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Category Archives: dogs and mourningImage
It is with a very heavy heart that I announce the passing of my beloved Daisy on the 26th of July. As any dog lover will know, one of the hardest things about having a dog in your life is knowing that they do not live as long as we do and many of us will face the decision to let them pass in peace and without pain.
Daisy was 14 years, 17 days old. Although slowing down, she always showed in an interest in twice-daily walks until about a month ago, when one afternoon she looked up at me to say “I’ve been to the toilet, now I just want to go home and rest.” We have had more days like that – sporadically – until about the last week when once daily walks were enough for her. After her last acupuncture treatment on Wednesday afternoon, she was very happy and energetic – walking longer and at a quicker pace than the last few weeks.
That was to be our last walk together.
One of the things that is an owner’s responsibility and duty is to manage quality of life. In Daisy’s case, she had the look in her eye that many people describe – it told me “I’ve had enough.”
As part of my grieving process, and in tribute to my dear Daisy, here are a few photos of her life. We were together for 10 years and 7 months – and I wish I had them to do all over again.
Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, Canine Catering Ltd, Christchurch, New Zealand
So true…for any of us who have suffered a loss of a dog…every little reminder matters
The Dog Hair
The dog is gone. We miss him. When the doorbell rings, no one barks. When we come home late, there is no one waiting for us. We still find his white hairs here and there around the house and on our clothes. We pick them up. We should throw them away. But they are all we have left of him. We don’t throw them away. We have a wild hope—if only we collect enough of them, we will be able to put the dog back together again.
— Lydia Davis, from her recent collection Can’t and Won’t
It’s been a bit busy this week, so I haven’t had time to post until now. One reason for the busy week has been that I have appeared in The Press, the Christchurch region’s newspaper. The reporter wanted to know more about dog massage (which of course is a favorite subject of mine). Both Daisy and I are very grateful for the free publicity, which came out of the blue in the form of a phone interview.
The article generated a very special enquiry in the form of an email:
May I ask if Daisy is a Pinerock pointer? I lost my beautiful old lady Gracie in May and this morning I almost fell off my chair to see that face. Even friends have asked how I found the massage worked with Grace. That’s how alike they are – my girl had just turned 13 so they could conceivably be a similar age. Happy to send you a picture if you like.
And so it transpired that I learned more about Daisy’s sister, who lived with another dog named Shamus, who still grieves for her. Indeed, it is eerie to see how much Daisy and Gracie resembled one another. The bloodlines are clearly apparent…
Gracie’s mum may come for a visit to meet Daisy one day. I’m sure Daisy would be as welcoming as always and we will share more stories of Gracie.
Last weekend, a memorial service was held for the Oklahoma pets who perished in last month’s tornadoes. The service was conducted at the Orr Family Farm which is located next door to the Celestial Acres Training Center, a training facility for horses where many died.
Perhaps one of the most touching stories of the losses suffered was that of Fred, a black Labrador. He survived the storm buried beneath debris that was subsequently bulldozed over several times. He was rescued but passed away five days later. His veterinarian said, ‘It doesn’t seem fair.’
When Kaiser, a two-year old German Shepherd member of the Plymouth, Massachusetts Police Department, was struck suddenly by severe kidney disease, it was decided to end his suffering.
On Friday, members of the Department gathered to give Kaiser a final salute as he entered the vet’s office.
Officer Jamie Lebretton, Kaiser’s handler, told followers on the Foundation’s Facebook page that ‘ I feel privileged to have had a front row seat to witness his bravery and heroic actions while serving the people of Plymouth and my brothers and sisters in blue. Out of love and respect for Kaiser, and with the input from our excellent vet, trainer, and family, I have made the heart wrenching decision to end Kaiser’s suffering. ‘
Kaiser was laid to rest at the Angel View Pet Cemetery in Middleborough. He joined the police dog squad at the age of 5 months in 2011 and is gone too soon.
The care and love shown for Kaiser is just another story of so many – stand up and be proud that we love and bond with our dogs!
Today was a sad day at the Old Friends kennels of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. When I went to sign in for the afternoon, I was told ‘Old Friends will be closing at 3 today; we’re crossing Eve.’
Crossing, as in the Rainbow Bridge. Eve was a paraplegic when I met her last year, but she had a spirit about her which said ‘don’t pick me up, I’ll get there by myself thank you.’ And her best friend was Dumpling, the little toothless mixed breed girl that I fell in love with.
Eve’s progress and care was documented as part of the Guardian Angels program, which profiles special animals from around the sanctuary and encourages monthly donations. Caregivers update the Guardian Angel journals on a regular basis.
From a distance, I monitored Eve’s progress through the journal; also hoping to catch a glimpse of Dumpling, which I did through this wonderful video:
Through Eve’s journal, I read about the donation of her mobility cart and options to keep it from chafing. When Dumpling got adopted in December 2012, I read about Eve’s grief at the loss of her friend and the efforts of caregivers to find her suitable companionship. And in March of this year, Eve exited the Guardian Angel program to give way to another special needs dog.
So when I arrived here last week, seeing Eve and other remaining Old Friends was a top priority. It is a comfort to know that I was here at Old Friends today to say goodbye to her.
A final Guardian Angel entry is now live on the Best Friends website to mark Eve’s crossing. Read it here and perhaps go back in time to read more about this very special, special needs dog.
Eve will be laid to rest at Angels Overlook, the cemetery for sanctuary animals.