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October 5th, 1984 - December 12th, 1998
Just a short while ago I had to make the decision to put my 15 yr. old Golden Retreiver / Collie mix dog Jed, put to sleep. It feels like it was only yesterday and I know it really took me a couple of months to come to the decision. I knew his time with me was growing short but I really knew it was time to say goodbye when he stopped eating and he lacked almost all energy to get up. I had talked of his age and how he had good days and bad days and just wondered if I would know, I mean really know, when it was the right time. That time came December 12th, 1998.
The family all rode together to the vet clinic and with Jed between us and tears flowing freely we reminisced about all the happy memories he had shared with us.
We stayed in the room until the end and his labored breathing came to a halt. I could almost see his spirit jump from his now still body, and I'm sure he had a look of, "See ya on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, Mom!" It gives me such joy to believe he is running and playing with the other dogs and not in pain any more. I found the other poem "The Last Battle" after that day. I think had I read this before that day, it would have made the decision less heart rending. Not necessarily easier, but without so much guilt.
I was lucky to be in the position to be able to afford to get him creamated. I bought a beautiful marble canister with a matching picture frame from Memorial Keepsakes. He now has a place on the mantle over the fire place and I get to continue to "see" him everyday. Memorial Keepsakes and other companies provide many different products, check them out.
I am going to share with everyone reading this page, if the end of your pets life has not yet come, I would suggest creamation when that time comes. If you have a personal reason you could not do the creamation, find some way to get your pet home and bury them. I say this because having worked at an animal hospital / vet clinic, I know the bodies that are left with the clinic are taken to the local shelter and put together in a massive pile and creamated any way. Some of these bodies have been in the freezer so long, magets are crawling out of the bag. I don't think people realize what happens when they leave their pets bodies there. Even the BEST vets have to have the bodies taken to other places.
If you have shared your life with a pet, a member of the family, do what you can so you won't suffer guilt feelings after the fact. If you have done this not knowing what happens, console your self knowing you did the best you could with what you knew at the time. That's all we can do. The next time you will have different information and may make a different decision.