We had a thread on this topic, the pain of losing a pet companion, who has often been a family member for years, a few months ago:www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=35&m=2959143
In that thread a number of forum members posted to confirm what we all know and feel, that we form bonds with our animal companions that are so very real and dear, that losing them, as inevitable as it is, is often hard to bear.
And it can be much more than that. Studies have shown that the positive presence of animals in people's lives reduces their stress, and can even serve to improve their healing process.
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (2012): <0.1
PSAs (2013): <0.1
PSA Apr.'14: <0.1