Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | December 15, 2009

Everlasting Pets

Have you ever heard of a zooarchaeologist?  They are the breed of people that study the remains of my ancestors, rather than human ones.  Zooarchaeologists lead a new line of research on cats, dogs, and other animals that were preserved with great skill in care in ancient times.  Such research allows humans to understand whole new and intriguing aspects of daily life and death of Egyptian people who lived thousands of years ago. 

Although some of the discovered mummified animals were meant to serve as dinner or protection for a human mummy, and others were the living representative of a god (such as the bull, ibis, crocodile, or elephant), many were meant to accompany a dead person “into eternity” as his or her everlasting companion.  These were beloved pets which a King or a Princess did not want to leave behind, their linen wrappings adorned jewels, beads, and intricate appliqués.  Zooarchaeologists allow us to recognize that the concept of the human-animal bond that Second Chance Humane Society works to promote is not a novel thing to the modern world but has been developing for thousands of years.

Today animal mummy exhibits are the most popular in historical museums.  According to zooarchaeologist Salima Ikram, who studies animal remains throughout Egypt, animal mummies create a bridge between people today and those of long ago.  “You look at these animals, and suddenly you say, Oh, King So-and-So had a pet.  I have a pet.  And instead of being at a distance of 5,000 plus years, the ancient Egyptians become people”. (National Geographic, Nov. 2009)  People who loved their pets as you do yours.

Most people no longer bring their pets “with them” when they die.  They typically leave them behind to complete their lives with family and friends.  But not everyone makes plans for their pet and as an unfortunate result, many once-loved pets often end up at a local shelter (at best) or simply abandoned (at worst).  Making plans for the care of your pet needs to start now and the Second Chance Pet Column can help.

In next week’s pet column we will discuss how to plan for your pet’s care, not only if you should die but also if you become injured or ill and are unable to temporarily or permanently care for your pet.  Although it is not the most uplifting topic for the Pet Column – it is very important and what all responsible pet parents are encouraged to do.

As a young and healthy little kitten here at Second Chance I should be around a long time and whoever adopts me can look forward to years of “earthly” companionship.  Come to the Shelter to meet me today – just as for “Ambrosia”.


Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online:  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.


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