In the latest of our series of mini interviews with friends of The Ralph Site we heard from Nichola Rose, who has given us some wise words of advice for anyone experiencing the loss of a much-loved companion.
1. Do you currently share your home with any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
I have a beautiful Maltese Shitzhu called Archie who is 23 weeks old. He is very cheeky, loves biting feet, eating and sleeping. He is white with black and brown ears and is very cute!
2.What was the name of your first pet?
The first pet who lived with me was called Oscar – an Irish Red Setter who was beautiful inside and out. He was quite a boisterous, naughty dog but he was very loving.
3.Why did you choose the name?
After Oscar we had a Maltese shitzhu all white with apricot ears, called Ozzie – partly because I had a Yorkshire terrier when I was a kid called Ozzie, and also because he was our first dog here in Australia!
4.Cats, dogs, or another species? Can you choose?! And why?
Definitely a dog for me, I’ve never shared my home with a cat and I just love dogs. I love the relationship and bond that you can form with them – they give you so much joy. I love the walks, the cuddling and looking after them like they are babies!
5.What is your favourite memory of an animal who has shared your life?
My favourite memories are with my most special little dog, Ozzie. I remember having afternoon naps with him and taking him to the beach in the car he loved so much. He was my special little man! I used to call him Babiez.
6.Which three words would you choose to describe him?
Perfect, beautiful and gentle.
7.What is your favourite fictional animal and why?
Lassie. She always came to the rescue and I used to love watching the films as a child, they always made me cry.
8.If you could be any animal, which one would you choose and why?
I’d like to be a dog in a loving home, with lots of bones and endless playtime!
9.What advice would you give to someone who is grieving for a much-loved pet?
I would say be kind to yourself, although at the time of losing a loved fur baby that is very hard to do. You are so consumed with grief it takes over your whole being. It’s one of the hardest times in life, losing that beautiful unconditional love and it leaves a massive hole in your world. Time helps you to live with the loss, but it never goes away. Always keep your pet’s memory alive and remember the funny things they used to do to make you smile.
10.When and how did you come across The Ralph Site? What do you think is the most important role of The Ralph Site community?
I first came across The Ralph Site when I lost my beautiful Ozzie in July 2017. It’s the first time I have lost a pet as an adult and it devastated my world – I cried oceans and my health deteriorated. Life changes so much and the struggle is so hard without them. Every day I think of Ozzie and I still speak to him often. I wonder what he thinks about Archie living with us now, although of course, he will always be my special babiez.
A friend told me about the website and it has really helped to have people I can chat to who are in the same position as me. Sometimes grief can be a lonely place and feeling that you are not alone is key, I think The Ralph Site helps so much to combat that loneliness.
We feature regular mini-interviews with friends of The Ralph Site; so do keep an eye out each month!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support