Nothing is more rewarding yet more painful than outliving your best friend.  Though our Dillon had reactivity issues set from birth, he chose me to be his Dog Mom.  We had a bond where he felt safe and loved.  Sadly, Dillon came from a backyard breeder with no true health information in his lineage.  He had been sickly since we brought him home and we knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time with him.  We were gifted with 7 1/2 years.  His last two he became very sick and the last month dramatically declined.  We knew we had to help him cross over the Rainbow Bridge.  After 15 years with our Border Collie (Hailey) she too had to have help to end her suffering from repeated seizures and weakness, but we took her to the clinic for her last day.  Though they tried to be tender it was very awkward.  You take your dog to the vet for wellness checks, not to have them end your dog’s life.  In a small, cold sterile room, it was all so traumatizing.  Dillon was left to wait at home for his buddy that would never return.  It was very traumatic for him.  When his time came, I did not want the same experience.

Finding Gentle Hands Cherished Paws on the internet was the greatest gift.  I was able to set up the downstairs family room with cozy fire in fireplace, gentle Christmas music in the background, a forest scented candle, a comfy bed and his favorite warm blankets.  As a nurse, I was allowed to give him the first sedative shot alone so as not to shock him with an intruder in the house.  That was one of my biggest fears is he would be upset with a stranger in the home.  He never really woke from the sedative and was asleep thru the remainder of his experience.  With me sitting at his side he was able to peacefully and comfortably leave his painful weak body to join Hailey in the next world where dogs can roam and explore without pain, weakness sorrow or hunger.
Anyone can attest that losing a beloved pet is the worst painful experience.  I’ve now done it twice with the second time being alone.  This was by far the most rewarding way to say goodbye.
Dillon left behind his sister Izzy after 4 years of companionship.  It was very helpful for Izzy to be able to see Dillon afterward (I had her in her crate upstairs during the procedure so she would feel safe).  She knew he was sick for a long time.  She knew it was time as well.  For her to be able to smell and sense that he was gone and that his pain and sickness were also gone has made a huge difference from Dillon’s experience losing Hailey.  After we took Dillon to the car, she was a little confused and did a search for him.  After some house cleaning and rearranging, she settled down and has been quite calm.  The anxiety symptoms she exhibited when Dillon was here and sick have eased.
There is a new calm energy in the house now.  Though we are still grieving, we feel an immense relief and a huge amount of appreciation for the help with our big boy.
Thank you so much for all the information, guidance and support with Dillon.  Words cannot express our gratitude and relief with such a calm peaceful experience.  Some gifts don’t come wrapped in pretty paper and bows during the holiday season. 🎄
~Heather, Dave, Jessica & Izzy Harja~