Planning for the end can help alleviate sadness and bring some joy

Older DogA few weeks back, I came across a lady who was standing patiently in her front yard with her obviously elderly dog while this dog appeared to be gazing straight into her picket fence. I stopped to meet this pet and her owner, I love to talk with people about their pets. Shirlee explained to me that her dog , Daisy, had gone blind a number of years ago but seemed to be getting along just fine even though she also had lost her hearing . I stooped down to stroke Daisy, a sweet little white dog, who seemed to gratefully acknowledge my presence.

Our conversation naturally evolved to a discussion about our elderly pets and what a challenge it is to move along this aging process with them and how much care they sometimes require along the way. This woman told me that she knows her dog will not be with her much longer but is enjoying every single day that they share together. She also shared that she is concerned because her dog was going into surgery the next week to have her teeth cleaned and she is worried about the anesthesia tolerance of such an elderly dog. She knows that it is a risk, it always is when dogs are under anesthetic but what impressed was her attitude. Shirlee has accepted that Daisy will most likely be leaving her very soon regardless of the outcome of the surgery and she has prepared herself as much as she can for this. She has found a veterinarian who is will to do a house call euthanasia if that becomes necessary (National Directory of Home Euthanasia Veterinarians: ) and she has even prepared for Daisy’s final resting place.

Shirlee knew that she didn’t want Daisy to be buried but she also didn’t like the idea of a cold hard urn so she has had a Soft-Hearted Pillow Pet Urn created for her. The Soft-Hearted Pillow Pet Urn is a soft pillow with an interior pocket into which she will have her vet enclose Daisy’s ashes when the time comes. Daisy has always been right next to her and this way she will remain close. Shirlee plans to place Daisy’s pillow on her favorite chair.

I drove by Shirlee’s home again this week and saw her standing outside in the same spot with Daisy who obviously made it through her teeth cleaning with flying colors. It made me happy to see them both and it gives me a sense of comfort to know that Shirlee is realistic and has preplanned the inevitable near future. Now she can enjoy every day she shares with Daisy and won’t have to make all of those difficult decisions during such a sad time.