In the latest of our series of mini interviews with friends of The Ralph Site we contacted Barb Jameson, who shares her memories of pets she has known and loved, along with 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.
At the moment, living with me I have Bonnie, who is nearly 11 and is the mother of Angel, who is 8 and has been with me from birth. Bonnie and Angel are Chocolate Labradors – I love the breed and have shared my life with Labradors for 30 years now!
2. What was the name of your first pet?
3. Why did you choose that name?
Scamp was a rescue dog when he found us, and had already been given the name. It suited him too much to think about changing it!
4. Cats, dogs or another species? Can you choose? And why?
I would have to say dogs – I have had dogs in my life since I was five, and they are so faithful and loving, even at the puppy stage. They are my life, all doggies!
5. What is your favourite memory of an animal who has shared your life?
I guess it would be Jamie, who I lost in 2016. Jamie was a yellow Lab and he was such a character – always stirring things up between the other doggies! He would start trouble and then walk away innocently, like a human, obviously enjoying the mischief he’d caused!
6. Which three words would you choose to describe him?
My Jamie was always kind, loyal and loving.
7. What is your favourite fictional animal and why?
I love Alexander the meerkat (from the insurance adverts) – he thinks he is so superior and that really makes me laugh!
8. If you could be any animal, which one would you choose and why?
I would choose to be a tiger – such beautiful animals, with a look of pure majesty.
9. What advice would you give to someone grieving for a much-loved pet?
Just take it an hour, a day at a time. Try to think of the good times and never, ever feel guilty if you have had to take the decision to euthanase a pet – we owe it to our loved ones to help end their suffering.
10. When and how did you first come across The Ralph Site? What do you think is the most important role of The Ralph Site community?
I had come across the site before I lost Jamie, and as I had lost many dogs over the years I was hopefully able to give some words of comfort to others who were experiencing the same feelings of loss and despair. I have made many, many genuine friends through the site, and have also tried to help people who literally lived for their pets, as they had nothing else in their lives. I think the site is fantastic – one of its greatest strengths is that when anyone has a bad day they can offload their feelings to people who understand, and we don’t mind because we really do care.
We’ll be featuring regular mini-interviews with friends of The Ralph Site in future; so do keep an eye out every first and third week of each month!
Until next time, very best wishes from Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support