I believe that my relationships with my animals have prepared me for the major human losses that I have faced, and will face, during the course of my life. YOU WILL OUT LIVE your pets, unless maybe you get a turtle or bird that lives to 100. I have lived with pets since I can remember the first cat we had when I was 3 – Blackie (he was a black cat—imagine that? I have wondered as an adult if I was the one that was allowed to name the cat such an imaginative name). I have lost many beloved cats and dogs during my life since I grew up with Blackie and Tuffy (the first dog my family had – a Pomeranian – he was tough in his own mind!) that I loved more than most people I know. Losing them is never easy but I have never let it stop me from adding a new friend when an old one died, usually from old age though I had a few get cancer and die too early but that is part of life. I can’t imagine ever living without furry friends to keep me company. Their love is precious and mostly unconditional, one of the major conditions of course would be a food bowl full of food! They can make you laugh even when you don’t want to.