles. I think those have been exact words actually.

I don’t have that. One in 8 women don’t have that. Their outlet for such urges is typically their four-legged critters. I’m no exception.

I know Jack was “just a dog” in the grand scheme of things. But, emotionally, he was so much more.

It wasn’t until Jack was gone that I realized how much he meant to me. How he had served as a recipient or surrogate of sorts to my instincts. It’s kinda weird if you think about it. But, I promise I’m not a psycho…

It’s simply that deep desire and physical reaction to barrenness. It sucks.

No wonder my Jack was a Momma’s boy… He was spoiled rotten.

I am assuming most if not all barrens feel this way about their pets. I surely don’t believe I’m the only one out there. So, know that when a barren suffers a loss such as this, it’s likely a much deeper pain than you realize.

For me, I’ve only responded with inconsolable wailing to two deaths in my life… my miscarriage last August and the loss of Jack. One I had 5 weeks to prepare for and that absolutely made the main event – the act of miscarriage – all the more bearable. The inconsolable reactions were kept to the privacy of my home when no one was around but me and God.

The second – the sudden loss of Jack – didn’t afford me any preparation. Anyone within a mile probably heard the wailing when I saw his state and he breathed his last.

I am working… and I mean WORKING… to trust God in this. A mere 9 months after losing my babies, He takes Jack away, too. I don’t understand it and am trying hard to believe there is a greater purpose at work here. Not every moment in life is going to be easy trust the Lord. A lot of times its the opposite. We have to exercise our faith muscle.

Be kind to barrens. We walk a walk that only 1 in 8 are called to endure. With every season of hardship, we learn to trust more and more on the One who created the heavens and the earth. Who knits us. Who is our Provider, Comforter, and Father.


8 thoughts on “Infertility and the Loss of a Pet

  • November 15, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    I just stumbled across this blog entry and wanted to thank you for it. I am also barren and lost my dog of 13 years 2 days ago. It has really brought up a lot of old emotions related to infertility that had been swept under the rug. It is at least helpful to know that someone else understands my pain.

    • November 15, 2017 at 4:22 PM

      Jessica – I am so sorry for your loss! It’s so, so hard. 😥 My best advice is to let it all out. Don’t suppress it. Tell God your heart and maybe even write it out. There is something so therapeutic about writing. Like some of that anger energy gets released as we use it for moving our pen to the paper. ❤️

  • September 15, 2017 at 6:54 AM

    Oh Jil, I cried so much when I read this post. It’s been one of those nights where I had flashbacks of losing our baby girl and somehow stumbled upon your blog. And totally related to every single thing you said. And this post put me over the edge cause I can’t ever feel your grief but even thinking of it breaks my heart.

    I’m praying that you’ll continue to trust in the goodness of God and know that even in despair and grief Jesus understood every single bit of it. Love you xx and looking forward to seeing you on the other side of eternity.

  • June 22, 2017 at 7:34 AM

    aww he looks so cute, it’s sad to know that he is no more, pets are amazing, take care dear, may god be by your side and give you strength to face all your losses

  • May 9, 2017 at 9:54 PM

    It is so true that first they need us, and then we need them. So sorry about your sweet fur family.

  • May 9, 2017 at 4:38 PM

    I love you Jil. Have something to share with you once you have a chance to heal a little from this great loss!


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