I will never forget the eyes of our beloved Shandy at the vet’s office the day we took her there for a physician-assisted death. Shandy looked at us. Her eyes told us she loved us. She had been unconditionally loved by us for years. She knew how much we loved her. But all in all, it was a difficult day.
Shandy had been in pain for a long time and while the medications helped a bit, pain was still her daily experience of life, ever-increasing each day. The morning we put her favourite cookie in her mouth and she didn’t know what to do with it, we were at a complete loss. Back we went to the vet who diagnosed it as ‘canine dementia’. She wasn’t eating. She was in emotional distress. She didn’t know who she was. She was deaf and partially blind. She was in physical pain. There was nothing we could do.
There was only one answer – we could love her enough to arrange for a physician-assisted death. But that meant not having her in our lives any more – in any way. My husband and I talked it over and a decision was made for the procedure to happen the next morning. I argued “Monday – can’t we have her with us over the weekend and have it done on Monday?”
My wise husband let me talk and cry it out and we talked some more. And then I heard myself say “Let love speak.”
And the words love was speaking were ‘kindness, compassion, selfless love.’
The next morning, Shandy sat on my lap as we drove to the veterinarian’s office.
She was at peace. Usually, at the vet’s, she became agitated, but not that time. She was at peace. .
By rescuing her from a terribly cruel situation so very long ago, we had given her a life of freedom from pain then.
She had given us years of such joy, such companionship, such unconditional love.
Now was our time to give her the gift of unconditional life
give her a life of freedom from pain again
because “love spoke.”
© June Maffin