Here is a list of Do’s and Don’ts that will tell you just how to react, when your loved one loses their pet turtle/kitten/stick of celery.
Don’t bring them anything that will even slightly remind them of the deceased. For example, if the friend’s chihuahua was of a particularly furry kind, don’t go wearing a fur coat to the funeral. Doesn’t matter how cold it is.
Dont start weeping dramatically when you get the news and refrain from saying things like “OH FLUFFERS! Why did it have to be youu?” Your friend will not appreciate that. Also, do not go to the funeral and start sweeping the floor, crying while their doggie/pigeon/pet rock lies in the grave..
Don’t be mean, or cold. You have to react somewhat, right? So don’t say anything along the lines of “Uh huh…Its in a better place already”, with a mindless zombie-ish deadpan tone. To the grieving pet owner, the better place would be having their pet with them. They’d rather be dressing up their Persian like Kate Middleton right now rather than watching him lay stone cold.
If the pet has died suddenly, don’t say anything of the following things: “Well that ended fast!”, “He’s DEAAD, already???” or, the ever accidental “Whoops!”. Just, no.
Alternatively don’t state the statistical lifespan of said pet. For example, if someone’s turtle just passed away at age 9, do not say “Oh, but in Finding Nemo, turtles were supposed to grow as old as 150 years…”. This will result in the aggrieved stomping off, crying or hurling their dead pet rock at you, straight from the grave.
Do be there 24/7 to lend a hand, shoulder, ear or vital transplantable organ.
Do try to buy a replacement for them, but later on.
Do tell them things that will make them laugh and distract them from thinking about their beloved pet lying crushed and cold under layers of dirt…
Do take them out frequently so they can move on.
This is important. If I lost my pet crocodile (its not illegal!) or canary or cheetah or cougar (just kidding, my aunt’s not dying..), I would need complete assistance.