Pet lovers and pet experts responded to a question about whether postponing a vacation for a sick pet was an obvious choice or an obsessive one. From e-mails and interviews, here are some of their responses:


I have seen people incur great personal sacrifice in order to accommodate their pet's needs. Many clients have cut their vacations short when the family pet fell ill. One couple flew back from France when it looked like their Chihuahua might succumb to heart disease. They spent hours sitting by the oxygen chamber with him. I believe it helped this patient pull through. Another family planned a special vacation for their golden retriever after she was diagnosed with lymphoma. They frolicked together at a lake resort for a week. The happy memories from that trip comforted them once she was gone.

Life must go on. Yet it is essential that we pause and reflect on the lives of our precious animal companions.

Kristen L. Nelson, D.V.M.

Scottsdale, Ariz.


Being with Tatianna, my 16-year-old Siamese, in the last minutes of her extraordinary life was not unlike how we had shared thousands of ordinary days. I was always there for her, and she was always there for me, loving me unconditionally. As Thomas Wolfe said, "I am a part of all that I have touched and that has touched me."

The last commandment of "A Pet's Ten Commandments" is this: On the ultimate difficult journey, go with me, please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there, because I love you so."

Linda A. Mohr

Author, "Tatianna: Tales and Teachings of My Feline Friend"


As a business owner and a pet lover, I have had employees who need to take off time for their pets and I am 100% OK with it.

I have three dogs. For one in particular, a rescue pit bull that was found roaming the streets of Inglewood, I have a love so deep that it does not compare to any love I have ever had for a human.

Pets are part of the family. Not all children have two legs. Mine have four.

Beth Shaw



A 27-year-old cat is an extraordinary animal. I honor the reader's choice to postpone her vacation to be with her cat. I have a dog that is half that age, and while our bond is strong, I am inspired as I imagine the blessings (and sacrifices) around being with a pet for twice that span.