Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dealing with the loss of a pet

Saying good-bye to a beloved family member is never easy.  It becomes even worse when you are faced with the decision of euthanasia.  Having lived through this with two beloved pets, I know that the experience can be so painful that you may never want to live through it again.

Many people are affected so deeply, they make a firm decision that they will never open their home or heart to another pet.  They can’t see that death is part of life and so they deny themselves all the years of happiness and unconditional love.that a pet brings to your life.

Others have such an abundance of love; they refuse to build that wall of protection.  They open their hearts, again and again.  My friend Paula Grabow is one of these special people.  She met a special Kitten named Spot at the shelter where she volunteers.  They had an immediate connection, so much so, that even though Spot was being treated for a “Kennel Cough” type of ailment, she adopted him and brought him home.  I’d like you hear her story in her own words:
"If you are fortunate in life you have an experience that touches you so completely for but the briefest of moments. "His name was Spot. He was a little white kitten with black spots. The first time I laid eyes on him I was smitten. He was a tiny little being that touched my soul the minute I held him for the first time. Besides being a purr machine, he looked up at me with such love and adoration that I knew I had to have him in my life permanently. It appeared fate had other plans because someone else wanted to adopt him. Through fortuitous circumstances I had the good fortune to adopt Spot. 

I only had him for a little over 72 hours in my home. During that time I held him continuously and only let him go to feed him. I have never experienced such a feeling of utter peace then when he was in my arms. Unfortunately, this peace and happiness was not meant to last. For you see, Spot was a very sick animal. 

We made the decision to take him to emergency care. He seemed to rally and get better. For a time today I believed that I would be taking him home the next day. We learned that fate also has a cruel side. That night I received a call that Spot was in severe distress. We went back to the hospital and much to my sadness Spot was really struggling. His little body was betraying him. I had a brief moment of hope when he saw me he started meowing and perked up only to see him collapse on his side a moment later. 

I made the difficult decision to end his suffering. As an animal lover I pulled out all the stops for my beloved Spot. The hardest decision to make is when to allow an animal to pass on gracefully to the Rainbow Bridge. As a pet owner it is my duty to make sure the animal in my care never suffers. For you see we are their voice. Spot loved me for the just a brief moment but he touched my heart forever. I will never regret bringing him into my life and I will never forget him. 

There are many animals that never get to experience a fraction of love that he had so I feel blessed that he knew that before he passed. I suppose I could be angry why he was taken from me before he really got to live. I choose to celebrate his life and know that I made it a little better for the short time he was on this earth.  My heart is breaking into a million pieces right now. 

Some people decide that this part of pet ownership is too hard and not worth going through again. I disagree. I wish I could say Spot had 20 years on this earth but he had a little over 3 months.  I will adopt another pet or pets in the future, love them unconditionally realizing that if you close your heart to pain you are also closing yourself off to experiencing the true joy that these animals bring to your life. 

So... Spot, run free over the Rainbow Bridge for one day I know we will meet again.  You will not be alone as my precious Smokey will be there to take you under his wing and show you the ropes. Godspeed my little angel with a tail ;) "

Thank you for sharing, Paula.  May God and keep you in the palm of his hand until we meet again.
You can follow Paula on Facebook here.


Cathie Dunn said...

What a moving post! Brought tears to my eyes.

I'm the fortunate 'Mum' of two cats and I just had to cuddle my boys after Paula's sad but uplifting story. I'm glad Spot had some love and care during his short life.

As painful as it is to say goodbye to a beloved pet, I'm always happy to provide another (or several others) with a happy home. Seeing your pet happy is a great gift, however long or short their stay.

Kathleen Patel said...

Cathie, I cried with Paula when she told me that she had to say good-bye to Spot. I could feel her pain as I remembered saying good-bye to my own beloved cats.

But, I agree with you, I could not live without a pet in my life.