Here at SPF we usually stick to writing about sustainability and/or personal finance.

Not today.

Last Thursday we lost our pet/friend Freya.

The following is an adaptation to the lyrics of ‘Hurt’ as performed by Johnny Cash. If you haven’t listened to his rendition I highly suggest you do.

This is the best way I know to  express my pain.

I lost my pet friend today,
At he tender age of five,
I had to focus on her pain,
I’ll remember her alive,

A shadow of herself,
With sadness in her eyes,
Ever stoic and so brave,
Did not vocalize her cries,

Now that you are gone,
My sweetest friend,
Every pet friend I know,
Goes away in the end,

And you could have it all,
My empire of dirt,
To give me one more day,
My heart sure does hurt,

Loyal, giving, full of love,
We had to end your pain too soon,
So hard to say goodbye,
Our friendship prematurely hewn,

Never known a kinder dog,
A “gentle giant” so true,
The hurt deep inside your eyes,
This choice was best for you.

Now that you are gone,
My sweetest friend,
Every pet friend I know,
Goes away in the end,

And you could have it all,
My empire of dirt,
To give me one more day,
My heart sure does hurt,

If I could start again,
A million miles away,
I’d pick your love again,
I would find a way.


Freya had seemed a little off for a while.  She was lethargic and had barely eaten in a week.  We had a vet appointment arranged for the 22nd.

She never made it.

After a trip to the ER vet in the wee hours of Thursday, a night of sitting vigil and another trip to our vet the next morning we came to realize that many, many things were going wrong with our fully grown puppy.  She still had so much ‘puppy’ in her.

Freya was suffering from auto immune disease, an enlarged spleen, and worse, “suggestive” bone marrow and stomach cancer.  Terms like “suggestive” are used, I think, when the vet is telling you the worst of news.

Freya’s body was failing her on all levels and we chose to put her down to stop her suffering.  It sucked.  The look in her eyes is burned into my head.

Freya was our first baby and not just a pet but a member of our family. The loss of Freya has hit us very hard especially as she was only 5 years old and her death was very sudden.

So please keep us in our thoughts in the next weeks and months as we figure out life without Freya…

And thanks for not getting annoyed for my writing about the “personal”.  Reflecting, remembering, writing … has been therapeutic.



Rest In Peace, Freya.  We will never forget you.

Making Pet Ownership Sustainable

Have you ever looked at your pets and asked yourself why you actually have them? Much of the time the answers will involve them being a friend, cute, really cool, the best thing ever, etc. etc. All the answers are likely related to seemingly selfish needs. You are not normally saving a dying species or doing anything for the greater good really….Ok, you may have saved one or two animals from a life destined in a shelter, but it’s a small token.

In most cases pet ownership is neither good for sustainability or for personal finance. It’s costly and bad for the environment. We do it for us, almost simply because we, for some odd reason, like them!

pet ownership

SPF & Freya (our Newf)

I hope at this point I have not annoyed you too much. I LOVE animals. If I could, I would have an unlimited amount of pets, a menagerie of each and every kind of domesticated animal I could get my hands on. I know it is selfish in essence but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is wrong. Breaking down almost everything a human does can bring it to some selfish notion, so I don’t think we should or need to stop owning animals at home. However, I do think we all have a responsibility to make that ownership more sustainable for our finances and our environment.

I wanted to take a look at a few areas and see where we could all improve. I am mostly focusing on the two best friends, dogs and cats.  They are by far the most popular pets in North America and Europe.   Continue reading Making Pet Ownership Sustainable