About one year after Java was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia, I made the difficult decision to say goodbye to her. I have no regrets, I only have many fond memories of our time together.
During this year, I learned a lot. I learned that it takes a lot of energy to make home-cooked meals for an ill dog. Java's meals were all individually made - each ingredient was weighed. All in all, it took about a day to make 2 weeks worth of meals. I recall wondering if I had known what this truly entailed, would I have made the same decision. In my heart, I know I would have but at the same time, it gave me the awareness that not everyone would and that this is perfectly fine. It's not a reflection on them, they don't love their furry companion any less. It's just simply not something they can do.
I learned about the importance of having a relationship with your vet and the staff at the clinic. I was at the clinic for weekly weight checks as rapid weight loss is one of the symptoms. Together we celebrated weeks where she maintained or even gained weight and together we worried when her weight dropped.
I learned about vets that specialize in palliative care. Throughout the year, my palliative care vet was there supporting me every step of the way. She worked along side my regular vet and in the end, when it was time, she came to my home to administer the final procedure. It takes a special person to do the work she does. I was very fortunate to have met her ...
Mostly, I learned about the value of friendship. The outpouring of love helped shine light into the dark corners of grief. Like my memories of Java, these will always be treasured.
I hope you will not have to say goodbye to your four-legged friend for a very long time. When you do, my wish is for you to have the love and support of friends, family and vets that I had so that it eases the journey.