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It’s that time of year when our social media is full of posts about what not to feed your pet, festive Christmas jumper pics, or look at my cute new kitten.
This gives us the impression that Christmas is all jovial, but the reality is that Christmas can be an awful time of the year for many. So much emphasis is put on happy families, presents being bought, wrapped and given out to all those loved ones.
But what about those who don’t have any loved ones? What about those who have lost someone, whether that be a human or a pet?
There are a growing number of people whose only companion was their pet and without them, they are totally isolated from the world.
Loneliness is about the worst and, unless you’ve felt it, you can’t truly understand it.
Pets can be everything to a person, their reason for getting out of bed, their reason for leaving the house, it may be that their only conversation that day is chatting to a person as they walk their dog! It’s impossible to go on a dog walk and not be spoken to. Having a pet can give a person a purpose and help them feel like a member of society again.
Then, when that pet passes, loneliness, isolation, and a loss of purpose can quickly set in.
How can you help?
Even a small gesture such as popping in a Christmas card to a neighbour, picking up some little bits of shopping while you are out, finding a Christmas event they could attend or even inviting them over for tea will go a long way.
Rescue centres are gearing up for their busiest time of the year as unwanted pets are handed over. You can help by donating some food, sharing posts about pets looking for new homes, or simply collecting old doggie coats and bedding from your friends and neighbours to pass to the rescue centres.
This year I have donated 100 hours of my time at the charity gift-wrapping stall over 3 weeks in December to raise funds for MK Cat rescue.
There are always ways we can make a difference in the world, even just our small corner of it.
What one small thing can you do this Christmas to make a huge difference to the life of someone else?