Kit, most of what needs to be said has been said, but I'll add my piece.
You are a very talented poet, one of the most talented here at Passions (and that's no easy feat!). I know what it's like to deal with people like that, and it's never easy. The best way to get revenge is to write even more than you did before!!
Oh, and never EVER feel that you shouldn't write poetry about your animals. Animals are great friends and companions, much more loyal than people could ever be, and it hurts just as much to lose them. Most people feel the same way. I want you to know that this poem that you refer to really touched me. I'm an animal lover, and you describe everything perfectly. Anyway, I'm really glad that you've decided to keep this poem on the main site. Critics will always be nipping at your heels, you just have to keep your head up and go on.
"Where there is great love there are always miracles" -Cather
"Love heals everything, and love is all there is"- Zukav