Grief is indifferent to the species lost

- Teresa Wagner


to Part

As the end of a pets life draws closer it is very common to worry about when is the right time, and what is the right thing to do. Here are some simple tips to ease that transition.

Slow Down

Have confidence that your life times experience with this animal will tell you clearly when its time to euthanase.  All too commonly we cause pain for ourselves by projecting our emotional suffering onto our pet.  Animals live more in the moment than people do.  They relate to what is going on now and therefore dont have the same worry that we do about future suffering.  So enjoy them now.  Yes they feel pain of course, and if you can put aside worry you will see pain clearly.  Then you will know when the appropriate time to euthanase is.  Discuss with you vet what pain signals you should be looking for in relation to any particular health conditions if known, but be assured that you have seen them at their best, and will know when they need assistance.

Get THe Facts

Consider having a pre-euthanasia consultation with your vet, before the moment arrives. Discuss the medication applied and what you can expect to see happen. Have a look at the consult room where this is likely to occur, and discuss the after care of your pets body. The truth is that your vet would like to do this well also, and the factual discussion in advance helps to reduce fear, which is all imagined. The truth of what will happen will strengthen your ability to remain present.

Break the Rules

This last time is precious time, so break the rules. If your dog is an outside dog perhaps he can move into the lounge of an evening in front of the fire place. If the cat is not allowed to sleep on the bed, what does a bit of extra washing for a few weeks? Feed them what ever they would like and really smile that they are enjoying it. Let the normal constaints of life fall away and be here now like they are.

Take Photos

You furry friend may not be looking his or her best at this late stage, but take photos or video anyway.  Doing normal stuff.  They may not be helpful for a little while, but when grieve relaxes and the joy in their memory returns, you will appreciate having these moments captured in time.

Prepare Children

Children are a little more like animals than adults are.  They make mess, they put everything in their mouths, they live in the now.  Include them in the preparation and let them know what will happen.  This prepares them to feel.  Learning to feel is an incredibly important skill for a child to take into adulthood, and feeling about the love, life and death of a pet is really a perfect training ground.  They too need the chance to say goodbye.  If theya re aware and free to feel, then you dont need to be guarded about what they see you feel.

On the Day

Consider taking a support person, someone you are comfortable feeling with to help prop you up if you get the wobbles.  If at all possible it is best if you can stay through the euthanasia process.  Your pet will look for you if you aren't there, and all any of us can hope for is to pass away in the arms of people who have loved us.

Grieve Fully

Allow yourself time and space to grieve.  People often connect to animals more deeply than to people because the loving exchange is so unconditional.  Pets are the nature of themselves all of the time, they forgive immediately and dont hold grudges.  Losses such as these need not be trivialised, they are as real as the loss of a close relative.  If you need to, time off work is appropriate.  If you need to seek out people to take to who get it.  This is a time to care for yourself gently.


and Poetry

A dogs soul

Every dog must have a soul, somewhere deep inside
Where all his hurts and grievances are buried with his pride.
Where he decides the good and bad, the wrong way from the right,
And where his judgement carefully is hidden from our sight.

A dog must have a secret place, where every thought abides,
A sort of close acquaintance that he trusts in and confides.

And when accused unjustly for himself, He cannot speak,
Rebuked, He finds within his soul, the comfort he must seek.

He'll love, tho'he is unloved, and he'll serve tho'badly used,
And one kind word will wipe away the times when he's abused.

Altho' his heart may break in two, his love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog an understanding Soul!

- Unknown

If Tears Could Build A Stairway

If tears could build a stairway,
and memories a lane.
I would walk right up to Heaven
and bring you back again.

No farewell words were spoken,
No time to say "Goodbye".
You were gone before I knew it,
and only God knows why.

My heart still aches with sadness,
and secret tears still flow.
What it meant to love you -
No one can ever know.

But now I know you want me
to mourn for you no more;
To remember all the happy times
life still has much in store.

Since you'll never be forgotten,
I pledge to you today~
A hollowed place within my heart
is where you'll always stay.

- Unknown

On Joy and Sorrow

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

- Kahlil Gibran

The Rainbow Bridge

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

- Unknown