Attachments and grieving

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Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 8th, 2017, 10:54 am 

What can we learn about being human when we lose a pet? First off why do humans even bond with animals? Exactly what does it mean to be bonded?

I lost my dog named Homie and I can't concentrate on anything. It is hard for me to get interested in the forums but I am trying. My home is getting more organized as I feel an agitation that is calmed when I move around. I am learning to walk without fear of tripping over my dog. I am learning not to look for him when I hear a sound. I would say bonding is a very physical thing and somehow this physical phenomena is connected with our emotions.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby ronjanec on February 8th, 2017, 3:34 pm 

I believe the word "love" is the answer to your questions. Sorry for your loss Athena. Dogs are the most loyal and best friend anyone can ever have.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby doogles on February 9th, 2017, 6:12 am 

Athena » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:54 am wrote:What can we learn about being human when we lose a pet? First off why do humans even bond with animals? Exactly what does it mean to be bonded?

I lost my dog named Homie and I can't concentrate on anything. It is hard for me to get interested in the forums but I am trying. My home is getting more organized as I feel an agitation that is calmed when I move around. I am learning to walk without fear of tripping over my dog. I am learning not to look for him when I hear a sound. I would say bonding is a very physical thing and somehow this physical phenomena is connected with our emotions.


I also commiserate with your loss Athena.

‘Grieving’ is not confined to humans. Animals also bond with other animals (including humans) and display what is colloquially referred to as ‘separation anxiety’ when their ‘pal’ is no longer around.

My wife and I had an interesting personal experience a couple of years ago when one of our two cats died at the age of 18. Both were the same age, but were not what you could call friends. They virtually just co-habited with one another, never got closer than one metre from one another and were more likely to hiss or slap each other if they got closer.

Yet when the first one died, the other commenced to wander around caterwauling loudly of and on for the next two years till she died.

As to the question of what is ‘bonding’, I have a working theory that’s not in the mainstream.

I noticed that Hyksos raised an issue recently about the stagnation in neuroscience. I think that psychology is in the same state. My impression after studying the old psychoanalysis , behaviourism and cognitive theory is that they have all gone up the wrong creek in the rivers of knowledge.

I’m convinced that mental imagery is our the main means of thinking and rationalisation. I believe it has been left behind by those who’ve gone up the wrong creek. I believe that we perceive the world via our senses and that we store visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory and tactile images all over our brains.

Athena, if I asked you if you remembered what your pet dog looked like, sounded like, smelled like and felt like, I’d bet that those images would come up in your mind immediately. I believe that imagery is the total basis of how we think.

I also believe that we all create in our own minds a mini-replica of the little part of the world we each inhabit most days of our lives. (I believe that other animals think in such sensory images as well). We have mind maps and images that replicate every little thing we have perceived in the world about us.

You’ll appreciate the impact of this if ever a strange object or event suddenly appears in your immediate environment, or if a major feature such as a tree, or pole, or whatever, suddenly disappears from your immediate physical surroundings. If you’ve experienced such things, then it suggests that you’ve been subconsciously carrying around a mini-replica of your ‘home’ environment in your mind.

So if you accept that we all do such a thing subconsciously, you will also have to accept that we carry around all sorts of images relating to those things most precious to us – our sweethearts and pets. I’d love to be able to produce experimental evidence that we devote more of our thinking time to those things that give us the most pleasure, but unfortunately, experimental psychology is not currently based on imagery as the main method of thinking and rationalisation. But it makes sense to me.

You would have to admit that the amount of time we think about things (other people, animals, hobbies etc), that make us feel somewhat complete, exceeds those abstract events in our lives that are peripheral.

I believe that we exist each day and to some extent subconsciously rehash at some time the images of those things that are important to us, in the sense that if they suddenly disappeared, something would be missing in our lives. I regard this situation as defining who we are. It could be said that we bond with certain animate and inanimate things in our lives. Some people bond with images of financial wealth. I claim that it is a collection of these images that preoccupy each of us that become our self-images.

So if something disappears out of this mixed hash of things that are important to us, we experience a physical sense of loss.

Hence grief!

