Back over the years of my life, I've often cried for other people's "children" - dogs that called other folks "master", cats that owned other people. Somehow I feel the loss of each of those little lives when it touches my own, even if it's only as a note in cyberspace and I never connected with them in the real-life world. But their absence, I still feel it, a small cold spot in a warm universe.
I think back on my own - the first dog I ever owned, who died of cancer, without my ever even getting the chance to say goodbye; the second German SHepherd of our house, the magnificent clown, who didn't deserve the end that she got, permanently paralysed in her back end, dying in pain; the beloved Shepherd/Rottie mix who would, on the command "Talk to Alma!" burst into these extended mutters and murmurs and whines and half-barks, an entire conversation, who also died far from me and to whom I never said goodbye. Domino, the cat I
"inherited" when I moved to America and whom, apparently, I tamed from a hissy queen to a pussycat before she got old, and blind, and plumb wore out. I remember them all, and the funny little things they did, and the presence they had in my life. SOmewhere they're all waiting for me.
And in the meantime - I've already said this, to those who lost members of their own families - my thoughts, and my tears, are there with you. And may their memory never grow dim.