Clients and friends often ask me “how will I know when to let my dog go?” Physical aspects we look for to help us make that decision include loss of mobility and cessation of appetite but my answer almost always includes “you will know.”
I watched this beautiful short film last night and it hit me pretty hard. I was up most of the night in tears thinking of the moment I “knew” with my first dog, Georgia. It was August 2010 and Georgia was 15 years old with bone cancer. We had a family trip to the Washington coast planned and I had planned the at-home euthanasia to happen before our trip. Well, Georgia and I just were not ready so I cancelled the appointment and took her with us.
Just like in this film, which was shot along the same coastline not far from where we went on our vacation, you could drive your car on the beach. We had Georgia and three other family dogs with us as we drove onto the beach and opened the doors. As the other three dogs rushed across the sand towards the water I witnessed and felt the exact moment when Georgia’s heart tried to run but her body simply couldn’t comply. My heart broke in pieces and I knew it was time.
I spent the rest of the week carrying her, by then, 50lb body (she had been 65 in her prime) up and down the long staircase of the beach rental house. The task of carrying her was no bother at all (I would have carried her across the world) but I was crushed by the fact that she couldn’t do it herself. Other things must have happened during that week; I know my son was learning to ride a bike…. But all that really comes back to me is my vivid memory of that precise moment on the beach when I knew it was time.
This film is gorgeous but I will warn you now – don’t watch it right before you go to bed and have a box of tissues on hand. For the next 24 hours. At least. http://www.theinertia.com/surf/this-is-goodbye-in-memory-of-denali/