My story in my Houston Chron blog yesterday was about choices we caretakers have to make at the end of our animals' lives.
Whatever road you choose, is not easy and has to be the best for your beloved. Knowing the panic and jitters and sorrow that
sets in during a time like that, I thought it best to bring this subject to your attention now--before you face an emergency
Do your "homework" ahead of time and take a ride to different places and see how they feel as a
final resting place. I even took a tour of the crematory and stayed there with Baby Hope until I could carry her ashes home.
She was our distemper angel, whose life has saved thousands at this point. I had agreed to have her examined, post dying,
by Texas A & M, per Dr. Sears' encouragement. We could learn more about the disease and especially about the distemper-pneumonia--and
did--that all of the animals get that are afflicted with this disease.
What I did not know ahead of time, was that Texas
A & M would not release her body afterward for burial. Baby Hope had to be cremated because of the exposure, in their
lab, to other diseases--or I could not have her "back." It was a heart-wrenching decision but I wanted her to be
buried in a beautiful place that I could go and visit--and pray. We did exactly that.
What I didn't say in the Chron
article that caretakers should know, is that when an animal is near death, they may seem to get suddenly "better"--if
for just a few seconds or minute. They could sit up, look around, and seem to be recovering. I think, just maybe, that their
angels are there to take them to heaven and they know that. It is a very blessed moment. Time stands still...
the animal will stretch out its neck and have usually three to four seizure-like contractions in their neck area--it is then
that they are passing away. That is the last time you can tell them that you love them, hold them tight, stroke their
head, reassure them that it is OK to "go." Don't be scared of them dying. They were your beloved pet just
before this and are still your beloved after this happens.
(Every animal when it dies has a little bowel movement when
their muscles all relax. Just wipe it up with a baby wipe and/or keep a pad under them if they are sick for awhile.
It is not a big deal.)
Pick out their favorite blanket, clean sheets, their toys, treats, etc. and wrap them
up with love and care. I have waited to have a vet verifies that their heart has stopped beating and/or when I can look into
their eyes to see that their soul has gone. (This will be the last thing you can do for them, so don't have any fear or misgivings.)
Then, take them to their special burial place or to the crematory. Knowing where to go and what to do at a time like this
will be a great comfort. I include a cross and bless the animal with Holy Water. (If we are at a clinic and I don't have a
cross handy, I will make one out of branches from the property.)
There is nothing scary about death and dying. It is
just sad, because you miss the animal terribly but if you believe in heaven, it is really a joyous occasion. Your precious
Love is on their way to a place without sorrow or sickness and that is filled with only love.
What keeps me from sobbing
all of the time is remembering that I, too, will meet up with them some day (I hope) and it will be an-oh-so-joyous reunion.
I smile big at the thought of all of my animals--and those that I've helped--running and romping toward me to say, "Hey...Hello!
We've been waiting for you!" I'll be on my knees laughing and crying tears of joy--certainly not sorrow.
for caring. Especially for caring.
Story URL: http://blog.chron.com/fromunderthebridge/2012/05/ponder-now-end-of-life-care-a-better-ending/
Click Here to Help the Rescue Ranch animals...Please.
PS Recently, Bonnie in Texas and Colleen in California--two RR special angels--lost their beloved animals and are very,
very sad. Many of us understand their pain and their loss. Would you please send up a prayer for them and for their babies?
I wish I could hug them both, but instead, I need to send them our love through my words. "I love you Bonnie and Colleen.
Hugs from Jane, Mike and the Herd."
Although we've had so many puppies born here at the Rescue Ranch, right now, we don't have any newborns--but one of my
readers, Sydney, just had a very unexpected litter! I thought you would all enjoy their tiny feet and noses! Proud mama,
Gracie, is doing well and being a great mama to her babies.
Gracie was rescued/saved and was very sick for a
long while, hence she had not been spayed yet. A little exercise in the yard, and a visiting friend, and well, about 63 days
later, 11 little precious puppies came along! Nursing dog's tummies are too vascular to operate on until at least four
weeks or longer post nursing. They can die on the table or bleed out so the owners have to be very careful about another pregnancy!
have more RR news soon. This past week, we had all kinds of adventures, including a computer that was not working and a headache
that wouldn't quit so my posts were far and few between. I feel alot better this week, thank goodness.
I love getting
your messages that you are starting to find my blog again on the Chron.com site. (blog.chron.com/fromunderthebridge) I am trying to write two-three times a week right now, ramping up to five to six times again in the coming months.
The "comments" are on after each story--although they do have to be approved first for posting, so feel free...
would really appreciate it if you would post the blog URL on your facebook pages and send out to your contacts, etc: blog.chron.com/fromunderthebridge
It is the only way to begin to reach the thousands of readers who love animals-and read my blog--before the Chron site went
under a huge renovation, from which it is still trying to come back! (Give it time.)
We reached 46% of our goal for
April ($560 of the $1200 needed). Thank you RR Angels! The new ChipIn above is for the rest of April and part of May. Click
the ChipIn to read it or Just Click on the Brown Box ABOVE/Top of this page to be taken to the Give Now section)--so PLEASE help if
you can. Things are very rough this month and probably will be next month or at least the first half.
We have a lot
of animals with special needs depending on us to provide for them. (SOS SOS SOS for twin comforters, kibble and canned foods,
and gift cards to Target, Walmart, Petco and Petsmart SOS SOS SOS)
Now, everyone say, "Awwwwww...." when
you look at this lovely photo of Gracie and her babies. Such innocence and love is just priceless. Thank you, Sydney,
(If you would like to follow Gracie and her puppies over the next few months as they grow up, you can join her owner's
facebook page at www.facebook.com/sydneynben Who knows, maybe you'll fall in love and adopt one when they are ready!)
Hugs from the Herd--
One of our original Project Hope, the Distemper Project, volunteers, Bruce, is in the hospital right now with some serious
pain/diagnosis unknown yet. Please say a prayer for him and for his doctors and family. They are all under a lot of stress
trying to figure this out and to help him get better soon. Thank you.