There is a soul-level recognition between people and dogs. Canines are incredible creatures with healing powers that are only now becoming obvious to the medical establishment. Where there is love and healing in their presence, there is also sorrow at their passing.
I have a couple of very good friends who, quite recently, had to make hard decisions to euthanize their dogs. They are grieving the loss of their beloved pets, and I sometimes wonder if losing a pet, especially a dog, isn’t more difficult for some than other losses. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not alluding to human death being easier to stomach, but I am saying the loss of a dog can be difficult because of the habits we build with our pets.
You come home, and who is there waiting, always excited to see you no matter how bad your day has been? Your dog. Taking your dog to the park and watching them run and jump with pure delight fills your heart. When you’re sick, an intuitive pet, will have a hard time leaving your side.
Pets, especially dogs, are amazing beings that we choose to share our lives with, and upon their passing, the loss can be absolutely devastating. People who are “dog people” simply won’t understand this. To some “outsiders”, pets are something to be owned. To pet-lovers, the animals we choose to share our lives with are important family members and companions.
If it’s any consolation whatsoever, and for fresh grief it likely won’t be, I can tell you that I believe, without a sliver of doubt that the soul, or Divine Essence, of our pets moves on after physical death.
Several months ago I assisted my parents in helping their dog to pass as quickly and “easily” as possible. When the day came that she could no longer get around on her own and do things like eat, or urinate, we went to a very caring veterinarian and stayed with her while they gave her the final dose of medicine that would end her life. My mother and I both felt an obvious change of energy in the room with a peace that washed over us as Keisha departed her body. Mom was thankful she had stayed through the process; though it had been a scary prospect at first. She said that being there as Keisha’s heart stopped beating was easier on her than had she left the room and wondered how it all ended.
When I was only beginning my spiritual path many years ago, I was doing a guided meditation that would introduce me to my spirit and animal guides. I remember walking down a path, and running along beside me was a beautiful golden/red dog who looked a little wild (kind of like a dingo). When I came out of the meditation, I shared what I saw with my friend. I described the animal’s physical features as well as the personality, or “essence” of the dog. She reminded me of my childhood dog, Sunni. When I met 2-year-old Hazel at the no-kill shelfter, well over a decade after that meditation, I knew she was the dog from that introductory journey. It was love at first sight as she jumped up on me in excitement. We both acted like we were best friends right away. My family has mentioned many times how her energy and personality reminds them of Sunni.
I love that scene in “What Dreams May Come” where Robin Williams is in his idea of Heaven and the family dog, who had to be euthanized in an earlier scene, comes bounding through the field toward him. The smile that comes across his face, and the happiness with it, is undeniable.
To take on the responsibility of a dog, and the difficult choice to end their life to ease their pain and suffering when the time comes, is a noble thing (if only we could do that for the people in our lives). Through your tears and changing circumstances, remember to celebrate the life that brought you so much comfort and joy, and know that they found comfort in you as well…