Jayne Martin

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet

The crow alights on my balcony, perching on the railing, peering inside one window, then hopping around to another, before flying off only to return the next day and the next for a week. It is written that at death, crows are escorts of the spirit to the other side, and having done so, the crow will return to the loved ones to let them know the spiritual journey has been completed. This crow has come for you, but I am greedy for more time and I chase it off. 

Three years ago, I was told that the mast cell tumor removed from your back was stage three. You would be dead in six months. “Not my dog,” I said.

It must have been your size, just five pounds, which made them underestimate you. Perhaps the financial commitment that made them underestimate me. They did not see that you were my heart and soul, and I yours, and as long as your life was one of happiness and quality we would raise armies against this disease trying to separate us.

But now the crow awaits, and though your will is still strong, your tiny body is exhausted from the battle. You try to rally, refusing to leave me even as I hold you in my arms and beg you to cross into that endless sleep. I know what I must do.

I lay you outside on a blanket under the gentle song of a large brass wind chime and, as the chemical that will silence that fierce little heart does its work, we say our good-byes. At the moment of your passing, the chime catches a breeze and boldly rings out, and then just as quickly it quiets again.

The crow returns to my balcony every day for the week following. I smile each time it appears. Clearly, you are as stubborn in spirit as you were in flesh. And then it, too, is gone.

#mastcelltumor #peteuthanasia #puttingyourdogdown #belovedpet