Even though I knew the end was coming, the wave of sadness still blindsided me.
Last week, Sofia took a turn for the worse and her little heart gave out on her. She passed away in my arms with Giuseppe by her side. The two comrades were as thick as thieves and never left each other’s side since Giuseppe was just 6 weeks old. They went through life together as kindred spirits and complemented each other’s cheeky personalities. Sofia was the top dog, confident and daring, while Giuseppe the nervous goof ball! But despite the differences, they always protected each other.
The week before Sofia died, she was still vibrant in personality, even though her vitals were showing signs of weakness. Our vet gave us the hard truth that she may not make it for much longer, however there was still hope and faith that other medication and treatments could help extend her time a little longer. We tried our best to make her last moments as comfortable and secure as possible, with love, support and medical help as she crossed over.
There’s a sense of emptiness that has enveloped our home, as we all miss her deeply. Rocco created a card in honour of Sofia’s life and Giuseppe has started howling at night. Pets are part of the family and part of having a pet is taking on financial responsibilities, providing them with the best quality care and dedicating time and effort into their socialisation. These commitments can seem intimidating and overwhelming even sometimes, but at the end of the day the value of seeing your pet thrive and happy is priceless.
Throughout this time, pet insurance has been a saving grace. It enabled us to see a good quality vet and specialists that helped us cope with the challenges of Sofia’s heart, heat stroke + gastro. Trips to the emergency animal hospital, vaccinations and specialists would have been hefty, but pet insurance alleviated these financial burdens. If you have a pet, budget in the cost of pet insurance, or have a lump sum included in your emergency savings for a sudden accident, sickness or simple decline in health. I promise you will never regret this. A decision around a pet’s health should never be based around lack of money.
Pet insurance also gave me a peace of mind, knowing that I tended to all of Sofia’s needs to the best of my capacity. I have often reflected on whether I could have done more. But I’m proud to say, I feel our family provided Sofia with amazing resources and support so she could live a healthy, happy and long life.
Although grief can engulf you and sometimes be debilitating, I don’t think it’s an emotion we should try and suppress. Part of the healing process is giving yourself permission to feel the raw pain. However, I will always try to focus on the positives and remember the Sofia that was cheeky and playful until the day she passed, with the love she left behind, still present in our hearts everyday.
So take lots of photos, embrace the unconditional love your pets give you as a valuable and loved family member and always have a safety net with either emergency money or pet insurance, or even both. Trust me, you will never regret this advice.
Canna Campbell is the founder and director of SASS Financial Services, a boutique financial planning firm. She is a Channel 9 Financial Commentator, founder of financial media platform SugarMamma.TV and best selling author of The $1000 Project and Mindful Money.