Life is full of tough decisions, especially when it comes to our beloved pets. It is truly a gift of love from God to receive the clarity we need to move forward confidently without worry or regret. To know we have gotten the message from God and are doing the right thing brings peace during these difficult times.
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The gravity of some choices can weigh heavily on a person’s heart, as this one did on mine. In the spring of 2016 our dog and cherished family member, Angel, suffered a sudden traumatic brain episode that left her unable to move or discern which end was up. Her excellent health and puppy-like vigor just prior to this episode weighed in favor of her likelihood for recovery. Proving this out would involve extensive tests, along with a one or two week stay in the hospital’s intensive care unit. During this time the doctor explained Angel would either show signs of a rebound and regain partial function or experience no improvement at all. The only other option was euthanasia.
One of the hardest choices an individual or family must face is an end-of-life decision for a beloved furry friend. Having had several dogs over the years, I had been charged with making such a decision more than once. I am not here to tell you it gets any easier. Stress often comes with the territory, but the emotional wear and tear can be lessened with help from the Divine. The decision before us was not one my husband and I took lightly. I was especially attached to Angel and loved her dearly. Her presence served as a daily reminder for me to pause and appreciate so many of the ways God’s Love was evident in my life. Hardly a day went by that this sweet soul in a little dog’s body did not make me smile, warm my heart, or help fill me with gratitude and love for God. The thought I may have already spent my last day with her made my heart ache with sadness. In my experience the presence of strong emotions can make it difficult to figure out what to do, or not do. I did not want to be led by my feelings or make a decision I might later look back on and wish I had done differently. Above all, I wanted what was best for this soul, if only I could gain clarity about what it was!
After the medical staff left us alone to ponder the options, my husband and I closed our eyes and reached out to God inwardly for His guidance through the sacred song of HU. Just as my lips moved to utter the prayer in my heart for clarity, the entire facility went dark, and for a moment the world around us fell utterly still and completely silent. Seconds later the lights came back on and the center was again bustling with activity. A staff member poked her head in to check on us, and from the look on her face it seemed she was a little surprised to find us in such a peaceful state, having just opened our eyes. God had heard our prayer and answered it in a form we could relate to instantly: “Lights out!” And with that, we both knew it was time to let our little friend go. We also knew, just as the light and life had resumed in the medical center that evening, so too would the light and life of this soul continue.
It was not easy to let Angel go, but the clarity and reassurance we received allowed us to proceed in this direction with confidence. Looking back, the peace that came from knowing our decision was Divinely guided allowed me to move on with a grateful heart and no regrets.
Written by Sandra Lane