By Natasha Kwachka
Recently I went through something very difficult, the loss of my sweet kitty. She fell ill and we had to make an awful decision that left not only myself but my children heartbroken. After many tears and lots of snuggles I made the choice to let my sweet girl depart this earth peacefully. Obviously I had to be right by her side, wrapped around her until the very last moment. This meant I had to be away from work for a period of time to attend her vet appointments. I have to give my team the upmost thanks, gratitude doesn’t even explain how grateful I am for each of them. We work in an awesomely unique environment. One in which I was able to take a brief break to tend to my family’s needs, and yes, I consider my kitty part of our family.
This experience made me think, what are employer’s responsibilities when it comes to allowing leave when an employee loses a pet? Is there even a policy that speaks to this? How does the corporate world react to such a need? I was overwhelmed with the amount of questions I was thinking of.
Knowing how deeply it affected me, I did some light reading came to the conclusion that our pets become part of who we are, and should be treated as such. In some cases, pets spend more time with us than other people or even family members. My pets have always been, and will always be, part of my family. Losing one of my four-legged family members caused me tremendous grief.
I believe if you make it through the hard time of losing a pet with support and understanding from your employer, it creates a safe environment for the employee. Having the space and time to grieve my loss makes me that much more appreciative for my entire team and the work environment our leaders have cultivated. My gratitude by far carries the most impact on my motivation to strive for greatness while I work in the day to day. My team and my family are where I spend the majority of my time. These two parties are where my true motivation and inspiration is derived from.
What are your thoughts? Is there a need for a pet bereavement policy in the workplace? Check out the article I came across below.
Your dog died and you expect the day off from work? Are you kidding me? by Stephen Viscusi