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On saying goodbye with less pain


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I know nothing I could say would ease the pain of anyone suffering the loss of a beloved companion. Fortunately someone with a better way with words than I could hope for has written something I hope will help. Go to Patricia McConnell's blog: http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/ and look for her October 13, 2009 article "Love, Guilt & Putting Dogs Down".

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I haven't had to experience the pain of putting a dog down, but I do remember as a child, losing a beautiful rough coat collie named Duchess. She wasn't spayed and had apparently mated with a St. Bernard and died trying to give birth to such huge puppies. That's what my mother told me. Of course, we couldn't afford a vet back then. I was heartbroken.


We've talked with friends over the years who've had to euthanize a treasured pet and they still get emotional about it, no matter how long it's been since it happened. We create such powerful bonds with our four legged friends, sometimes more than we realize.


This piece helped me with another loss in my life. The death of my father two years ago. I could identify with the "surely there was something else I could have done." There wasn't. I did all I could to keep him happy, healthy and alive after Mom died. But, in the end, that's not what he wanted. After four years of living without my mother, he just shut down and stopped eating. He had no other physical problems. Nothing I could do. Even though everyone told me that, there was still that nagging thought that I could have done something differently. Those feelings still wash over me sometimes, but I'm beginning to feel less guilt as time passes. Guilt. Psychological cancer..


Thank you for posting this.


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