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OUR FURRY & FEATHERED DEPARTED FRIENDS
Some of the most poignant moments we spend in a veterinary practice are those spent with our clients in assisting the transition of their animal patients from this world to the next. God is never cruel; there is a reason for all things. Loss is painful, but without it we would have no compassion for others; loss teaches us about humility, softening our hearts and making us better people. When living becomes a burden to our pets, whether from pain or loss of normal functions, we can help a family by ensuring that their beloved pet has a compassionate passing. Making this final decision is painful, and we often feel powerless to comfort the grieving owners.
We offer you this story by Robin Downing, DVM.
I had been called to examine a ten-year-old blue heeler named Belker who had developed a serious health problem. The dog's owners; Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their littleboy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family there were no miracles left for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home. As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt Shane could learn something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why" Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me - I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
He said, "Everybody is born so that they can learn how to live a good life - like loving everybody and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, animals already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
Please share with us, pictures of your departed pet. Include, if you wish, a short tribute.