Legacies


Luna's Legacy                                                                                
My "Healing Angell"
My first devastating loss was of my dog Luna.  She was not the first dog I had ever had but she was the first dog that I had had such a strong, inexplicable bond with.  She was my constant companion and was so in tune with me that she actually became my seizure alert dog when I sustained a traumatic brain injury that caused the conditions to manifest. 

I had gone to Europe and left her behind because of the extensive quarantine requirements to bring a dog. After a couple of months I could no longer stand it and came home to get her back.  A few years later I needed to escape a violent relationship and took a job in Alaska.  I was miserable until I was able to bring her up.  Most of my career choices since then have been directly affected by Luna.  I had, for the first time in my life, experienced what pure love was.  
She saw in me what I was unable to see in myself.  Even when I was being judged by others in my life, Luna's love persevered.  She never judged me and always accepted me just as I was. 

When I had left her behind, she forgave me without hesitation.  The heart-wrenching sorrow I experienced when she was diagnosed with torn cruciate ligaments coupled with hip dysplasia was completely overwhelming.  She was 10 years old.  I was working at a veterinarian's office and could have done the surgeries on her knee's and hip's (at great financial strain).  Through a lot of soul searching I came to the painful conclusion that , as a good steward, I had the responsibility to not put her through the pain of the surgeries and extensive recovery at her age to keep her with me for just a little longer.  I did the last selfless act for her by choosing euthanasia.  I held her in my lap while she received the injection and until she passed away.  I suffered a sorrow I had never felt before, even when my father died in my arms after a battle with cancer.  I had no control over my father's death but I "caused" Luna's.
I felt so bad about that and did not understand why her death affected me so when my love for my father was so deep. At the time, I didn't understand how different my relationship with Luna was from any relationship I had ever had with a person.

I made sure her last day was her best ever and we did all of her favorite things.  Hamburgers, fries, milkshakes and fetch (till she could not run any more). There were hugs and kisses and tears and kisses and more tears.
Then I held her while she took her last breath on this earth as I had held her when she took her first breath.  I know that she is watching over me now and sends different and wonderful dogs into my life so that I never forget how to love and be loved. She showed me how to let people into my heart. Her legacy was the lesson of unconditional love. How lucky I was.  She opened my heart and mind and allowed me to find my true calling - to understand the human-animal bond and all that it entails. To support the profoundly bonded pet owner through one of the most difficult, vulnerable times of their lives.
There are many people who think that euthanasia under any circumstances is unacceptable. As a good steward of animals, it was the only responsible thing I could do for my best friend of ten wonderful years. It would have been so much easier if she had died in her sleep, but she didn't and it fell to me to be her champion... to ensure my friend, my best friend, not have to live a diminished life of pain for my own selfish reasons. 



Zelda (rear) Luna (middle) and Sadie May (front)
This is was Luna's last day... 
the other dogs would not leave her side.

              Luna and Sadie May     
                (again, I could not get Sadie to leave Luna)  
       
They know.... and my heart is breaking for them.
This is the day we all lost our best friend.