What do you do when your best friend is dying?
There is one condition that all of our beloved pets will have happened in their lives. Their eternal spirits will finally decide it is time to leave their physical bodies and make their transition to where all of their buddies who passed before them are gathered, waiting for their arrival.
Over the past 50 years of caring for animals, one of the hardest part of being a veterinarian is counseling caregivers on the transition of their best friends. This is a topic that we seldom discuss until we are faced with the fact that the time has come for us to let our dear friend cross the Rainbow Bridge. ( I have made a copy of this wonderful story at the bottom of this article for you to read and share with others.
The first and most important point I make with all my clients, is that unless their animal friend is truly in pain, ( please go to my page on the difference between pain and discomfort) that they should do their best to let them make their crossing over as peaceful and natural as possible. If they are suffering, then they have to let their friend go mercifully with the help of their veterinarian. The fine line is what is suffering and a peaceful transition?
I always tell my caregivers, “Be the dog, the cat, the horse, the pig, etc.” What I mean by this is that before you make the decision to put your friend to sleep, you give them a chance to tell you when they need help or not. As long as they are quiet, resting, not struggling or restless, I feel they are content in their transition and we need to keep them as stress free as possible as they make their transition. If they are crying, distressed, restless, unable to sleep or find a comfortable position, I feel they are asking us to assist them in their joining their family on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge. At this point if we are unable to make them comfortable, we owe them a humane release from their suffering.
What I have found that helps them make this transition a gentler one, is what I want to share with all of you who read my words. All I ask it that you share this information with at least three more people. By doing this one thing, we will all be able to help our friends, great and small with their journey through time.
First of all if they tell me they do not want us to try so hard to keep them alive, that we need to honor this and keep the following in mind. In our determination to keep them on this planet, we must be careful not to forget that with the little time left, we do not want to lose the quality time we have left with them consumed with treatment. We do not want our last moments with our dear friends to be filled with forcing medication down their throats and having them plead with us to let them make their transition peacefully. Spend your time holding them, talking to them or just being with them quietly and sharing the moment in the NOW.
I have found that Rescue remedy, which contains Star of Bethlehem for loss, Impatients for pain, mixed with Walnut for transition, is an excellent blend for the transition of our pets. You can mix it into their water, so that if they want a drink they can treat themselves. If they are not drinking, then you can give it to them orally or massage it into their ears as needed. By this I mean if they start to show signs of discomfort repeat the remedy every 5 minutes until they are peaceful once again. I have also found the essential oil blend Release by Young Living Essential Oils mixed with Frankincense is a great aromatherapy blend to help them see the light and be more at ease with their transition. ( you can order these oils from my website www.thepetwhisperer.com under the essential oil link) I recommend either diffusing the oils in the room or massaging a drop of this mixture in each ear as needed for calming and grounding them.
If they become restless at any point during this period of time, I have found the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum album 30C or higher to be very helpful in reducing pain and restlessness. It can also help them make their transition more peacefully.
The most important thing to remember is that you always listen to your friend. They will always tell you if their time has come and what you need to do for them. All you have to do, is be quiet and hold them and ask them what they want you to do. You will either get a feeling or they will give you a physical or emotional symptom that will tell you what you need to do.
Just because they stop eating and drinking or moving around does not mean they are suffering. How many times when you have been very ill and did all of these same. No one thought about euthanizing you and neither should you think this about your friend. He or she needs hospice not euthanasia. Spend what time you have left with them enjoying the memories and protecting them on the next part of their eternal journey through time.
If you find this more than you can bare, they understand that whatever you decide to do in their behalf, it is from your heart and filled with love. This is why they are in this world with us, to teach us to care about each other with unconditional love for all creatures great and small.
Many times I have been asked why animal’s lives are so short? I have given this a great deal of thought, and these are my feelings about this question. First of all I believe that the Creator put the animals on this planet as our teachers. What better lesson to teach us, than to prepare us for our time of transition. By teaching us how to face death without fear and at peace with the next part of their journey, they have prepared us for our crossing of the Rainbow Bridge. They are the Bridge-walkers who remind us of our spiritual self and to help us connect with our highest purpose to serve each other.
Animals do not dwell on dying, but on living. They do not wear watches or check the calendar for how much time they have left to live. They just live in the NOW and are HERE. They feel fulfilled when they know they have taught us these lessons in the short time they are allowed to be with us and we owe it to them as their students to thank them each and every day for their unconditional love for us.
“Miracles happen every day, all we have to do is get out of the way. If we do this each and every day, more will surely come our way.” Thank you for caring and paying it forward. Dr. Stephen R. Blake DVM, CVA, CVH, Usui Reiki Master and fellow human being.
The Rainbow Bridge
There is a bridge connecting heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.
When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.
There is only one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly stops playing and looks up! The eyes are staring! And this one suddenly runs from the group!
You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated