According to my blog calendar, I am supposed to be writing today about skin issues in senior pets. It’s a common problem and an important topic, but I will have to cover it another day. The only thing circling in my brain right now is some very special dogs and cats who went to the Rainbow Bridge since last Friday. I was with them when they left us; in fact I was the instrument in their leave-taking. Nita. Max. Graham. Sophie. Zoe. Cocoa. Tyler. Peanut. Madalyn. Candy. Each of you had a story about a long (relative to a dog or cat) life of adventures and love. I heard some of your stories from your heartbroken family, as we sat and talked about where you came from, the funny things you did, the mischief you made, and the love you gave day after day. I heard about the struggles you were having recently, with aches and pains, weakness, kidney and heart disease, and cancer. Your family told me how tired you were, how you would hardly be interested in eating your favorite treat. But they said they were worried whether they were making the right decision, because how could they know it was time? I knew it was time when I looked into the deep wells of your eyes. Your eyes always tell me the truth. The deep longing in the liquid brown of your eyes shows me that you are ready to be free of the sick feeling in your stomach and the pain in your hips and back. You lift your head to receive my tender touch and we connect, you and I. You are still trying to make things alright for your family, because that’s what you know to do.
And that is my job, my role in all of this. I take that burden of making it alright off your furry shoulders and place it directly on mine. I will reassure your family that they are giving you a gift and that it is the right time to say goodbye. I will console them that the deep pain of your loss is worth it, because they never would’ve had your love and companionship. Along with releasing you from the bonds of your pain and suffering in the most peaceful way possible, I will be a willing listener and a firm shoulder to cry on for your beloved family. This is my pledge.
You get it, in the end. You know I will do this for you, and you finally relax and let the sedative and pain medicine flood your body. You have not given up, just given it over because your body can’t do it anymore. And when your soul has left your body, I’m still there for you. I’m comforting your family and asking them to remember you in a tribute on our Facebook page. I’m drawing them into our circle of fellow pet lovers who have all experienced this loss and can lend their strong shoulders of support. Your family will never forget you. They will honor your memory and treasure their memories for the rest of their days. I will never forget you. I tuck your trust and faith in me inside the cockles of my heart.