Friday, May 13, 2011


Last weekend The Husband and I were faced with the decision and need to put our beloved Kia-dog down. I had taken both dogs in for their annual check-ups, thinking she had gastritis, upset tummy, or perhaps had swallowed something she shouldn’t have (she was a lab…). They sent me home with Pepcid AC. Four days later she stopped eating and I took her back in for x-rays. It was a shock to find out she had a partially collapsed lung and fluid in her abdominal cavity which was putting pressure on her stomach – hence the lack of appetite – but no discernible mass could be found. This time I went home with steroids and painkillers which were supposed to help with appetite. I consulted a specialist on Wednesday and we sent a fluid sample off to the lab to determine what kind of cancer and explore treatment options. Late Friday night/very early Saturday morning, her breathing had changed for the worse and we knew it was time to let her soul go.

This was perhaps one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make – and looking back at that week of vet visits – I think both Kia and I knew the end was coming. For the week prior- as her health rapidly deteriorated - I was up with her in the middle of the night, listening to her shift around on her pillow, for slight changes in her breath that told me she was laying on the uncomfortable side, for a quiet polite whine to let me know she wanted to be outside where it was cooler.

I grieved in the darkness.

I wrote her blog Memoriam.

And we said our good-byes.

Grieving is such a personal thing. I felt I was really able to draw on my eastern philosophy lessons and readings (yogic and Buddhist); that everything is impermanent, we control nothing, and the concept of aparigraha (non-attachment) of which Hilary talks about today on Life on Riverview Street (coincidence? I don’t believe so). I re-read Linda-Sama’s posting: Today is A Good Day to Die  and took comfort in her words. Kia was so very dear to me, and it was easier for me to understand her passing from this plane into the next existence by drawing strength from what I’ve learned. I can talk about her passing, I can rejoice in the time she gave me, and derive delight in listening to stories others had about her.

May her rebirth be fortuitous.