Saturday, December 15, 2018



CHLOE, dear family pet for nearly twenty years. 

She's an Asian jungle cat. As such, she's slept most of the day and wandered throughout the house most every night. My daughter and her two teen-aged kids and their father have tended her from toddler to senior citizen years. And now, due to her infirmities and illness, it's time to say goodbye.

Today, family members will have to take Chloe to a veterinarian to be put down. Very sad event. Very merciful event at the same time.

CHLOE 12/15/2018
Photo by Christina Prior
Used with permission
All rights reserved

Recently Chloe has lost the ability to stand on her feet. She drinks only running water. In the past she'd leap from the floor to a counter and sip from running tap water. We all loved chasing Chloe, in fun, around the house.

Today she cannot use her legs and must be lifted to the water faucet. 

The veterinarian inspected her and announced the results: Chloe is sick with many diseases.

My family faces a task today that reminds me of my task with my childhood dog, Rusty. Rusty was to me like Chloe is to my grand kids. Rusty wandered the hills of south Tacoma with me. He wagged his brown tail in happiness and love.

When my parents determined that Rusty was too sick to continue life, they delegated me to take Rusty by bus to the city animal shelter on Center Street in Tacoma, and wish him goodbye. The attendants euthanized him that day. I cried.

Much later, when my wife and I had our two children, our neighbors gave us the gift of a miniature collie. We named him Prince. Our Prince accompanied the kids on their daily paper route and was a best friend to all four of us.

My wife and a neighbor friend had to take Prince to the Tacoma dog shelter for a final goodbye when he was so disabled that he couldn't lift his head  off his bed. I remember the tears and also the flowering cherry tree we planet in memory. I hope that the tree--the Prince tree--still grows on that hill in Tacoma.

Pets play huge roles in our lives. Pets are a certain type of animal that can form positive relationships with human beings. Relationships that include friendship and love. I experience the importance of this relationship every day as I watch senior citizens walk their pet dogs. 

Right now, all of this makes me think of the birth of Jesus. Shepherds watching their flocks by night were first to arrive to welcome the new baby. They found the baby lying in a manger, the feeding place of cattle. Did this baby, Jesus, live out his childhood with a pet? I'd like to think that he did.

It's very hard to say a final goodbye to a pet. You experience the very deep pain of loss.  Ultimately the pain will disappear and you'll be grateful for the years of fun, play, and yes, for the friendship, that you enjoyed for many days and years..

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home