But that’s just my personal working theory.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 9th, 2017, 3:43 pm 

Hi all,

Very good Doogles (thumbs up). Sad for your loss Athena. We do become very attached to our pets. Other than when my wife passed away, the next most traumatic events were taking the pet(s) to the Animal Shelter to be terminated. Not done on a whim of course, they are old and in constant pain. But driving them to be put down, one can't help but feel like a traitor. To intentionally kill something that you love and that loves you.. is the hardest thing to do in life. IMHO.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 14th, 2017, 8:48 pm 

doogles » February 9th, 2017, 4:12 am wrote:
Athena » Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:54 am wrote:What can we learn about being human when we lose a pet? First off why do humans even bond with animals? Exactly what does it mean to be bonded?

I lost my dog named Homie and I can't concentrate on anything. It is hard for me to get interested in the forums but I am trying. My home is getting more organized as I feel an agitation that is calmed when I move around. I am learning to walk without fear of tripping over my dog. I am learning not to look for him when I hear a sound. I would say bonding is a very physical thing and somehow this physical phenomena is connected with our emotions.


I also commiserate with your loss Athena.

‘Grieving’ is not confined to humans. Animals also bond with other animals (including humans) and display what is colloquially referred to as ‘separation anxiety’ when their ‘pal’ is no longer around.

My wife and I had an interesting personal experience a couple of years ago when one of our two cats died at the age of 18. Both were the same age, but were not what you could call friends. They virtually just co-habited with one another, never got closer than one metre from one another and were more likely to hiss or slap each other if they got closer.

Yet when the first one died, the other commenced to wander around caterwauling loudly of and on for the next two years till she died.

As to the question of what is ‘bonding’, I have a working theory that’s not in the mainstream.

I noticed that Hyksos raised an issue recently about the stagnation in neuroscience. I think that psychology is in the same state. My impression after studying the old psychoanalysis , behaviourism and cognitive theory is that they have all gone up the wrong creek in the rivers of knowledge.

I’m convinced that mental imagery is our the main means of thinking and rationalisation. I believe it has been left behind by those who’ve gone up the wrong creek. I believe that we perceive the world via our senses and that we store visual, auditory, gustatory, olfactory and tactile images all over our brains.

Athena, if I asked you if you remembered what your pet dog looked like, sounded like, smelled like and felt like, I’d bet that those images would come up in your mind immediately. I believe that imagery is the total basis of how we think.

I also believe that we all create in our own minds a mini-replica of the little part of the world we each inhabit most days of our lives. (I believe that other animals think in such sensory images as well). We have mind maps and images that replicate every little thing we have perceived in the world about us.

You’ll appreciate the impact of this if ever a strange object or event suddenly appears in your immediate environment, or if a major feature such as a tree, or pole, or whatever, suddenly disappears from your immediate physical surroundings. If you’ve experienced such things, then it suggests that you’ve been subconsciously carrying around a mini-replica of your ‘home’ environment in your mind.

So if you accept that we all do such a thing subconsciously, you will also have to accept that we carry around all sorts of images relating to those things most precious to us – our sweethearts and pets. I’d love to be able to produce experimental evidence that we devote more of our thinking time to those things that give us the most pleasure, but unfortunately, experimental psychology is not currently based on imagery as the main method of thinking and rationalisation. But it makes sense to me.

You would have to admit that the amount of time we think about things (other people, animals, hobbies etc), that make us feel somewhat complete, exceeds those abstract events in our lives that are peripheral.

I believe that we exist each day and to some extent subconsciously rehash at some time the images of those things that are important to us, in the sense that if they suddenly disappeared, something would be missing in our lives. I regard this situation as defining who we are. It could be said that we bond with certain animate and inanimate things in our lives. Some people bond with images of financial wealth. I claim that it is a collection of these images that preoccupy each of us that become our self-images.

So if something disappears out of this mixed hash of things that are important to us, we experience a physical sense of loss.

Hence grief!

But that’s just my personal working theory.


I truly appreciate your explanation of the cats because they did not appear to like each other, and yet when one was gone the other had a reaction to the missing cat.

One of my neighbors responded to my physical reaction to losing my dog with the word "visceral". I had to look that up.

autonomic (visceral motor) division of nervous system. Definition: that part of the nervous system that represents the motor innervation of smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, and gland cells.


