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9 emotional tributes from real people to their beloved pets.

Even when they're gone, pets make their humans better people.

9 emotional tributes from real people to their beloved pets.

Losing a pet can be really, really tough.

In 2002, President Bill Clinton talked about the sudden death of his dog Buddy, who was hit by a car. He said it was "by far the worst thing" to happen to him since leaving office, and he shared this heartbreaking photo, too:


Bill and Buddy Clinton. Image via U.S. Government Printing Office/Wikimedia Commons.

Sandra Barker, the director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University, counsels people who've lost their pets.

She says many of her clients feel surprised and even ashamed by their grief when a pet passes away. But given the impact that pets have on our lives, we the people should know: It's 100% normal to grieve when you lose something you love! Even, and especially, pets.

The way humans celebrate our animal companions brings out some beauty in us, too.

After their friends moved up to that great Dog Park/Scratching Post Palace in the Sky, the stories of pet owners on Instagram reflecting on their own lives as they reflect on their pets' lives are brilliant. I started writing this out of love for our animal friends, but after finishing it, I love humans a little bit more too.

1. There are tales of transformation and loyalty.

Image via alexistt/Instagram, used with permission.

"She saw me transform from a girl to a woman, watched as I became someone who dreamed about writing professionally to becoming the editor of a site, she helped me nurse heartbreaks of all sorts from people to jobs and she did it all with undivided love and loyalty."

2. Otherworldly reflections on the transience of existence.

Image via troncouture/Instagram, used with permission.

"Today I had to say good bye to my childhood best friend. It's not good bye, it's see you later."

3. Beautiful photos that I'm fairly certain follow the Golden Ratio and therefore look like Renaissance paintings.

Image via pery87/Instagram, used with permission.

See what I mean? Compare!

Image via Pixabay.


4. Then there's just plain adorable pictures and real feelings™.

Image via tinaperra/Instagram, used with permission.

5. And heartstring-pulling cinematography.

GIF via stephsc0tt@stephsc0tt/Instagram, used with permission.

"Found this old video on my phone..priceless ❤️❤️❤️ safe to say no one loved hanging out with me as much as he did #excited 🐶🌞 #somuchlove 💛💛💛 #RIPbestfriend ✨🙏🏻 #myShadow ❤️❤️❤️"

6. Timehops that inspire poetry about loving your friend in the moment.

Image via nicole6356/Instagram, used with permission.

"Not having him here anymore has made me realize that he really was the best dog ever."

7. Before and after photos of a 16-year friendship.

Image via makayla_ashley/Instagram, used with permission.

"You have been my best friend for 16 years and you will always be my best friend. I will always love you more than anything❤️ #RIPbestfriend"

8. The phrase "peaceful transition," legit artwork ... and let's not forget how delightfully non-gender-normative cat names can be.

Image via lynda_briggs_paintings/Instagram, used with permission.

"Today was a peaceful transition. Rest in peace Miss Felix. ❤🐾"

Image via lynda_briggs_paintings/Instagram, used with permission.

"Day 191 of 366, our kitty cat had a full nine lives. ❤"

9. A TBT capturing baby-cat love.

"5 years ago...#ripkitty" Image via ixi_savagegirl/Instagram, used with permission.

Pets can really help us humans reflect on the passage of time in some wistful and adorable ways. I remember looking back at my childhood photos with my childhood cats and thinking, "Wow!"

All this magic brought up by spending a life with a devoted pet-friend, and celebrating that life.

There are so many reasons why pets are extremely meaningful to humans.

Some are scientific. (Did you know that the bonding hormone oxytocin is released when you look at your dog?) And some are emotional. (There's power in having a companion completely dependent upon you, who witnesses your life without judgment.)

But looking at the tributes these folks have made to their lost pets, you can't help but think that the world's capacity for love is limitless.

That's the power of pets: They might be tiny, but they make humans bigger, better people.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Photo by R.D. Smith on Unsplash

Gem is living her best life.

If you've ever dreamed of spontaneously walking out the door and treating yourself a day of pampering at a spa without even telling anyone, you'll love this doggo who is living your best life.

According to CTV News, a 5-year-old shepherd-cross named Gem escaped from her fenced backyard in Winnipeg early Saturday morning and ended up at the door of Happy Tails Pet Resort & Spa, five blocks away. An employee at the spa saw Gem at the gate around 6:30 a.m. and was surprised when they noticed her owners were nowhere to be seen.

"They were looking in the parking lot and saying, 'Where's your parents?'" said Shawn Bennett, one of the co-owners of the business.

The employee opened the door and Gem hopped right on in, ready and raring to go for her day of fun and relaxation.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."