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THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
3 September, 2014
I am not a fan of sappy sentiment, especially things like this, which I want to say is just so sappily sentimental that it makes me roll my eyes, but yet if you are someone who has loved and lost a pet, it probably brings some comfort.
My friends Jim Brochu and Steve Schachlin lost their beloved Steinbeck this week.
The cat was 15 years old, lived a long and happy life, and died in their arms, peeing on them as he left life. The perfect ending.
I have a bone to pick with God. He really designed things wrong. It is completely unfair that he gave us animals to bond with us and be our life partners and then saddle them with such a short life spans.
When a pet dies, we are disconsolate, and somewhat embarrassed that we let our tears flow freely. "It was just a cat" or "dog" or "whatever." No. It was not "just [an animal]."
When you share your life with an animal they are there in good times and in bad. You play with them, sleep with them, talk to them, feed them, take care of them. They watch you and are clued into your every mood. They try to comfort when you are sad, they are quick to forgive, and you may have a relationship closer to your pet than you have to most of your friends. Why wouldn't you cry at their death and feel deeply sad after they are gone.
When the end of life is near, we feel frantic because we are helpless to prolong their life. We want to say "no! no! Don't go! Not yet!" But we love them and know that the kindest thing we can do often is to let them go. They often tell us when it is their time. I remember our dog Seymour, who was a ball chasing demon died of cancer. I knew that day she spent her day with her head on a chair, and no interest in balls at all, that it was time.
I've seen a number of animals leave this life. None of us knows what happens after death, but it was our dog Toby who convinced me that there is a thing called a "soul" and that animals have one. I held him when he was leaving life. As the doctor gave him the first shot, he relaxed completely. As she gave him the lethal shot, his body didn't change but his "essence" changed. I could almost feel his soul...or his "something" leave his body. He went from being our beloved pet to being an empty shell and the thing that made him Toby was no longer there.
It reminds me of the death of Lad, A Dog. The mistress and the master return find Lad lying by his beloved lake and the master says "the engine has stopped" and she corrects him. "No. The engineer has left it."
We give these guys our love and they give us their unconditional love and when they leave us, it hurts so much.
I hope there is an afterlife. I hope we are reunited with our loved ones. And I hope that all those dogs who have preceeded me are there to be with me again.
In the meantime, my heart is with Jim and with Steve because I know
how much they are hurting tonight.
Photo of the Day
Day 65: This tree near my mother's was so gorgeous
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