I think visualize is important to many but not all, and it does not explain my physical response to having a dog and then again, to no longer having a dog, and this might come closer to explaining the cat's behavior. I agree psychology and related studies have gone down the wrong rivers because it is not all about what is in our heads. It is very much what is in our bodies. When the sky begins to darken, I feel a nervousness alerting me to it is time to walk my dog, before it is dark, because he doesn't like the dark since losing some vision. I am now walking through my apartment without taking care to see where the dog is to avoid tripping over him, and that alert system is shutting down. I no longer start looking for him when I hear a sound, another alert system shutting down. It is almost physically like moving into a larger apartment because all the alert systems are shutting down and I am gaining a sense of ease and freedom. If I feel sad about my dog now, it is purely a mental thing that triggers sadness and not all the alert systems that were active. Like your cat being on alert for the missing cat and needing to know where the cat is. It is physical. We live in our bodies.

Our brains decode information, but our bodies learn reactions that don't depend on our brains, and they become automatic. So a breeze blowing over a sleeping soldier may cause the soldier to jump to his feet and attack. That is not a brain thing, but a visceral thing. When the soldier's brain registers he is not being attacked, his behavior changes with this information.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 14th, 2017, 9:33 pm 

Dave_Oblad » February 9th, 2017, 1:43 pm wrote:Hi all,

Very good Doogles (thumbs up). Sad for your loss Athena. We do become very attached to our pets. Other than when my wife passed away, the next most traumatic events were taking the pet(s) to the Animal Shelter to be terminated. Not done on a whim of course, they are old and in constant pain. But driving them to be put down, one can't help but feel like a traitor. To intentionally kill something that you love and that loves you.. is the hardest thing to do in life. IMHO.

Regards,
Dave :^)


I worry if I made my dog suffer too long because I miss read the signs of his problem. I didn't know his nightly agitation was a sign of a serious brain problem but thought he was just feeling lively. The final night was so bad, I was googling for information in the middle of the night, and I strongly suggest people with doubts do this. When I realized the symptoms were a brain disorder like a stroke or tumor, it seemed as though the time could not pass fast enough for the vet's office to open. We really want to believe our pets are okay when they may not be and many dogs are good at hiding the pain. I think you did the right thing to give your dogs peace.

I am ready to get a new puppy. This one will be from Walmart. It doesn't eat, poop or pee, but it moves when it is pet. It doesn't walk, but I can carry it in a basket on my walker. People might think I am nuts, but I am old so does it matter what they think of me?

Petting an animal is proven to keep us healthy and the movement of the stuffed dog may motivate me to pet it? And maybe I can even convince myself to keep walking as I once walked Homie. For sure I am not doing the walking I was doing and that is not a good thing. I am giving myself permission to wait until the nice weather, but then I have to get out an hour or two after dinner to lower my blood sugar. I need to maintain good health habits and I like the idea of having a dog that doesn't eat, poop or pee, but enjoys a good walk.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 14th, 2017, 11:40 pm 

Hi Athena,

Well.. if I see a new video pop up on You-Tube of an elderly lady dragging a stuffed dog down the street on a leash.. I'll suspect I'll know who she is.. ;)

But seriously, I think there is a market for Robotic Dogs. Just a few more years and it may be hard to tell the Real ones from the Robotic ones. With a small amount of AI, they could become quite quirky and unique. Probably beloved by their owners too. Nothing wrong with getting attached to Machines. Strange world when Machines become attached to us though.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby SciameriKen on February 15th, 2017, 10:01 am 

You need a paro :)

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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 15th, 2017, 1:05 pm 

Dave_Oblad » February 14th, 2017, 9:40 pm wrote:Hi Athena,

Well.. if I see a new video pop up on You-Tube of an elderly lady dragging a stuffed dog down the street on a leash.. I'll suspect I'll know who she is.. ;)

But seriously, I think there is a market for Robotic Dogs. Just a few more years and it may be hard to tell the Real ones from the Robotic ones. With a small amount of AI, they could become quite quirky and unique. Probably beloved by their owners too. Nothing wrong with getting attached to Machines. Strange world when Machines become attached to us though.

Best wishes,
Dave :^)


Ah, but they will be programmed to behave as though they are attached to us. I ran through a fantasy of having a robotic male partner, a few years ago. What seemed like a good idea didn't pan out as a good idea for the same reason a robotic dog is not the solution would want. A robot can respond to a program but not be as a real dog or real person. Of course that is why we might want the imitation thing, especially if we have been a bad relationship, but in the long run, it just isn't exactly what we want.

"The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death."

