My intentions in jotting down these
words are not to depress anyone reading it or to cause an atmosphere
help in a decision of great importance in a person's life. If only one person, is
helped in making a decision to "stay" with
your beloved companion at the end of
his or her journey on this earth, then I'm glad to have shared
these comments and thoughts
I was talking to a lady who has a 12 year old miniature black
poodle. We got on the subject of knowing when the
decision to help our old geriatric
companions over to that side of peace and rest.
I just happened to start talking to her a about 3 adult dogs and 2 four week old puppies
that I had not stayed
with and how I, personally, could not get over the "guilt"
or nagging feeling that I had abandoned them when they
needed me most. I could see
as I talked to her that her attention to what I was compassionately trying to convey, was
drawing her attention in closer to what I was saying.
I told her that I was laying in bed the night before and for some reason
couldn't quite fall asleep and I don't
know why, but every time I closed my eyes, I had my
Soft Coated Wheaten's face before me. I opened my eyes
repeatedly and closed them
trying to not "see" Shevaun's face in my mind's memory, however, it wasn't
going to work....
I had to get up out of bed and move around. I will never forget the look on her
face, when my vet picked her
up in his arms, after asking me "Do you want to
stay?" He started for the door to where the surgeries
were and the lab
tech's were, he opened the door, turned and looked at me as if to get me to change my
It was then that I saw that face of my Shevaun that will forever be etched in
I kept her groomed with long ears and "bangs" over her huge Wheatie eyes, that
were like looking into a precious
moments piece, and as he began to step through the door,
my sweet Shevaun, who would have never hurt a fly,
turned to look at me in that pleading
way like as if to say,
"Mom, pleas, I don't want to go with him. Come get me."
This is the haunting sight that I have forever in my memory and as I write, the picture of
her face rips at my
heart strings and I cry with regret. I left my vets and sat in
the van and just fell apart.
Then, years later, after, I had the heat wrenching task of "laying
to rest" 2 four and a half week old puppies.
I had taken just the puppy bitch
for the first visit, because she was one of the two that was in the
worst shape with what
I knew to be Mega esophagus and we did the barium on her, 3 days before Christmas.
The choice was made then at that time to put her down. He asked if I wanted to stay,
I said no,
I really didn't think I could handle it. I again, went through the
torture of leaving and the next day
when I brought the second puppy in, the technician
told me how sorry she was for the two puppies
and my husband and I, 2 days before
Christmas, to have to go through this, she then proceeded to share
with me that she was
the tech who had to hold the first puppy.
Her eyes were full of tears and talked about how sorry she was for this situation.
When I watched her face and listened to her, the shame I felt was overwhelming at what I
had put her
through to have to help with this and I put my hand on her arm and promised
that this would NEVER
ever happen to her again with one of my dogs, ever ever again.
I felt so ashamed that I had not stayed and that I had "made" her be the holder
of my responsibilities
I have chosen to take on in breeding my dogs and owning them.
As I shared with the lady I was speaking to about her miniature poodle
(of course we were both in tears),
I started to tell her about the dogs that I have stayed
with in their last moments.
I said, "You know, they are there for us all the time, no matter what.
love us when we are having a
bad day, they love us with our bad breathe in the morning and
the sight in the mirror is enough
to scare away any poor soul, they love us so
unconditionally and will turn around and lick
the hand of the cruelest of people.
They have been known to rush to our defense when being approached by a stranger with no
thought of harm
coming their way, only that they are protecting the precious one they
love. They will keep at bay, anyone
who would want to harm your property and turn
and look at you as if to say, "Did I do a good job, Mom?".
In looking at the dog and the history of "it's" loyalty to man, they even give
their life in some
instances and do it with no thought of themselves.
I told this kink lady that every single dog that I have accompanied passing over that
threshold of life called "Death",
I have carried with me the comfort and peace
of knowing I did what was right for my BELOVED loyal friend.
I don't have haunting
thoughts of sights in my mind of them, I don't close my eyes at night trying to
sleep and see those tear filled eyes, I don't cry at the thought of what I felt was wrong
for her/him, I am
at peace in this area with my dogs I stayed with and there is no guilt
or abandonment issues.
Don't get me wrong, it's not easier at the time. It's painful,
it's gut wrenching crying, you feel like your
hear is being ripped from your chest with
the sorrow inside yourself, at the time, however...
Let me say for those of you who
have never stayed with your pet...it's very ver peaceful.
I sit on the floor, hug my
buddy close, stroke them, praying to Jesus and telling them how good
they are and that I
love them dearly, thanking my Lord Jesus for every moment with them, and as the end
nearing, they quietly and calmly and peacefully rest their head and you say "Good-Bye
There is no violent reaction, there is no fighting, no fear in them, they are happy
because you are there and
that is the comfort you have just given them for all the years
of love and loyalty they've given to you.
Please, whether it is the first dog you are saying good-bye to or the
10th, and you have never stayed with
your dog (or any pet, that is) after reading this,
just think it over and give yourself to "them" at this most
important part of
pet ownership, the peace you will have in the years to come will be there for you and
will not suffer the guilt you may be feeling in no saying.
After sharing this with the poodle lady, I apologized to her for going on so,
however........but she stopped me, put her hand on my hand and said,
"Thank you so so
much for sharing this with me because my decision to be in the "gray" about this
matter, has now been put to rest and I have now made my decision to stay with my
girl." She said, "I'm so glad
we talked about this because I was so unsure
about this and now I know this is what I will do for her, I'll stay".
So it is with this that I decided to write out these words to write this
for those of you that are struggling to
stay with their pets at the time of the end of
their lives, when you don't think you can handle it....you can...
I go by myself and don't want anyone with me and that is the way I like
it, but, if you need a friend with you,
don't hesitate to ask a good friend to go along
with you.......after all, that is what your dog
is asking of you, just stay with me.....
Remember.........Dog spelled backwards is........GOD.