Having an animal, growing up with one and taking care of it is an experience that cannot be explained to somebody who have never had a pet.
However it is also a painful experience given that no animal can live as long as a human does. We outlive our beloved pets and it is an everlasting truth that one has to come to terms with.
The older we get the harder it is to accept it. We grow to love our companions, we cherish them and cater to their needs as they do to ours.
Personally I cannot imagine a life without a furry companion. Even though someday we will have to part forever I don’t think there is anything on this planet that can replace the gentle and caring bond one can form with an animal. Be it a dog, cat or hamster. We love them all, don’t we?