George Graham Vest - c. 1855
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 15th, 2017, 1:47 pm 



That is more advanced technology than the puppy I plan on buying and more expensive. I watched several of the videos about robotic animals. I like that the one I plan to buy doesn't make noise. My dog did not bark or make other noises and that is one reason I loved him so much. However, I wish the puppy I plan on buying moved more and opened and closed its eyes as the ones in the videos do.

Did you notice the pet seal is considered medical therapy equipment and cost $6,000! The other robotic pets are anywhere from $40 to $100. Much more affordable.

Thanks for the video link.

Look at this http://www.cuddleclones.com/ For only $250 dollars I can send this company photographs of my dog and they will send me a stuffed dog that looks just like him. I don't know if I want to do this? Right now it is too much money and also maybe too close to my loss? It could hurt so badly that could be a terrible way to spend my money. Moving on to a new dog may be better? I may suggest my family sharing the expense of the dog that could be made to look like Homie for my Christmas present? I am sure my previous Homie would be fine with a quiet puppy in the apartment. Oh, dang, I am crying again. I thought I was getting past the crying.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby JaneD on February 19th, 2017, 1:48 pm 

Athena wrote: I didn't know his nightly agitation was a sign of a serious brain problem but thought he was just feeling lively. The final night was so bad, I was googling for information in the middle of the night, and I strongly suggest people with doubts do this. When I realized the symptoms were a brain disorder like a stroke or tumor, it seemed as though the time could not pass fast enough for the vet's office to open. We really want to believe our pets are okay when they may not be and many dogs are good at hiding the pain.
Sorry for your loss; I still miss my cat every day. He was my little buddy. But I think its important to share these details to help others recognize issues with their pets.

I also spent a lot of time googling symptoms. It began with a plugged urinary tract/infection that revealed other problems.

I missed serious symptoms in my 17 y/o cat that I had to put down in October. Among other issues, he had developed high blood pressure which was easily treated. Panting after what was play activity was the sign that I missed. He was long haired, and always easily stressed and I just thought he was getting old. He also stopped slapping at the newbie cat we had adopted at bedtime treat time. I just thought maybe he was becoming OK with her. He woke up blind one morning via detached retina. His vision came back after like only 2 full days on blood pressure meds I was able to get at walmart - very cheap fix.

His ultimate cause of death was bladder cancer. He was also into kidney failure and had bladder stones that were likely related to his getting bladder cancer.

The sign of the bladder stone issue was reduced urine size. I had noticed his clumps were smaller and more of them but thought it was his way of covering up the new cats scent. He never liked sharing his house with the newbie.

The decline was rapid; from the UTI to my taking him into the vet to be put to sleep was 2 months. I was lucky to have a vet who's priority was the best interest of the pet. He probably would have been negatively affected by the stress of surgery/anesthesia for the bladder stones. Too much going on to fully recover.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Braininvat on February 19th, 2017, 2:03 pm 

Difficult to watch pets suffer, especially as they may not have the cognitive resources to understand what is happening to them. We are cat lovers, and have been owned by many cats, and lost many over the years. The outdoor cats don't live as long, generally, especially when you live on the edge of a wild area in the West. The kidney and urinary tract seem to be the most vulnerable area for cats. Dry food is something they don't eat in nature, where they get most of their moisture from fresh prey, so they can neglect hydration quite easily. We've had several cats that only drank running water which goes back to a bias towards running water as fresher in a natural setting. They also don't like water bowls near their food bowl (again, comes from an instinct that relates to water near a kill being more likely tainted). The faucet drinkers were kind of pests about it, wanting us to go the sink or bathtub and turn the water on to a trickle for them. The trick was not forgetting you had done that and later discovering you had wasted many gallons of water by letting it run all day. When we went out of town, they were forced to "rediscover" the water bowl.

17 is a pretty good lifespan for a cat. I think the ratio to human years is around 5 (while it's 7 for dogs), so 17 would be equivalent to 85 years. Still, I question that ratio as a firm one, knowing friends who had cats that lived to be 22.

I ramble. I am sorry for your loss.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby JaneD on February 19th, 2017, 8:19 pm 

Braininvat wrote:17 is a pretty good lifespan for a cat. I think the ratio to human years is around 5 (while it's 7 for dogs), so 17 would be equivalent to 85 years. Still, I question that ratio as a firm one, knowing friends who had cats that lived to be 22.


