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My Take

Saying goodbye to a pet

Mark McGee
Posted 10/29/22

Drama can occur when you least expect it. Last week I was sitting in a veterinary office waiting for my cat to get her annual regimen of shots.  

As I was waiting, the veterinarian walked …

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My Take

Saying goodbye to a pet

Posted

Drama can occur when you least expect it. Last week I was sitting in a veterinary office waiting for my cat to get her annual regimen of shots.  

As I was waiting, the veterinarian walked into the lobby and asked a woman a question a pet owner really doesn’t want to answer.  

“What are your long-term plans?” the vet asked the woman. The question was prompted by the physical condition of the woman’s dog.  

After a brief discussion between the woman and the veterinarian, it was mutually decided euthanasia was the best alternative.  

A couple of minutes later an assistant to the veterinarian brought out the dog whose future had been determined. It was a cute Yorkshire terrier with a little pink ribbon in her hair.  

The woman held the little dog for a few last moments. 

 One of her friends took one last photo of the two together. Tears were shed.  

Having once had a yorkie the scene was even more dramatic and poignant for me. I was crushed and I timidly told the woman how sorry I was for the loss of her dog.  

She graciously accepted my condolences and then told me she had to go home to her other yorkie and help it deal with its expected sense of loss of a playmate.  

Some people might dismiss such sentimentality over losing a pet. There are tons of quotes about the trauma, but I like this one from Winnie The Pooh the best, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  

Pets become a part of our lives. They sense when we are having problems. They comfort us when we need it. They become our friends.  

One of my cats, Pearl, died in my arms as she was euthanized. It was a quick and painless death. She is buried in the backyard of my parents’ house.  

Even though I loved the yorkie, who is memorialized in the home of my ex-wife, my favorite dog was a shepherd mix which had been living in foster care in my neighborhood.  

Opal never once growled at anyone. She seldom barked. She loved everyone.  

Eleven years ago, when I was put into a drug induced coma for eight weeks, she passed away. I have mentioned her passing before. I knew she had cancer when I was hospitalized but I thought I would see her again.  

Her ashes, along with another of my favorite dogs, Lucy, are in wooden boxes in my living room along with one of my cats, Anna Bell.  

My daughter’s first Tennessee Walking Horse, Gen’s Ten High, died from colic with me holding his head and comforting him the best way I could. He is buried at the stable where he died.  

They all left me with great memories, and I will be forever grateful to them.  

All they ask for is our love and they return it unconditionally. Letting them go when it is time for them to say good-bye is the final gift we can give them.  

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  • Beth Thomas

    Mark, thank you so very much for this touching article. I often feel people think I am over sentimental about pets, but I just feel sorry for them because they are missing out on the unconditional love and companionship of pets. I admit that my pets mean more to me than some people who are callous and rude. I pray that when I get to heaven, all the pets in my life are right there waiting on me. I miss each and every one I have ever had. Thank you for such a heartfelt article.

    Monday, November 7 Report this