What is it about our pets that make them such a part of our lives? Could it be their unconditional love for us? The fact they are there when we can’t sleep and we need someone to talk to, or when we want to get something off our chest and they are always in the mood to listen; or that they are just always there.
All of us can remember the first time we saw movies like “Old Yeller,” “Turner and Hooch,” and “Marley and Me.” Most of us would have to admit we shed a tear, even if we had to hide it with, “ I just had something in my eye.” But, until you are in that moment, when it happens to you, and your slobbering, sometimes smelly buddy is gone; the loss and sadness hits you like a ton of bricks.
For my wife Robyn and I, that slobbering sometimes smelly buddy, was Bosco. He was a beautiful 6 year old Boxer. Bosco was not just a dog; he was a member of our family. He pretty much did what he wanted, and spent most of his time guarding our bedroom. He had a large pillow by the window where he spent most of his days. He took great pride in watching over Robyn and me, and let everyone know that came over he was merely allowing them to visit his (our) home.
He lived a comfortable life and was pretty healthy until one day he stopped eating. At first there seemed to be no explanation, but we soon found out he had bone cancer. In only a few weeks he was gone. He even waited until we were out of town on vacation to die, and sometimes I wonder if he waited because he wanted to make it easier for us. He was just that kind of dog.
It’s amazing how we all take things for granted. I saw him every day, but I never thought about him not being around. I think that must be true for quite a few things in our lives. I never knew how many options there were for pet funerals. I learned a lot that weekend about loss, grief and myself. We were not prepared. I work everyday in an industry that encourages others to plan for the inevitable, but when that inevitable day came for a member of my family I was at a total loss.
So encourage your clients to think ahead about their four legged friends. Sitting down and planning for those difficult times is not easy. It is so important for you to be that person for your clients that gently encourages them to face what we all ultimately know; nothing lives forever. I believe funeral’s are an important part of grieving process, so we had a great service for Bosco.
This really made me realize that pet planning also includes funeral planning. If you do this well, your clients will appreciate it more than you will ever know.
Bryan W. Adams is President & CEO of Premier Planning, LLC and Founder of Legacy Safeguard. Bryan is considered one of the nations’ leading experts on final expense planning, and he frequently speaks throughout the country about the importance of assisting clients to gain peace of mind through advanced funeral funding.
Bryan’s passion for helping families prepare for their final expenses came from being raised in the funeral business. His family still owns and operates several funeral homes, and he is constantly amazed at how unprepared families are when a death occurs. Bryan has worked tirelessly to help Americans plan for the inevitable and lessen the burden on their loved ones.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
6050 Santo Road, Suite 240
San Diego, CA 92124