I have often made comment that death is honest - you can’t deceive it. By that I mean it is a moment that we cannot avoid. It is however, also a time of grace, of learning, of allowing and of love.
Because dogs do not have fear of death, left to their own devices, ie without the complexity of human emotions to hold them back, they would go toward it quickly. There is no reason for delay, to them death is a part of life. Their ‘honesty’ with death is enormous.
As that time comes closer though, usually we will be inundated with friends and well wishers advising us what to do. Everything from ‘keep them alive’, to ‘don’t let it go on too long’, to commenting on how much pain our dog is in, to suggesting that the suffering is unnecessary and advising us how to help with the pain and/or discomfort our dog is in.
But whose discomfort is it that is spoken of at this time? Is it the dog’s or is it the human’s?
If we fall into the trap of feeling emotional about death, if we buy into the theory of pain and suffering instead of actually feeling our dogs and checking in to see how they are really going, then we can find ourselves in a bit of trouble as regards making clear decisions. If we can stay with unemotional clarity and if, from there, we can assure our dogs that they are free to die when and how they choose and that we will support them wholeheartedly, then they will go when they are ready. If there is any doubt or need in the person, then the dog will stay, and stay, and stay until we have to finally say, ‘OK buddy its time to go now’.
To ‘supervise’ a harmonious death for our dog/s, we need to know how to live harmoniously. When we approach death as if it were just another stage of life, when we can be with our dogs in a non emotional and supportive way, when we bring the gentle authority of our bodies to training, feeding, walking – it is possible to feel true harmony and connection, even in the dying stages. Stay with our bodies, feel what comes up, deal with it and allow ourselves the space to make clear decisions on our own, about our dog/s and what they need. This is harmonious living.
Any choice we make for our dog within the death and dying journey that has come from the MIND, we make for ourselves, not for our dog.