Anyone who knows me knows how much I love animals, especially dogs. There is just something so special about a creature who pretty much spends their life wanting to please you, wanting your love and attention and in return giving unconditional love. There is nothing the same as the greeting you get from a dog when you get home, even if you were only gone for five minutes. In the event of a natural disaster I would definitely be that person standing on the roof of my house with all my pets refusing to leave them behind.
Saying goodbye to our pets is never easy. In my own life I’ve had to say goodbye to two family dogs, two family cats and one dog of my own. All were a different yet difficult experience. The passing of my own dog was the complete opposite of how I imagined it would go and it was devastating. I was recently invited to be present with someone who was saying goodbye to his dog. I knew the dog well and loved him like my own. I was honoured to be asked to be there with him and his owner. He was a good dog and he lived a good, long, happy life. His owner made the excruciatingly difficult decision to help his dog in his time of need. A medical issue he had all his life, that had been well-managed and taken care of, had surfaced again. Combined with his age and other medical issues the owner considered the dog’s quality of life as the most important thing and made the most compassionate decision we have to make as pet owners. For years the owner knew he would have to make this decision as he never wanted to see his dog suffer. He also knew how he wanted the entire situation to go – at home, peacefully in his own comfy dog bed. And that is how it went. And it was so peaceful. It was a very different experience for me, yet again, and I only hope I can make that decision for my remaining and future pets. I am very fortunate and grateful for the experience and to be included. Thank you.
I know many people who have loved and lost pets and never wanted to experience that feeling of loss again and therefore refused to get another pet. As much as the loss hurts, the love our pets give far outweighs the loss in my eyes and my heart and I cannot imagine my life without any pets in it. When the hurt is lessened by time and healed a little by the good and even the bad memories, hopefully another dog will be able to share a good, long, happy life with you. Now I’m going to find some kleenex and my dogs to snuggle.