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Animal Communication: PS… All Roads Lead To Home

2013 August 8

Our old dog, Rose, a good old soul was almost 16 years old. Now that’s a good long life for any dog and Rose had lots of miles on her. Being half Cardigan Corgi, part chow and Aussie she was a short legged dog yet very sturdy and energetic. She went on many adventures over the years and spent many, many miles on the trails following me on my horse. Rose had been to the Marble Mountains on pack train weekends, to the Yollo Bolly Wilderness on hunting trips as well as many walks at King Salmon Beach where everyone knew her face and name. 

Yes, she had crooked sore legs and yes, her eyesight was dim and her hearing not so hot anymore either. Still, she putted along each day as we added a ramp to the deck, lifted her up and down out of the pickup truck and made her a great sheeps wool bed for comfort and warmth. 

The morning started out with her having extreme bladder problems (very early in my morning which involved pee on the ceiling and a floor mopping at 5 AM) so when the vets office opened for business I called to make an appointment. After relating Rose’s symptoms over the phone I said “I think she should be seen”. The woman asked quickly if I could wait one moment which of course I could. When she came back on the phone it was to give all the different options for euthanasia. Apparently she heard “I think she needs to be put to sleep”. I was a bit shocked and said what I wanted was an appointment and would talk about treatment with the attending vet.  

So our day marched on. Later that afternoon when my husband arrived home I told him about her problems and that I had made a vet appointment for her. He said “so are you going to have her put to sleep”.  Again I was a bit shocked and more than a little shaky. He reminded me that we always “wait too long” and “did we want her to suffer through another summer?” I said that I still would like to talk with the vet and he agreed.

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There was a bit of time before the appointment so I loaded up the dogs to take what would be our last walk on that sweet little stretch of King Salmon Beach.  It was quiet and calm and Rose made her way down the beach and back once again. It hadn’t been fun for her in a long time – more like a forced march or a habit that needed to be tended to until the end. I asked her if she was really ready to go – to leave her malfunctioning body behind. The answer was a strong YES!

While turning to start back up the trail to the truck a woman came along with her daughter and two dogs. One was free and playing with Clifford, our other dog. The small Jack Russell was energetic and on a leash. The woman allowed him to sniff Rose (the important end of course) and praised him for being polite. At that moment he jumped to her face and attacked her, grabbing her cheek and pulling backwards. That was all I needed to know – he knew she was at her end and it was important for me to know that also. 

At the vet everything went smoothly. She had a very brief exam, the vet reminded me that although we could treat the bladder issue that everything else would be the same. Her body was diminishing by the week. No joy in her life. No tail wagging over her back. Constant discomfort. 

So there I was telling myself what I so often tell others. That it was ok and the soul leaves the body before the heart stops beating. That we always have access to the essence of that soul and the memories of a lifetime are stored within both our minds and our own bodies. Still, I was a mess, standing there holding her on the table as those last injections were given.  The gift was carrying her body home and having time to sit with her on my lap, her body still warm and pliable while my husband dug the grave for her body’s last resting spot, next to her sister whom she arrived with almost 16 years ago. 

When I looked over that day I could see how it was mapped out from the beginning and that there no coincidences at all but that all paths led to home. I realized a few days later that she really had been memorialized in the previous Isis Scrolls in the essay about your pets last day. It is so important to notice the signs that point in the same direction, making it clear that the decision made was good. 

We love and miss our Rose and treasure the time she spent with us.