Losing a pet is just like losing any other loved one in our lives. The fact that they might have a few more legs and a bit more body hair doesn't mean they aren't just as important or just as much a part of our hearts as the rest of our family.
Unfortunately, their shorter lifespans make every bond a bittersweet one when it's time to say goodbye. Everyone mourns in their own way, but looking back on the time together is often the best first step to healing. These first and last photos of pets with their humans show how wonderful those relationships can be.
1. You can probably guess what Docker's favorite book was.
2. Mikie gave his human 15 years of the best friendship a person could have.
3. We all get a little droopy after 14 years.
4. Wally wouldn't say goodbye without plenty of cuddles.
5. Rocco was a precious part of his family for 13 years.
6. Gorgeous Genevieve gave all the love she could.
7. Like his namesake, Steve Holt left a lasting impression on everyone who met him.
8. Fashion may change, but this cutie's cuddles always stayed the same.
9. Addie never let a few gray hairs get in the way of her happy face.
10. This handsome guy was the classiest companion.
11. Indie suffered brain damage as a kitten, but was never unsure of how much she was loved.
12. Cassie clearly kept all the other critters in check.
13. Millie could always make her humans smile.
14. He's on his own adventure now.
15. JennyFur found a way to warm her human's heart one last time.
16. From silly to elegant, she made her family proud.
17. Simba was still working on his roar to the very end.
18. Stuck by his side for 18 years.
19. Cabsha's cute face will live on forever.
20. After 14 years, this beautiful Beagle had to bow out.
21. She gave gingers a good name.
22. Mortimer spent 19 years making his bestie smile.
23. He always held tight to his Mopsy.
24. The first and last of a lifetime of memories together.
25. Look at that face!
26. They were always happy goofballs!
27. He gave the best kisses for 16 great years.
28. So much came to pass between their first and last days together.
29. These two crazy kids had so much fun.
30. This little weenie weaseled his way into everyone's hearts!
31. Mickey was a handsome boy from beginning to end.
32. She was the most beautiful girl in her mom's life!
33. Dogs and cats aren't the only ones who change our lives forever.
34. Think about all of the things these two went through together!
35. One more boat ride with her pet parents was all she needed.
36. They shared so many great years together.
37. Look at those eyes. They've seen so much.
38. Lady was her mom's partner in crime, and she'll always hold the biggest place in her heart.
39. I'll let Deva's mom take it away on this one: "My teacher. My friend. My heart."
40. No one turned this tough guy into a softy quite like his best buddy, Titan.
(via the Dodo)
Hopefully, they'll all be able to share that love with a new fur baby soon. Those of us with our own adorable animals should give them an extra snuggle or two while we still can.