I think about my dogs often. When Vitas, my shih tsu was diagnosed with lymphoma, I was told there was no cure. I could prolong his life through radiation and chemo but the outcome would still be the same. This was heart wrenching and as the days went on and he grew worse, it tore at my heart. Finally the day came I took him to be euthanized to end his suffering but mine would continue on even after he was gone. I was given the opportunity to stay with him till his last breath or walk away. I chose to stay. I held his head in my hands, my face buried in his neck, I cried and tried to reassure him it was almost over, I told him I loved him and told him he was a good boy. I could feel my heart being ripped out as he took his final breath. He lay there lifeless but I knew this was one of the greatest acts of love I could give him.
About 1 year later my other shih tsu, Chewy who had reached 15 years old had succumbed to old age. He was blind, had severe arthritis, had lost control of his bowels, he was disoriented and was not doing well. He had a great spirit and continued to be loving through it all. Once again I took him in to see if it was more humane to let him ride it out or have him euthanized also. After a check up it was discovered that he had a severe heart murder and it would be in his best interest to let him go.
Once again I was given the choice to stay or go. I chose to stay. I held him as I had Vitas and tried to reassure him I was almost over, I said that I loved him and thanked him for being a loyal companion. Again my heart was shredded and ripped out as he took his last breath. I walked away each time broken.
Now as I am in the final stages of my life, I feel my Savior holding me comforting me with soothing words, “it’s almost over, I love you and thank you for being a loyal daughter.” Now instead of my heart being ripped out, shredded and laying on the floor, it is being filled with joy, gratitude and healing of what is yet to come.