Yes, 17 (and 1/2) is pretty good. He would have never made it if I hadn't found him as a teeny kitten. Probably got 17 years he would not have had otherwise. Not sure if he was a barn cat offspring who got lost on the trail with mom or if someone dumped him off on the road; though I do think he was a dump.

Anyways, I was just offering some symptom clues that may help someone else with pet health issues. Catching the high blood pressure earlier would have been helpful for him. Catching the stone issue earlier may not have changed his cancer outcome, but we might have been able to make him more comfortable for that last few months.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 21st, 2017, 10:41 am 

JaneD » February 19th, 2017, 11:48 am wrote:Sorry for your loss; I still miss my cat every day. He was my little buddy. But I think its important to share these details to help others recognize issues with their pets.

I also spent a lot of time googling symptoms. It began with a plugged urinary tract/infection that revealed other problems.

I missed serious symptoms in my 17 y/o cat that I had to put down in October. Among other issues, he had developed high blood pressure which was easily treated. Panting after what was play activity was the sign that I missed. He was long haired, and always easily stressed and I just thought he was getting old. He also stopped slapping at the newbie cat we had adopted at bedtime treat time. I just thought maybe he was becoming OK with her. He woke up blind one morning via detached retina. His vision came back after like only 2 full days on blood pressure meds I was able to get at walmart - very cheap fix.

His ultimate cause of death was bladder cancer. He was also into kidney failure and had bladder stones that were likely related to his getting bladder cancer.

The sign of the bladder stone issue was reduced urine size. I had noticed his clumps were smaller and more of them but thought it was his way of covering up the new cats scent. He never liked sharing his house with the newbie.

The decline was rapid; from the UTI to my taking him into the vet to be put to sleep was 2 months. I was lucky to have a vet who's priority was the best interest of the pet. He probably would have been negatively affected by the stress of surgery/anesthesia for the bladder stones. Too much going on to fully recover.


It is comforting reading someone else's explanation of rationalizing the signs are nothing serious. When they are that old, no vet can give us back our healthy pet. Someone gave me a picture she took of my dog the day before he died and someone gave me a picture of him a few years ago. I had not noticed how much he aged until comparing the two pictures.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 21st, 2017, 11:15 am 

Braininvat » February 19th, 2017, 12:03 pm wrote:Difficult to watch pets suffer, especially as they may not have the cognitive resources to understand what is happening to them. We are cat lovers, and have been owned by many cats, and lost many over the years. The outdoor cats don't live as long, generally, especially when you live on the edge of a wild area in the West. The kidney and urinary tract seem to be the most vulnerable area for cats. Dry food is something they don't eat in nature, where they get most of their moisture from fresh prey, so they can neglect hydration quite easily. We've had several cats that only drank running water which goes back to a bias towards running water as fresher in a natural setting. They also don't like water bowls near their food bowl (again, comes from an instinct that relates to water near a kill being more likely tainted). The faucet drinkers were kind of pests about it, wanting us to go the sink or bathtub and turn the water on to a trickle for them. The trick was not forgetting you had done that and later discovering you had wasted many gallons of water by letting it run all day. When we went out of town, they were forced to "rediscover" the water bowl.

17 is a pretty good lifespan for a cat. I think the ratio to human years is around 5 (while it's 7 for dogs), so 17 would be equivalent to 85 years. Still, I question that ratio as a firm one, knowing friends who had cats that lived to be 22.

I ramble. I am sorry for your loss.


Knowing you owned cats makes me think better of you as a human.

Your facts about cat preferences are interesting. I was surprised to read they don't like their water next to their food and prefer running water. I will have to tell my friends who own cats because they obviously do not know that. Their cats' food and water dishes are in the same place. Aren't there fountains for cat water dishes? I will suggest to my friends they buy something that makes the water run.

I am not a cat person and my dog always drank a lot of water. He always had fresh water because I would have to fill the water dish so often. The day before he passed he drank twice the normal amount of water.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Braininvat on February 21st, 2017, 1:24 pm 

Yes, they do indeed make cat fountains. We never used them, partly being kind of Green and trying to minimize gadgets that use electricity all the time, partly being gone a few days now and then and not wanting to have leave something running that needs attention and frequent replenishing in dry mountain air. The separating water and food, however, we always do that, since some cats actually under-hydrate if they are on dry food and the water is too close to the food.

