Pet Loss – Pet Bereavement – Help Guide

Saying Goodbye

The death of a much-loved pet can be devastating and saying goodbye can be an extremely tough and emotional time, especially for the elderly for whom their pet is often their only companion.

Just like the death of a human family member, losing a pet can result in the same set of emotions and in some cases, the devastation and pain can be worse!

What if!

All too often the death of our pets will make us question our decisions and the guilt can be unbearable.  Was there more that could have been done?  Should I have picked up on illness sooner?  What if I had been home when my pet fell ill!

It is all too easy for us to focus on self-criticism and find guilt where there is none and distorted conclusions can plague us for months, even though such feelings are completely illogical.


This is never an easy decision, but we should never prolong a pet’s suffering.  It is often said that your pet will know when it is time, but it does not lessen the burden of guilt.

A good veterinarian will help you decide when the time is right and should never allow your pet to suffer needlessly and they will assist you through such a difficult time.

Unexpected death

There are two schools of thought when your pet dies unexpectedly.  The first being that it is in some ways easier and the second that some people may think that they should have detected symptoms earlier.

For some pet owners, an unexpected death is thought easier since they do not have to make that difficult decision to have their pet put to sleep.  We all hope that our pets will die peacefully, but this rarely happens.


The finality of death is a difficult concept to explain to a child and they need to understand the finality.

We should remember the strong connections that are formed between a child and their pet and holding a burial, or having a memorial, will help to reinforce the importance of their lives.

Children may not immediately show their emotions, but this does not mean that they are severely affected by the loss.  Very young children may not fully understand the concept of death and reading age-appropriate books about death may prove extremely helpful.


There can be a period of denial following the death of a pet, followed by anger, which can be directed at either yourself or even the vet.  Invariably, there will be times when you avoid returning home since this is confronting the reality of an empty home.

We may feel irritable, self-critical and fall into depression and pet parents realised that their loss is permanent.

Coping with loss

Speaking with others who understand your loss and are supportive can help.  The Blue Cross has a Pet Loss and Bereavement line 0800 0966606 or visit their website

Sometimes recalling memories of your happy life together, rather than a snapshot of your pets last days/hours can help.  The pain may feel intolerable now, but YOU WILL GET THROUGH and there will be a time when those beautiful memories will bring happiness and laughter instead of pain and sorrow.


A Pet Sitter’s Diary

October 2017

A Pet Sitter’s Diary

Magic the puppy

So peaceful.    And then  ….  the baby alarm sounded.  Moses the poodle pup (4 months old) had started to stir.  I dashed from the bed throwing my dressing gown around my shoulders as I ran into the kitchen and opened the cage door to extract the most adorable puppy ever born.    As I picked him up he started to pee, and continued to pee down my dressing gown until I reached the back door and then he stopped!

It was so difficult to put him down onto the cold garden slabs.  He was adorable and like a living teddy bear.  His pleasure at seeing me was so touching but his pleasure at suddenly seeing his partially sighted brother was indescribable.   Poor Magic was subjected to repeated attacks from this little ball of ginger fur, huge eyes and a never-ending licking tongue.

The days were filled with regular play times in order to tire out the puppy and lots of cuddles for Magic so he wouldn’t feel left out.   Moses slept regularly in his cage as he needed his sleep for his development.  Watching Moses was a constant job when he was out of the cage as any lack of movement in his legs usually meant he wanted “out” but didn’t quite get the message to wait. Making sure Magic was cuddled and soothed and placated was also a necessity.

Walks were an experience.  Magic being elderly was slow and meticulous in his smelling of every corner and paving slab.   Moses, on the other hand, spent most of the walk standing on his two back legs and waving his front paws trying to win the attention of all passing walkers.  Which he did.

This pet sit was such a pleasure.  During the week I noticed Moses’s improvement in toilet training and routine.

January 2017

Moses – partially blind poodle

Three months later and the gorgeous poodles are even more gorgeous. Magic is still partially blind but may be considered a suitable candidate for eye surgery very soon.  Moses is now seven months old, still as adorable and a lot cheekier.  Night time cage is no longer needed and both dogs like to lie on their own blanket, on the floor, at the base of my bed.   Their gentle snoring is actually comforting and soothing.

Walks were determined by Moses whose furry face, huge brown eyes and wet nose would suddenly appear over the edge of the bed.  Whilst putting on Moses’ harness and Magic’s lead, Moses would grab the lead and excitedly pull Magic towards to door to hurry things along. Magic put up with a great deal of bullying from Moses but the playfulness will decrease in time.   Or will it?

My meals were taken in the kitchen whilst the dogs were eating.  This worked very well as they didn’t hurry their food in order to follow me around the house.

Evenings were spent sitting on the sofa with a poodle lying across each foot…

Pet sitting is an adorable hobby and job.  Why on earth didn’t I do it sooner?

