When it's time

This blog is dedicated to a dear friend of mine who is dealing with the loss of an amazing companion.

They are our bestfriends, our confidants, a shoulder to lean on when we need one and our constant companions. Our dogs give us everything they have to give and when it is their time to go, this can be one of the most devastating times as a guardian. As a guardian it is our job to care for our dogs no matter what. We have volunteered to keep our dogs happy and healthy for the short years that they are with us, that includes making the decision to let them go.

It is never an easy decision but often one that is set upon us without notice, when a dog takes a turn for the worse, when they have not dealt with a long illness this can turn our world upside down. We would all love our dogs to live with us our whole life but the sad truth is that they don't and their lives are often cut far too short by illness or injury.

It is at these times that we need to make the final decision to let them go. It is a selfless act, one that takes great courage and a love so deep for your dog that you don't want them to suffer one second longer. Clyde, now long gone and the love of my life was in bad shape at the end of his life. He was put onto morphine and had a spectrum of tests run with no clear results. "What was causing so much pain in my dog?" In the end I decided to take him off the morphine which was putting him into a constant state of panting confusion. I needed to see how he really was feeling, and it only took hours to know.

I sat on the floor, his head in my lap as he relaxed. I never stopped stroking his face, now nearly deaf I wanted him to know I was not leaving him. As Clyde slipped away in peaceful sleep a piece of my heart was permanently taken. I sat with tears streaming down my face as I let one of the loves of my life move on from his painful body and onto rest. Sadly this is part of being a guardian.

We must mourn; this is a very personal time. No two people will mourn the same but it is an essential part of loving and living with dogs. I truly believe that each dog that touches our lives changes us for the better, helping in our evolution. And when the time comes and we feel that our heart has room for another we will love again.

The addition of a new dog is never ever a replacement. There can never be an identical bond but we can fill a lonely void with another life. It is important to look at each new dog in our lives as just that, a new life, a new personality. And the dogs in our past will always be in our heart, our memory and our soul.

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