Fiona 1995 - 2009

I am writing about Fiona because she is weighing on my mind. She was a companion for 12 of her 14 years. (With all the traveling I have done in the past few years, we decided to have her live with a family more rooted in the day to day).

Six months ago the two families met to discuss concerns about her aging. We decided that when the time came to euthanize her, we would do it in the most comfortable way possible. Having spent time with hospice and thinking a lot about death and dying, it was important to me to midwife Fiona to the other side in the most loving, gentle way possible.

Compassionate Veterinary Care came highly recommended by our regular vet. Dr. Shanan was one of the most extraordinary people I know. When he entered the living room, Fiona barked briefly at him. Then he got on all fours and allowed Fiona to befriend him. It was an extraordinary sight to see them bond so immediately. Dr. Shanan then explained that Fiona would receive 2 injections, one a tranquilizer and the second would be phenobarbital.

She was surrounded by loved ones, holding and touching her. It was very calm and peaceful. (I asked Fiona to forgive me of my shortcomings in caring for her and to let me know what it was like on the other side). She drifted into a twilight sleep with the first shot and slipped away by the time the second shot was fully administered. As her bladder muscles gave out, she urninated on our rug once again, for old times sake. I must admit, I did not mind and actually found it humorous.

We then fully wrapped her in a sheet that she had slept on for many a night and proceeded to the corner of our backyard, where we had dug a opening in the ground. We gently placed her in the hole and took turns covering her with the soil. Flower and evergreen plants were then planted.

It was the most respectful, loving procedure of letting go of Fiona that I could have imagined. I miss her....she taught me a lot about absolute love and loyalty.