Maggie with another furry client

Maggie Lennie

#AdoptDontShop – For the Love of Jenson


Why caring for a rescue dog is such a pleasure and why we offer discounts for adopted pets.

We recently cared for a beautiful little Staffie called Jenson and it turns out that this little fella is quite a celebrity! Having just received a five-star review from his owner, we have learned that he was recently featured in Paul O’Grady’s programme ‘For the love of dogs’, where he was looking for his forever home.

Dog relaxingJenson enjoying his bench in the garden.

Andi, his Pet Nanny, had already featured Jenson on her Facebook page, having become totally smitten.

He was adopted by his now owner Kate, after only two weeks fostering and at the princely age of 8 ½ is still as spritely as ever.

When Kate came to us looking for the ideal pet sitter, she explained that Jenson was adopted, but there was little information about him. She knew that he had two previous owners and discovered that he was not keen on cars, could not be left alone without destroying the furniture and barked quite a lot!

Paul O’Grady

Jenson was featured in episode 5 in October 2016, when Paul was seen taking on the role of doggie masseur. Jenson has suffered accidental, permanent scarring on his back, which had left his skin dry and itchy. Jenson was really struggling with kennel life, until he found his forever home with our client Kate who initially foster him before falling for his charm.

Both Andi (his Pet Nanny) and his owner, have both said that he is a complete star. He now loves his car journeys and has shown no desire to shred the furniture, in fact he is a glowing testament to the real nature of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and not the demon dog that some of our media would have you believe!

There are so many advantages of adopting a rescue pet and Jenson is a shining example of the joy they bring into our lives. Not only are you re-homing a pet, you may also be saving the life of another by making room. They say that you cannot buy love, but you can buy it from a rescue centre!


We would thank to thank Jenson’s owner Kate, for the wonderful review left on TrustPilot We so appreciate client testimonials and the fact that they take the time to show how much they and their pets have enjoyed our service speaks volumes about our service.

Please note our discounts for adopted pets. #AdoptDontShop

The best that you can be!

Last night I received an email from a client with a little blind Poodle. It wasn’t a long email and I have included it for your perusal, but it meant so much to both me and the sitter who cared for him that it prompted me to include it in my blog.

When Nina’s Nannies for Pets was formed, it was done through love – a love of animals that I believe was inherent from birth.  I have always found it easy to connect with animals, who were my constant companions as a child. Being an animal lover inevitably drew me to the veterinary profession which soon became a long held dream.  I was going to save every poorly pet on my planet and help rescue and re-home every orphan!

I felt sure that all I required to become a successful Veterinarian was love, but  I was soon to discover that I could not actually handle the not so pretty side of this profession, which was euthanasia and not forgetting that I was never really academically minded, or able to achieve the required qualifications.

When I left school at the age of fifteen, I decided to follow in my beloved dad’s footsteps and join the family painting and decorating business.  For a young female donning a pair of white overalls and venturing up a ladder to paint the outside of a house, was still a source of amusement in a largely male dominated world and yes I did look for the left handed screw driver and the tub of elbow grease, much to my workmates amusement.  I did not however, fall for my boss’s insistence that the woodchip wallpaper I had just spent an afternoon hanging, was upside down!

When I left the building trade, I spent several years doing secretarial work and a further six manning a switchboard, before my life was to change dramatically.  My husband was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when he was just forty two years old, but his determination and zest for life was unwavering and undoubtedly helped my recovery when fate was to strike once again six months later when I suffered a brain hemorrhage.

Without going into detail, it made me even more determined to attain my dream of working with animals.  Being away from the office made me realize how stressful and unhealthy it was and just how much I hated the work and so my venture into the world of pet sitting began.

After thoroughly researching the American pet care industry (it was largely unknown in the UK at that time), I decided that this would finally realize my dream of working with animals.

Meanwhile the phone is left unanswered since I am spending a considerable amount of time trying to help re-home a client’s dog whose owner is emigrating to Australia! When I have finally secured a place with a local rescue centre, it is time to address Mrs Smith’s SOS.  Her niece can no longer care for her hamster, three chickens, and her three legged pooch and she is flying out to Italy the following day!  I explain that a preliminary visit must be undertaken before an assignment is accepted, but she insists that she is so desperate she will accept anyone!  After almost half an hour of explaining our procedure and the benefits of meeting your prospective sitter, she agrees and I replace the receiver only for it to ring again.  This call is from a client desperate to excel the virtues of their regular pet sitter and why they must be available for a short notice wedding that is taking place that weekend!  My colleague had spoken to her earlier in the day, to explain that her regular sitter has already been booked, but she is insisting that little Bertie will only accept Susan and after all, she has used our services for over eight years!

So yes, I feel that I have realised my dream.  I am also extremely thankful that despite my setbacks, I have been able to help educate pet owners, but I will always feel that I could do more!

Serious illness does have a massive impact on your life, but for us it has been in a positive way.  Last night, when I received that email, I knew that you should never stop trying,  to be the best that we can be!