An animal becomes part of the family. Maybe he was adopted from a shelter or maybe he wondered into the yard, sick and hungry. Some come from a pet store or maybe from a breeder of a favorite kind. And she becomes one of the family.
We eat, sleep, and walk together. We run, play, and laugh together. They comfort us through grief and tears. We share life with them.
Our family grows with them. Beloved childhood playmates go off to school and are welcomed home with wagging tail or deep, loud purr. Our hearts and souls are nourished and made whole because they are a part of our lives, part of us.
As with us all, time takes its toll. The fast-paced walks turn into a gentle stroll. They have trouble getting up and getting around. It is hard to see them weaken and decline. But a look into their eyes assures us they are still enjoying life.
Sooner or later a corner is turned. Cancer, sickness, or some unknown affliction is sucking them down. It may happen slowly or fast, it doesn’t matter. No BODY can last forever. No matter how long we have together, it is never long enough.
The call comes in for my help. No one is diluted; we all know what is needed. Sometimes I drive to the home, as nobody wants the last memory of our beloved to be the dreaded “trip to the vet.”
I arrive at the appointed hour. We reminisce about the good times. How did she get her name? (There is always a good story there). Isn’t it funny how we all have pet names for our pets – one label is by no means adequate.
The good-byes are expressed, tears are shed… I join in, but under control. Always under control. Hold it in damn it.
I give the injection that will help this beloved soul to the other side. Quickly, the chest is still. I listen closely for the heartbeat – – – silence. The suffering is ended. A sacred moment is shared. I know in my heart that they will meet again.
I AM THE ANGEL OF DEATH. After almost 30 years, it hasn’t gotten any easier. A prayer goes out to all I’ve touched.
I welcome you to pay tribute to all who have passed though your life.