“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
Hi from Lee,
This is a very hard newsletter for me to write. I wasn’t able to last week because I was in so much personal agony. I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life, to put my sweet dog Angel to sleep, who I have simply adored for 14 years.
I learned so much from this animal and she actually saved mine and Clifton’s lives when she was a puppy. Our home caught on fire but because we were both sick with sinus infections and couldn’t smell anything, and had taken medication to sleep, we didn’t wake up from the smoke. Somehow, this little 5 pound puppy figured out how to get on our bed and screamed at the top of her lungs to wake us up. If it weren’t for Angel, I suspect that both Clifton and I would have died of smoke inhalation. Needless to say, she earned our love!
Preparing for Angel’s departure was emotional torture since we both loved her with all of our hearts and souls. Human relationships are complex, but your relationship with your pet is purer and simpler. When you need comfort, your dog doesn’t need the full story on how awful your day has been, it just knows you are upset and stays near you. Dogs relate to you with unconditional love. Anytime there’s a cross-species interaction, you are in the presence of something sacred and meaningful. Anyone who owns or has owed animals experiences this deep bond, which makes it very challenging to let them go.
Angel had just turned 14 and in the last few months, her health had started to seriously deteriorate. She was no longer living a quality life. We extended her life as far as we could with medical and holistic care but we couldn’t fix her medical issues. A stroke left her almost totally blind and deaf and sadly, she had Dementia, which I didn’t even know dogs could get until a few months ago. Her kidneys were failing, and old age had just set in to the point that Clifton and I were literally carrying her outside every hour.
Even when you know it’s time to let your pet go it is so painful and hard. I knew we were doing the right thing but my heart was breaking to have to make the tough decision and do the right thing for her.
I had a friend of mine gift me with an animal communicator session a few days before we let Angel go. If you haven’t worked with an Animal Communicator for your pets I will honestly say it is an amazing and enlightening experience. I have done this on and off for years with my many dogs, cats, and horses. It is real and they have profound information that is valuable to know. Once I couldn’t figure out why Angel was throwing up. The communicator told me she was allergic to eggs and when I removed them from her diet she was fine. During the last session Angel told us it was time to let her go, that her body could no longer support her staying. Even thought Angel couldn’t hear on a physical level, I know she could hear me on a spiritual level. We assured her we loved her more than anything and wanted her to go to The Rainbow Bridge where she can join me when I cross over in the future. There is no time on the other side. The session actually helped me realize I had to release the stress of trying to control this situation and I had to surrender and put it in God’s hands.
We found a wonderful Hospice Vet who came to our home last Friday at 4:30 pm and assisted Angel’s transition. Angel left the Earth plane after a great steak and mashed potatoes dinner in her own bed surround by Clifton and I holding her. I had agonized for weeks about when to have the vet come to the house. Was I doing this at the right time? The quality of her life the last week made it crystal clear that the time had come. She no longer played or enjoyed her outside walks. She clearly let me know her body had worn out. She passed very peacefully to the other side. The Cremation service was waiting for her. It was all very surreal and happened so fast but in my sad heart I know we did the right thing for Angel.
Life is so different now: She is no longer there at the door when I come home to be so excited to see me. The house is painfully quiet and neat since her toys aren’t scattered everywhere. I keep thinking I hear her but it’s my imagination. It was so hard to remove all her food, toys and beds. I will miss her more than words can say because she was such a great little light in my life.
Author Marjorie Garber summed it up well with her quote: If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.
I am in heartbreak right now. It would have been selfish of me to keep her going when there was no way we could turn around the physical limitations she was facing. I know she is in doggie heaven and no longer in pain which gives me comfort. She was the sweetest most profound dog of my life, and I have had many dogs. I do not believe in death, I believe the spirit lives on, just sadly not with me on the earth plane now. Angel taught Clifton and I many life lessons. We will always love and miss her and are very grateful for our short 14 years together. Our cat is also in mourning that Angel is no longer here.
We will get another puppy for sure after we move into our new home sometime late this summer.
I want to personally thank everyone who reached out to me. It is amazing how when you are in deep grief the gesture of notes, flowers, books about dogs mean so much. I am very grateful to everyone who has reached out. It has been comforting and healing that “Animal People” understand the pain of losing your beloved pet. If you have never lost a pet it is hard to comprehend the bond.
I will leave you with this quote from Dr. Seuss and I will be honest that I am not there yet, although I will be soon. Please hug your Pets for me!
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Love and Light to you,
Author of Success is an Inside Job
P.S. This is a photo of Angel when she was about five years old sitting in my living room on the top of the sofa. I love it because she really looks like the Angel she was and now truly is.