Knowing what your animal companion wants
Many people have developed their own special way of communicating with their companion animals.
For some it may be telepathic – you just KNOW what your critter is thinking or feeling. That’s how it was for me and Martha, my other-worldly spirit dog who I believe burst into stars at the end of her life.
In other cases, you may need to watch your animal closely and look for physical signs and symptoms, to help you understand what they want. Jake was a very grounded dog – a dog of the earth. It was his hips and weak legs that brought us to the end of our time together. When he could no longer “do his business” in a dignified way, and I saw the sadness and confusion in his eyes, I knew he was telling me that this was NOT how he wanted to live.
I completely understood this – I’ve told the people closest to me exactly the same thing about my own life. I would not want to be forced to live like that and I knew Jake felt the same way.
Many animal lovers have told me that once they make the decision, and the vet appointment has been scheduled, their pet often seems to “perk up.” This leaves them totally confused. I remember once hearing that perhaps the animal is overjoyed to know they will soon be released from their old, painful body, and will be going on to the next great adventure. I thought that was beautiful…and very comforting.
Of course, it may also be a sign that your critter has decided it’s not quite time to say goodbye yet. In that case, you may need to cancel the vet appointment and see what develops. A long time ago I autographed a book for a woman whose dog was going to be euthanized the next day. I learned later her dog had actually lived for 2 more years!
You may want help in understanding what your animal wishes. Talking with your veterinarian, friends, family or spiritual advisor may help you make sense of all your jumbled feelings. Some people contact an animal communicator for guidance at this difficult time.
In the end, though, no one can understand the special relationship you have better than you and your pet. Ultimately, you are the one who is going to have to make this difficult decision.