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If you knew it was today, how would you spend it?

October 3, 2017

I had to put our dog to rest on Monday.  She battled for a few months from bone cancer and fought valiantly, even after losing use of one of her front legs.  Our over 12 year old Rottweiler drug her way through every day adjusting to her ever changing body.

I called our vet office Monday morning and fought through the tears to schedule her final visit.

I arrived home from work a few hours before that visit and decided we would spend some of those hours outside enjoying the amazingly beautiful day, allowing her to experience for what I knew was the last time:  the feeling of the sun, the smells in the air, sounds to perk up to, and to lay with her sister dog, her inseparable companion, by her side.

She soaked it all in.

She has a peace about her as she laid back and absorbed it all, a seemingly knowing peace.

A half hour before we were scheduled to arrive at the vet appointment, I carefully placed her in the passenger seat of my jeep, opened the windows, helped her position facing out the window and we took a last ride.

I kept glancing over to see her with her head out, ears flapping, sniffing, snorting, slobbering and not missing a moment of the experience.  Once in awhile she’d look over at me as if to see if I was doing the same thing.

When you’re enjoying a moment don’t you hope everyone around you is as well?

Did she know it was her last ride?  Could she sense the heaviness in my heart?

Or is it simply that dogs always appreciate every moment more thoroughly than we do?  I already know for a fact that dogs love better, and more unconditionally than we do.  Why wouldn’t they be a lesson to us on how to love and live better?

Today I scripted her last day and her last hours and I was the one who held her when she passed.

Would she have chosen the same last activities?

Would she have chosen me to be the one that held her when she passed?

The beauty of a dog is the way they love.  She looked at me throughout the day with love and gratitude.  She leaned in.  She kissed.  She laid her head down on my legs.  She gave me her infamous “joker smile”.  She never appeared to be disappointed, judgmental, angry, or irritated with me in any way.  But she never did on any other day, why would she do differently on her last day.

She practiced a true, consistent, steady, faithful, trusting love until her last breath.

She trusted me as we laid on the floor in a place that she wasn’t familiar with, but was calm as I stayed calm.

She looked up at me to see if I was ok then laid her head down for the last time resting it on my lap.

I rubbed her head and watched her be at peace.

I couldn’t help but wonder how she might’ve written this last page of her story, and how I would write mine if I could know.

What would I choose to do?  Who would I want my last visitors to be?  Who would I want to be with me when I close my eyes?  How beautifully, peacefully and trustingly would I accept it?

As has been the case for the past few months I have learned much from my dying dog, and I am better for it.

I plan to not waste the lessons she taught to me, and to honor her memory doing just as she demonstrated: absorbing each moment to the fullest as if I may not experience it again; appreciating those and what is around me more; and trusting, living and loving unconditionally leaving a memory of peace behind me as I travel through each day until my last day.

If we could live and love more like our dogs do, wouldn’t the world be a much better place?





Wishing you peace,
Terri & Bubbles ❤

Terri O’Neill-Borders





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