This weekend one of the dogs here on the farm we are helping at had a seizure that lasted so long there was no hope of him recovering. He had, in the past, one or two a year but only for a couple minutes. He was 9 years old and had a dramatic life story, the lady we are helping rescued him. Sadly he had to be put down but thankfully a friend had the skill to do it, the vets would not come, claiming they were to busy. It is one of the things I have a bit of apprehension about when taking care of other people’s animals while they are away, by divine intervention he fell to his seizure just minutes before the lady arrived home, having been away all week working.
A lady also recently passed who was a active member of the medical community I belong to. Questions are sometimes raised as to whether medicine is effective if people or in this case a dog, still dies. No one knows the day and means of their death except in certain circumstances. Most of us are in the dark and rightfully so. I feel that by not knowing it is great incentive to live each day with as few regrets as possible. To have that talk, to make the call, to be vulnerable, to express joy, to explore, to grow, to admit wrongs, and really get the most out of it.
Also when someone or something dies why not celebrate their life? Denis and I talked about this, he being Irish, they have a history of having a bit of a different take on funerals than I was raised with. They told jokes, reminisced about the good the bad and the uniqueness of the one lost. Don’t think it often extended to pets but hey, Lily is little and so we got the opportunity this weekend to see how we want to approach death with her. It was a conversation this time but now when it eventually happens with her awareness we have a plan.
Celebrate and honour the lost one and also honour the feelings of loss for the hole their physical presence used to fill in us. I am grateful that Alaska the dog gave us this gift, so hopefully we can lessen the shock of her first experience with death. I still remember my first pet’s death… my dad did not know how to make me stop crying over a hamster, so we went out for steak dinner. I was very young, and though I laugh now I am sure it was a bit of a puzzle to me then. Mom was wonderful but not much better equipped for my great sorrow at times, she got better but I have memories of her giving me orange pop (a rare treat) to try and help me feel better. With lots of cuddles, hugs and words of encouragement from both of them.