Nearly 62% of American families include a pet – that’s about 176 million dogs and cats - and some at JNF shared their favorite pets above.
Some of us are a little more attached than others. In our home our pets were truly considered part of the family. We referred to them as “fur people” and thought of them as our children.
While pets can come in all different shapes, sizes and forms, the common denominator is that our pets offer us true unconditional love. Unfortunately their lives are far shorter than our own, forcing us to say goodbye too early and to experience great sadness.
But what, pray tell, does this have to do with the JNF, whose raison d'être is to manipulate my guilt glands in ways that might yield a donation?
I remember a time when people didn’t feel comfortable mourning an animal the same way as a person. But, today it is becoming more and more common to share your loss, to be sad, to miss and, yes, to mourn the friends who brought so much joy, warmth and comfort to your family.
At Jewish National Fund, we are recognized as the tree organization. Often our tree plantings mark times of celebration and sorrow. Last year I traveled to Israel with friends and family to celebrate my 50th birthday.
No, no. I'm expecting the worst. How ungenerous of me. What came over me? Good heavens.
We also marked my simcha by memorializing our late dogs, Samson, Zach and Lucy. Yes, you read it right; we decided to plant a grove of 1,000 trees in memory of our beloved animals. For every person who thought us odd, 10 more cheered us on and loved the idea.
As we mark National Dog Day [emphasis in original] I share with you this idea of memorializing your pet, or your friend’s pet by planting trees. This is a wonderful way to acknowledge a real relationship, express your feeling, and help the Land of Israel.