June 10, 2010

SAPPY group deals with love and loss of animal friends

By Aimee Villalobos - Staff writer/Northwest Weekly

Julie Wiley will never forget her long-haired Chihuahua, Sappy, who passed away in 2003.

“It doesn't get any easier,” she said. “You love all the pets you have in your life, but with Sappy I really bonded with him through a lot, and he was the first being that I truly loved that I lost.”

After their dog's death, said Wiley, she and her husband were devastated and found themselves alone in their sadness.

“We felt like there was not a place to grieve, especially for a pet,” she said.

She decided to take action, and seven years later the S.A.P.P.Y. Pet Loss & Grief Support Group of San Antonio still meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at the English Tea Shoppe on Bandera Road. The Christian-based support group, Wiley says, pays honor to her “Sappy Wappy” with its acronym, which stands for Someone is Always Praying for Pets and You.

Wiley said many first-timers come to the group with a lot of questions.

“Is it normal that I'm grieving my pet more than, say, mom or dad?” she said. “You leave home, you grow up and start a new life and they (pets) are so much a part of your routine and life that it's okay. It's just the kind of love you had for your pet.”

Wiley said the number of members varies from month to month, but all newcomers receive a packet that includes a candle, grief and loss information as well as a rainbow ornament with the Rainbow Bridge poem, an ode to pets' place in heaven.

Wiley said many struggle with the idea of where their pets end up, something she has been through firsthand.

“I clung to my Bible and searched and asked and wrote a lot of theologians, and I believe they (pets) will see us in heaven,” she said.

Frank and Maureen Ballard have been coming to the group since 2005 when they lost Frieda, a terrier mix.

“I said, ‘We're gonna need some professional help,' Maureen Ballard said. “I burst into tears every few minutes.”

Frank Ballard said he was glad a group like this existed for him and his wife.

“Most people don't understand, and I'm thankful for this group,” he said. “How do you replace a family member? That's the way I look at it.”

Members are encouraged to share their stories and work through the grieving process together.

“The road to healing is easier if you talk about it,” Wiley said. “We're made to support one another.”

Carole Fink lost her dog Junior in 2006 and has attended meetings ever since.

“I said, ‘She's (Julie Wiley) like an angel' because nobody cares, and people think you're silly to cry over a little old dog, but she understood,” she said.

Fink said it has been a lengthy process, but she has found comfort in the group.

“Junior was like my best friend. We went everywhere together,” she said. “He was so deep in my heart. It's been three long years, but I have a new puppy.”

Wiley said people are taking a step towards healing every time they come to a meeting because they are addressing their grief.

“It's a loss. A loss is a loss,” she said. “When you lose your job, you grieve.”

Wiley said there is no timetable to healing, but it does happen.

“I'm a testament to say those million pieces (of your heart) that are crushed heal,” she said.

For more information on the S.A.P.P.Y. Pet Loss & Grief Support Group, visit http://sappypetlosssupportgroup.blogspot.com.

33 comments:

saa said...

新手上路哦~請大家多支持(・ˍ・*) ........................................

people and pets said...

I believe we will see our pets in heaven. I just bought two books from Amazon. "Will I see Dog in Heaven" by Jack Wintz and Cold noses at the pearly Gates by Gary Kurz. I think they will be a great help in answers this question

張孟勳 said...

Many a little makes a mickle...................................................................

峻龍 said...

你不能決定生命的長度,但你可以控制它的寬度..................................................................

彥霖 said...

肯定與支持你!!!加油囉~.....................................................................

王婷珊 said...

生存乃是不斷地在內心與靈魂交戰;寫作是坐著審判自己。......................................................................

祥傑祥傑 said...

Quality is better than quantity.................................................................

AlphonseH_Va哲維 said...

成熟,就是有能力適應生活中的模糊。.................................................................

李豪湖仁陳堅豪 said...

噴泉的高度,不會超過它的源頭。一個人的事業也是如此,它的成就絕不會超過自己的信念。.................................................................

香昱信張君林 said...

woo ~ woo ~ thx alotsˋε ˊ..................................................................

云依恩HFH謝鄭JTR安 said...

生活很多細節都要小心點,請多保重 ............................................................

吳婷婷 said...

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.............................................................

陳璇竹陳璇竹 said...

thanks god for the chance to enjoy so many good artical.............................................................

原秋原秋 said...

這麼用心的經營你的文章, 當然值得我們留連拜訪的!..................................................................

方偉白方偉白 said...

第一次來這裡 愛上你的部落格 感謝你的分享..................................................................

吳庭 said...

與人相處不妨多用眼睛說話,多用嘴巴思考. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

王李秀樺姵君 said...

Fancy may kill or cure...................................................

逸蔡凡逸蔡凡逸蔡凡 said...

你不能左右天氣,但你可以改變心情.................................................................

文王廷 said...

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box .............................................................

Debie said...

I am looking for help for my sister, Dana. She lives in North Central San Antonio, is disabled, and on social security. Her fur girl, Amber, was just diagnosed with cancer. Dana lives in a very small 1 bedroom apartment with two beautiful Golden Retreivers, Amber and Harley. She was just recently forced to downsize, and this has caused an excercise problem for her pets. Long story short, Amber is suffering in the heat and needs a way to cool down and excercise. Can anyone recommend a lake, pond, creek, pool close to the North Central area which allows pets?

Any help is much appreciated.

Debie
Email: debie@bestpetlink.com
Seattle
425-443-9066

恭v秋昀嘉 said...

Poverty tries friends...................................................................

周俊許佳蓉安 said...

Make yourself necessary to someone..................................................................

信陳定 said...

幸福不是一切,人還有責任。............................................................

峻胡邦慧v帆 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德................. ................................................

怡靜怡靜怡靜怡雯 said...

凡事三思而行,跑得太快是會滑倒的。..................................................

佳張張張張燕張張張張張 said...

心平氣和~祝你也快樂~~..................................................

于庭吳 said...

這麼好的部落格,以後看不到怎麼辦啊!!!............................................................

黃英吳思潔吳思潔邦 said...

良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。................. ................................................

惠邱邱邱邱雯 said...

如此動感的blog!!!............................................................

Lesley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lesley said...

I just lost my pet last night and I feel like I can't function. I wish this feeling would go away. I just miss her so much and feel like she's still here and isn't really gone.

Sappy in 2001 said...

You will see you pets again in Heaven. We are strong believers of this. Please know that you have been in our prayers. If you live in the San Antonio area, please join us for this year's Tribute to Tails Candlelight Memorial, Saturday, Dec. 4, 6 p.m., The English Tea Shoppe, 4242 Bluemel Rd., San Antonio, TX. Please call us if you need more info - 210-216-0920. Also, join us on Facebook: Tribute to Tails San Antonio.

Ruby Taylor said...

Life and things are temporary, but memories live on forever. when the time is right, do get another pet. Sure, you risk getting hurt again when your new pet dies, put it's worth the price, don't you think? Would you have foregone the joys of having and loving your lost pet just because you knew he would die one day? The act of bringing a new animal into your life shows courage, strength, and hope for the future. Your heart is big enough to eventually welcome another animal to your side, even if you ultimately must endure the loss of pet again. Thanks for starting this thread and share your experiences with us.