“The Loss of Your Pet has Touched Us All”

By Posted in - Copy Cat & Public Relations on April 22nd, 2015

On March 13, 2015 I said a final farewell to my sweet Jack Russell Terrier, Piper, after 13 years together. The sad goodbye actually started months earlier, on December 20, when I received a call from the vet and learned that she had transitional cell carcinoma – bladder cancer. The prognosis was grim to say the least. I was told she had only weeks to live and that I should prepare myself to make the decision to have her euthanized.

From the moment I received the phone call, I vowed to love Piper as much as I could and to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as I could. We spent a weekend at her favorite place, Holden Beach, visited all her favorite parks and trails and took extra long walks daily. I also let her eat all the human food she could stomach – including rib bones.

I’m not sure if it is was all the love she was being showered with, or simply her tenacious nature, but she had more than a couple of good weeks; she had a couple of good months. However, in early March I started noticing signs that let me know the cancer was progressing and I came to the realization that she was in a lot more pain than I wanted to admit. The end was quickly approaching, and I would have to make the one decision I hoped I would ever have to make.

But how could I be expected to make this decision? Piper and I had been through so much together including 11 moves – two of which were cross country and she was in my lap both times for all 3,500 miles –  four jobs, two careers. Not only that, she was always the one who consoled me when I was sad or calmed me down during times of high stress. She was my constant companion, and I could not imagine life without her.

Throughout the process, I was in touch with Dr. Maria Glover at Kildaire Animal Medial Hospital. She and I spoke on a regular basis as I updated her on Piper’s situation and proceeded to ask her a ton a questions. On more than one occasion she told me that I knew Piper better than anyone and I would know when it was time to put her to sleep. I never thought it would happen, but it turned out Dr. Glover was right. After many good days and bad days with Piper, I was suddenly aware that I was being selfish and Piper was suffering.

My husband and I were with her in her final moments, and I wanted to make sure she knew how much we loved her and that I was grateful for the all the joy she had given me throughout the years. I hugged and kissed her, told her she was a great dog and that I would never forget her.

In the days that followed I was overwhelmed with texts, phone calls and sympathy cards. However, it was the card I received from Dr. Glover and her colleagues that moved me to tears. On the outside it simply read, “With Sincere Sympathy,” but when I opened it up I could hardly believe my eyes. Not only had 13 people written a heart felt note, but a separate card was enclosed informing me that Kildaire Animal Medical Center had made a monetary donation to the Andrew Davis Memorial Fund in memory of Piper.

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A portion of the card reads, “The loss of your pet has touched us all greatly.” While I knew they all cared about Piper, this line really stood out to me. As I continued reading, it became evident just how moved they were by the loss of Piper. The Andrew Davis Memorial Fund is set up to help low-income families pay for basic services as well as emergency procedures.

This simple, yet extraordinary gesture was completely unexpected, but greatly appreciated. While I continue to miss Piper each and every day, knowing the donation made in her memory is helping others experience the joy of having a pet brings a smile to my face.

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(1) awesome comment(s)...

  • Abbie S Fink - Reply

    April 23, 2015 at 2:04 am

    Sarah, what a beautiful tribute to your Piper. I read this post with tears in my eyes as I felt the same way with my sweet Viva.

    It has been just over two years that I made the same and absolutely right decision to put her to sleep.

    Please take comfort in knowing that you made that decision at exactly the right moment. Our four-legged friends count on us for all the important things in their lives…and this is the most important decision of all.

    My Viva and others have welcomed Piper at the Rainbow Bridge, where our furry friends run free, with no more pain.

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