I wonder where Serpent has been lately. He knows cats. I like both cats and dogs, but right now, cats are what we can manage.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 22nd, 2017, 12:35 pm 

Braininvat » February 21st, 2017, 11:24 am wrote:Yes, they do indeed make cat fountains. We never used them, partly being kind of Green and trying to minimize gadgets that use electricity all the time, partly being gone a few days now and then and not wanting to have leave something running that needs attention and frequent replenishing in dry mountain air. The separating water and food, however, we always do that, since some cats actually under-hydrate if they are on dry food and the water is too close to the food.

I wonder where Serpent has been lately. He knows cats. I like both cats and dogs, but right now, cats are what we can manage.


I understand the cat and hydration problem because my friends have cats. One of them added water to the cats canned food to get water into the cat. This just meant wasting the cat food, because rarely would the cat eat the watered down food. All my friends put the water right next to the cats food. Prehaps vets should be telling cat owners not to do this?

I really like your explanation of how in nature, cats get moisture from their food. Also dogs got the enzemes that need from eating the intestines of other animals, and these enzemes are not in dried or canned foods, but we can buy the necessary enzemes at a good pet supply shop.

But nothing in the world stops aging. I keep staring at the pictures of my dog, young and old, trying to come to peace with the reality that all living things get old and die, including humans. It is hard to accept this reality and not feel depressed.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 23rd, 2017, 12:33 am 

Hi Athena,

Yea, I'm 66 and have outlived everyone I ever loved. It sucks. But when I get depressed over it I detach myself and look back at my life like a story. Ups and downs, good and bad, happy and sad. I've had an interesting life and, as a story goes, I can't complain. It's been a full life.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 23rd, 2017, 5:08 pm 

Dave_Oblad » February 22nd, 2017, 10:33 pm wrote:Hi Athena,

Yea, I'm 66 and have outlived everyone I ever loved. It sucks. But when I get depressed over it I detach myself and look back at my life like a story. Ups and downs, good and bad, happy and sad. I've had an interesting life and, as a story goes, I can't complain. It's been a full life.

Regards,
Dave :^)


Then you didn't have children? It felt strange when I realized I am the oldest person in my family. Since my son and daughter have both matured, I no longer have a sense of being the only responsible person left, but for awhile it was unconfortable being without the older members of my family.

I had a son and daughter who both had children and my daughter's children have had children. I like a sign I have my wall that says, as soon as a woman thinks her work is done, she becomes a grandmother. I am a little concerned that I will need to spend more time caring for my great grandchildren, because I don't have the energy I once had, but in today's world, mother's have to go work and someone has to care for the children. I spend some time with the children now, just because I want to, but that has been limited. The children sure help me get me over the loss of my dog! If it were not for the children, I may not be doing so well.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 23rd, 2017, 11:28 pm 

Hi Athena,

You are right, we never had children of our own, my late wife was sterile. But she ran an informal day care center from our apartment for 15 years, so we had up to 10-15 kids in my home every day I got home from work. She didn't take any pay because she loved kids.

The kids had to be on their best behavior or she wouldn't sit them. Kids loved her. Almost every weekend we had 3-5 kids for the day. We had fun with them, movies, beach or even Disneyland a few times. Anyway, for 15 years I was up to my neck in kids. And best of all, never had to discipline them.. and they vanished at night.

As said, we didn't take payment. Having the kids was the payment, as they were fun to have around and keep us company. My wife never had time to fret over being sterile.. too busy watching over her kids.. lol.

We also had 1 dog and 2 cats under our roof for our entire 31 years married together. Total about 3 dogs and 7 cats.. and of course my pet Tarantula and a Cockatoo too.

Tiny.jpg
Tiny (dog) and Dusty (cat)

Tiny isn't cut as a typical poodle and Dusty the cat passed 2 years ago. They were best of friends and played together a lot.

Life was full but now I'm alone, except I have my mother's dog (a poodle named Tiny) that I inherited when she died a year ago. I was her caregiver for her last 11 years.

I come here for company and conversation. Soon I will retire and will move to Arizona to live near some previous good friends that had moved away 10 years ago.

Later.. back to work.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 25th, 2017, 11:27 pm 

Yes, I also have good friends where I live and I feel so fortunate to have ended up in an apartment where so many of my neighbors have become good friends. When I moved in I didn't know any of them and never before have I been a living situation where so many neighbors became my good friends. These folks have helped me through many rough times. We share much in common because of our age and the history we have been through and the values we share and many of the same physical problems. Because I live in apartments for people over 55 we share the loss of friends from time to time.

