My nearly-fifteen-year-old dog is ready to die. Not only a dog is Mr. Jinks, but a friend who’s unconditionally, unfailingly loved me for nearly fifteen years. He can never be “just a dog,”now, can he?
I took him to the vet’s earlier in the week because he had a cough, among his other old age ouches. Vet said he didn’t have the cold I thought he had. Rather, it was congestive heart failure. He gave me meds and Mr. Al and I took Jinks home.
Only, Jinks had other ideas.
For a couple of days he ate the meds because they were crunched up and concealed in tempting cat food. For a couple of days he ate the canned dog food because it was a treat.
Then, he refused it all.
And he looked at me in a way that said, “This is no fun anymore and I want to be free of this body that won’t let me run anymore.”
Jinks lived to run and play fetch.
Of course I didn’t want to hear what he was telling me. So I didn’t listen to him. And he got even more listless until I had to hear him.
But I didn’t want to.
So I consulted my friends for confirmation. I have some extraordinary friends. One, being Jink’s old veterinarian back in Eureka. I think the best vets are all Dr. Doolittles. They have to be. This vet is an angel as well. She told me she thought he was ready for his next adventure in a brand new body and why didn’t I talk with our mutual friend, a professional animal communicator.
So I did. My professional animal communicator friend (www.creaturespeak.com) told me this “Oh he’s ready, all right, and he said it’s about time I figured it out. Took me long enough to get the message.”
And finally, I contacted a third friend who had a special connection with Jinks and she said, “Yeah, it’s time.”
So I contacted my new vet, another Dr. Doolittle, who is coming tomorrow morning to help Jinks with his deathing.
But it’s the right thing to do.
This morning, Jinks wanted to go out to go to the bathroom. He had just enough energy to do his business. Then he collapsed. Mr. Al and I had to lift him onto a blanket and carry him back into the house. He’s skin and bones, but he still weighs 65 pounds.
Bless his puppy heart.
He feels badly he can’t lift himself.
The least we can do is let him keep his dignity until the end, don’t you think?
Death is that last great mystery. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in its presence. It certainly won’t be the last.
To me, it feels very holy.
(Oh, and we’re not talking about the murder and mayhem kind of death. We’re talking about a natural, end-of-life kind of death)
It feels loving.
And, yeah, if feels sad, too.
But it’s the love I feel the most. It’s the love that brings me to tears, not the sadness, because I do not believe this is the final goodbye. I’ve experienced too much in my live not to deeply know that death can not end life. What did Einstein say? Something about nothing ever dies, just changes form? Energy is energy. Love is love. Life is life. No room for death. It’s what I believe.
No, what brings me to tears is love.
Because Love is just too huge, Love is too all encompassing, Love is too real not to be consumed by it.
Have a great week, peeps. I think I’ll go see if Mr. Jinks would like a nice bone to gnaw on one last time (for now, anyway.)
9 thoughts on “The Dignity and the Mystery”
bye, Jinks. We will miss you.
That was beautifully said. A two tissue kind of post. Hugs!!
Thank you. xoxoxo
That’s what love and life and friendship should be.
I am so sorry for your heartache but what a perceptive post. We had the same situation with our Rhett Butler last year. I grieve with you. But your communicator friends are correct – when they are ready, they know. And you do the compassionate thing for your friend, right? We did too. It’s hard, but it’s the loving thing to do. many blessings, my friend.
Thank you, Karen. Your words are comforting. Funnily enough, Jimks remainded in charge. He died the night before the vet was to come. I was with him and witnessed/supported him with his transitioning…as were my two cats and remaining two dogs.
That is sacred time indeed.