In the third of our series of mini interviews with friends of www.theralphsite.com we contacted Julie King, 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.
Yes, we have two rescue cats, Simba and Star.
Simba came to us in desperate need of medical attention and a loving forever home.
Star spent the first eighteen months of her life in a sanctuary and was extremely scared of humans.
She is still something of a work in progress, but she now comes up on the sofa for cuddles and has an incredibly loud purr!
2. What was the name of your first pet?
3. Why did you choose that name?
We re-homed her, and that was already her name – it didn’t seem right to change it as it suited her perfectly!
4. Cats, dogs or another species? Can you choose? And why?
All animals in need are welcome at my home, irrespective of their species.
5. What is your favourite memory of an animal who has shared your life?
It’s hard to choose just one – a couple spring to mind:
Baby Girl was a stray we found in our garden when we first moved in. It took us a while to earn her trust, and when we finally managed to catch her she stole food off my son’s plate and ran off with it; we were all laughing!
And then there’s Tokyo Boo. He absolutely loved belly rubs, but it had to be in the bathroom – he was always most aggrieved if someone was already in there and he couldn’t get in!
6. Which three words would you choose to describe him / her?
For Tokyo Boo they would have to be: soft, gentle, and funny.
7. What is your favourite fictional animal and why?
I would say the Phoenix, as it has magical healing tears for all souls that need healing – what a wonderful characteristic to have.
8. If you could be any animal, which one would you choose and why?
I would definitely like to be a Whale Shark, such a beautiful and majestic creature.
9. What advice would you give to someone grieving for a much-loved pet?
A few important things:
- To take each minute as it comes.
- Remember to be kind to yourself.
- Release guilt as quickly as possible.
- Let your tears fall when they need to, but don’t feel guilty about smiling too.
- Never be afraid to talk about your beautiful friend when you feel the time is right.
- Also, if you feel you are really struggling, never hesitate to seek professional help from a counsellor or medical health professional.
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?
After the sudden loss of my Tokyo Boo I came across The Ralph Site online. Every member truly understands the complete devastation of losing an animal companion. The Ralph Site is an online family that never judges anyone on the way one grieves. Everyone is always full of support and kindness and great friends are made on the Facebook forums where everyone is only a post away. There are very helpful links and contact numbers too.
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