I find it interesting how people bond. It seems to me something special has to happen to bond people. Just living in the same neighborhood doesn't necessarily lead to friendships. There needs to be something we share in common to bond us.

I have made friends at the senior center as well, but these friendships have not developed the same closeness as the ones who live in the same building where I live. It seems proximity has a lot to do with how close our friendships become. It is a whole easier to play Scrabble with the gal on the first floor, than to travel across town to play Scrabble with a friend who moved out and bought a home a few miles away. But the gal who bought her own home has a lovely patio and two of us enjoy a potluck dinner with her once a month. When the weather gets nice, it is really pleasant to share a dinner on her patio.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby BadgerJelly on February 26th, 2017, 11:37 am 

First of all, sorry for your "loss". I say "loss" because I am guessing you gained more from Homie than you could ever lose.

What is "bonding"? I look at it as what happens as a mutual benefit. That may sound clinical and detached, but I don't mean it to be. "Bonding" in the sense you're talking about is a direct emotional exchange between beings.

As an example of something more one sided it may be easier to see what I mean.

When I listen to a beautiful piece of music, or look at a picture that inspires me and gives me certain emtional feelings, what is happening is a recognition of myself. Loving a piece of music reveals a love within myself and I see my love through the picture. The picture though takes nothing from me (although if I meet the artist then "bonding" may begin).

I think it is this reason people get into destructive relationships. They have a need to confront their "negative" aspects and so this rises into the "bonding" of the relationship (I don't think it is this simple though, just of of many facets of human interactions). I think that is why some people stay in bad relationships, they are trying to confront themselves through the other person.

With grief the situation is comparable. The difference is the "bonding" process has gone even though the "bond" remains. The being you grieve is now like a "picture". It asks for nothing any more even though it keeps on giving. Coming to understand that even though the being has gone the bond will continue to help, support and teach you through life about life and about yourself as a being.

Grieving is a necessary emotional readjusting. Everyone deals with it in numerous different ways and some of us have more to deal with than others. It sometimes takes people time to understand they cannot replace an existing "bond" only build new ones.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 26th, 2017, 1:28 pm 

BadgerJelly » February 26th, 2017, 9:37 am wrote:First of all, sorry for your "loss". I say "loss" because I am guessing you gained more from Homie than you could ever lose.

What is "bonding"? I look at it as what happens as a mutual benefit. That may sound clinical and detached, but I don't mean it to be. "Bonding" in the sense you're talking about is a direct emotional exchange between beings.

As an example of something more one sided it may be easier to see what I mean.

When I listen to a beautiful piece of music, or look at a picture that inspires me and gives me certain emotional feelings, what is happening is a recognition of myself. Loving a piece of music reveals a love within myself and I see my love through the picture. The picture though takes nothing from me (although if I meet the artist then "bonding" may begin).

I think it is this reason people get into destructive relationships. They have a need to confront their "negative" aspects and so this rises into the "bonding" of the relationship (I don't think it is this simple though, just of of many facets of human interactions). I think that is why some people stay in bad relationships, they are trying to confront themselves through the other person.

With grief the situation is comparable. The difference is the "bonding" process has gone even though the "bond" remains. The being you grieve is now like a "picture". It asks for nothing any more even though it keeps on giving. Coming to understand that even though the being has gone the bond will continue to help, support and teach you through life about life and about yourself as a being.

Grieving is a necessary emotional readjusting. Everyone deals with it in numerous different ways and some of us have more to deal with than others. It sometimes takes people time to understand they cannot replace an existing "bond" only build new ones.


You are triggering so many thoughts in me. The first one is what I read yesterday about logic and the notion of separation. Yesterday, I intended to go to another subject forum and ask about the separation of oxygen and hydrogen. The question in logic is exactly what you said of a joining of mutual need that puts into question where does one end and the other begin? At what point are oxygen and hydrogen no longer two separate things?

Next thought, I read a book long ago about marriages often being the result of needing to work through childhood problems, and the reason we tend to marry the same kind of person, again and again, is we can't move on until we resolve the childhood problem. We keep marrying the mother or father who represents this problem. Laugh, that can really suck.

If it is music- I think we need to be aware of how music is affecting us, and why we are choosing that kind of music or can not tolerate it for two minutes. The Greeks thought music education was moral training. Sometimes we want coffee to stimulate us and sometimes we want a calming tea, so too with music. And the music popular when we come of age, will forever more trigger memories of, this is who I am and how life feels.

