Losing a loved one is never easy and sometimes especially when it’s a beloved pet. We lost our beloved Emi just yesterday. She was just a few days short of 16 years.
In the past, our dogs have needed our assistance to finally leave here to enter heaven. I do believe pets and other animals go to heaven. I also believe they don’t become angels, rather have a special place in heaven, where they meet up with us again. As well, I know sometimes angels come to Earth and take on the form of an animal, especially a dog, to come help us. They come with a mission and to work. Emi, though dearly love, was not an angel while here. Rather she chose to be a beloved and cherished pet. And that was so perfect for her.
Emi was the youngest, for many years of the group of four. Two were our dogs and two a friends’. She’d been on many adventures, including going to the beach at the ocean, long vacations visiting family, airplane trips that she didn’t like, mall walking with friends, cuddle in or lap sit, and many more. Each adventure she was tail wagging happy when taking part in activities.
And as one who intuitively works with animals, I was able to understand her. However, like many parents know, your children don’t always tell you what they want. Emi was like that but knew she could then go to Aunty Ruth to tell her thoughts to. She was great at communication most of the time. On her first trip to the ocean, she was told all about the upcoming adventure by us and her animal friends. However, we needed to make a quick stop at a ranger stand to get directions. All the dogs were brought to a small dog run area. The other dogs were romping while she just stood looking around. Very clearly Aunty Ruth and I heard Emi say, “this is the beach. “We looked at each other and burst out laughing before we talked hearing her reaction. (We still hold this experience with high regard and smiles) She was reassured this was not the planned adventure. Once at the real ocean beach, little, tiny puppy Emi ran and ran. She chose Molly, a larger Golden Retriever be her running companion. She’d run up around Molly and back to us and around back to Molly. She was brave. She saw Molly venture near the water and wanted to flow the leader. If Molly didn’t have a leash neither did she want one. However, her size and the size of the waves meant she wouldn’t get her way. Without consent, leashed she ventured into the waves. This adventure sparked her love of water.
No matter how close we are with our pets, sometimes, they make choices completely on their own. I would have made different choices if I’d only known. But our lovely Emi left us as she chose.
Emi chose her time and how. Neither my husband nor I were with her. We were working at an event when she chose her time to leave.
She was with my sister and family who were her regular pet sitters. The day before she was held gently by 3 year old Felicity, who has learned to respect her age and frailty. When Felicity was told Emi was old and needed to be treated with gentle care, Felicity figured out how to interact with our old lady. Rather than pick up the frail Emi, Felicity had a vocabulary used just with Emi. Not a “come here” or “go there” sort of command, but hand jesters and a scooch, scooch” to help guide Emi along when Emi was too blind and neatly deaf to get around unfamiliar places. Then when Emi was near her end Felicity would simply hold her, so Emi felt secure and comforted.
And I can say with great comfort I appreciate all the care she received from my sister and family. When taken care of by them she was queen. They knew just how to hold her, wrap her in a blanket so she was secure and brought her nearly everywhere with them. And I give a huge thank you to my nephew Angelous for all the attention he gave Emi when in their care. He’d keep her close by and held her as she’d permit. By holding her, even at times when a teenage young man may not be thrilled to give an old dog comfort. When his niece became tired of holding her and was ready to play, he was ready to step in as her protector. As well, my great nephew, Jason, at only 9 has known how to be with Emi in her way and her place. They were good about sleeping close together at night or sitting together to play video games. But most of all I am grateful to my sister Aimee who would willingly take care of my dogs. She was the one to oversee the whole, when my dogs were in her care. She, as well, knew how to read and treat Emi with such care, Emi was comfortable in their home.
It’s my belief Emi chose to leave in a secure and comfortable way. She felt being with them gave enough peace to her spirit she chose to leave while in their care.
All too often my pets have let me know they were ready and then I’d need to take the next steps to help them along this path. I’d call our veterinarian and be there with them. It was also common for a few of our dogs to ask to be bathed and pampered before their last veterinary appointment.
Emi was different. She was combed on that Thursday because that’s the day we groom our dogs. On Friday she started to not eat. I knew she was getting close. We had a general check-up appointment for the next Tuesday. I really thought she’d be there for that appointment and we’d find out what plans to make then. I also knew she felt so loved when at my sister’s she’d either rally and eat or just be allowed to rest comfortably. She chooses otherwise.
Even though her leaving was just a day ago, I’ve been asked if I regret the way things were. YES, I’d have like to hold her and send her on with our love. I’d have preferred someone else didn’t have to hold the emotional angst of having to tell us or in any way feel the emotion turbulence when life leaves a body. But as well, NO, I know Emi felt loved and secure with these treasured people so much she trusted them with her last breath.
In irony, as an intuitive I was working at an expo and in the midst of doing a Gallery, a group channeling, Emi chose her time. During the Gallery reading loss and grief came up. I didn’t know then that within just a few hours I would have the intense experience of loss and grief. Interesting timing you have Emi. You told me in your own way, but a way that didn’t distract from my delivering messages to those at this group Gallery.
And again, I’ve been asked to decide how I felt. How could I have such conflicting feelings? We can and honestly many of us do. Life is not one way or another. Often life has so many areas of grey and we can be drawn to opposing sides. For me to realize I don’t have to feel regret OR relief is more comforting and freeing than having to choose just one. If I had to choose, it would be regret. If having to only choose regret, then I wouldn’t have sensed the peace I know Emi experienced at the time of her last breath.
Like so many, I feel our time with Emi was too short. And I grieve not having this beautiful soul right here next to me. (During her last year her favorite place was to be tucked in close to my side when I was sitting) I’ll miss the warmth her heart sent mine. But I will also celebrate all the adventures shared with her and her ability to choose to leave in her way, on her terms, with her sense was creating her peaceful transition.
There are many who say losing a pet is the hardest thing in life. I know it is extremely hard, having them leave and knowing when it’s time to help. I’ll never say it’s harder than saying good-bye to our people loved ones. I will say, for me it’s easier when whoever is leaving, chooses their time and can do so on their own. It’s hard enough having decide for a pet then to have to decide for a person we’ve loved. Though not my personal experience, I’ve been close to a couple people who did need to make the choice. From this, I know I will never say which is worse. My heart is with them because, I saw personal angst in their decision and their emotional struggle. Loss is loss. The intensity is ours alone. It’s impacted by our love, relationship, how they died, likes, dislikes, so many things. It’s true loss is part of life. One of the greatest challenges in life. My compassion and tender thoughts, I send to each and all of you who have experienced loss. Gather what peace you can through what experiences you shared that help you find your peace. Hold them as you choose and as you can release being tightly bound in grief.
Emi chose her way. If I had my way, I would have been there, but that’s for my comfort. Rather Emi decided what her way was for her comfort and peaceful transition. I give her my thanks for the many years of love. For her ultimately deciding her destiny. For the dignity she held in her way. With love, I am grateful to Emi and our time with her.