As for confronting our own negative aspects, I am getting better in my old age at realizing I am engaging with someone to confront a negative aspect in myself. I did that in another thread yesterday, instead of moving on to logic and discussion of the separation of oxygen and hydrogen and when the two are one. I had an extremely negative reaction to what someone said, and was so moved by passion I could not control myself, while a quiet inner voice kept telling me I was being hypocritical disrespecting someone who I thought I was disrespectful to me. Like that post brought out the worst in me! I was aware of being hypocritical and felt ashamed of this, but in the heat of the moment I lacked self-control. I am still not understanding the rationale of this is irrational behavior!? Why was I reacting instead of being logical? What was the problem in myself that drove me to do that? Seriously I would much rather be logical than emotionally and out of control so hopefully, a better understanding of myself would resolve that problem?

It is so interesting to contemplate what you said of bonding when I think of my dog! I will have to spend more time doing this. I think you have given me a path to better understanding myself. My dog was so stoic and I loved that about him. Yap- I am a ball of tears again. That thought hit a nerve! What in heck is this all about?

How powerfully I feel the truth of your words, "With grief the situation is comparable. The difference is the "bonding" process has gone even though the "bond" remains." and this directly relates with the logic question about separation and union. This can get a little metaphysical don't you think? I don't think our culture deals well with the nonmaterial part of reality. Our emotions are not matter, and they are real. The bond I had with my dog is not broken but remains a part of me.

For sure I know I can not replace my bond with my dog, because he was so special. He was very special not only to me but everyone else. I have a pile of condolences cards from people who loved my dog. Whenever I walked my dog people would go out of their way to tell me what a great dog I had. Everyone gravitated to us from middle-class people to the homeless. When I first started walking my dog and people commented on what a fine dog I have, I thought their behavior very strange, but years later I came to expect people to react this way to my dog. I don't think I could ever replace him. He was not like other dogs. Especially women would say he is an old soul, and they would bend down to stroke him and seem to have a spiritual moment with my dog. My bond with him is also about how others would react to him. Now I will be a person walking down the path and people will quietly walk past me. No more Homie to bring me and others together.
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby BadgerJelly on February 26th, 2017, 3:24 pm 

You bring another thought to mind.

When we humans experience something we like we try and do it again. The thing is the first experience is never what we will obtain again. The first experience is merely a gateway to something else. That said it is so damn easy to get caught up trying to relive the experience exactly as we did the first time (the ancient Greek thing about never crossing the same river twice.)

People probably approached you because of you as much as your furry friend. Your Homie may well have been thinking how lucky he was to have someone who knew so many affectionate people. That said who someone is is harder to see when they are alone. People reveal themselves more easily around others (except me! Haha!)

Thank you for sharing. You've made think about a few things I should probably pay more attention to in my life :)
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Re: Attachments and grieving

Postby Athena on February 28th, 2017, 12:44 am 

BadgerJelly » February 26th, 2017, 1:24 pm wrote:You bring another thought to mind.

When we humans experience something we like we try and do it again. The thing is the first experience is never what we will obtain again. The first experience is merely a gateway to something else. That said it is so damn easy to get caught up trying to relive the experience exactly as we did the first time (the ancient Greek thing about never crossing the same river twice.)

People probably approached you because of you as much as your furry friend. Your Homie may well have been thinking how lucky he was to have someone who knew so many affectionate people. That said who someone is is harder to see when they are alone. People reveal themselves more easily around others (except me! Haha!)

Thank you for sharing. You've made think about a few things I should probably pay more attention to in my life :)


For sure it was Homie who got everyone's attention. But you are right about people in the apartments seeing me as someone who takes very good care of a dog and children. Since I no longer have a dog, they are not seeing me, because I am not leaving my apartment. I am a little concerned that my life could deteriorate without my coach getting me off my butt and out the door.

And I am aware of judging others by how they treat others, or if they own a pet of not. If I think someone is being abusive to another or to a pet, I would not trust that person to not be abusive me and others, and if I think someone is being good to another or good to a pet, I am more trusting of that person, and will tell everyone of so and so being a good person. You shed a new light on this and deepen my belief that morality is very important to our civilization. Our human nature is in relation with each other. Some bring out the best in us and others bring out the worst in us.
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