Pet Grief

by Megan Bayliss | November 18, 2013 8:29 pm

IMG_0141I am very sad. My darling dog, Misty, has to be euthanased. Tomorrow at noon. She has cancer - two growths in the chest cavity and one is pushing her oesophagus out of alignment.  She cannot eat her dry food and she vomits all the time. She has a month left of life in her.

I am a wreck: crying and marinating in my sorrowful thoughts. I am rendered useless past necessary tasks. My alone times are morbid and agonizing and I have used every hankie I own...I am now onto face and hand towels.

But, one big thing is in my pathetic marinating favour: I have no regrets. I love Misty and she has had a great life with us. We found her and her brother companion in an animal shelter five years ago. Both dogs were three. Their story was sad with a happy ending....until now.

Both rescue dogs, they were saved from death row by YAPS after being abandoned in Cairns because their butcher Dad had arrived from Perth and could not get accommodation with them. He let the dogs go thinking they would be picked up and looked after....little did he know they would be euthanased by council had YAPS not stepped in. Apparently they were in the Cairns paper with a desperate plea for someone to take them both, but, not being a media reader/watcher, I didn't see it. I instead wandered into the pound looking for a SINGLE dog and fell madly in love with Misty, the most gorgeous dog in the world.

Our eyes met and it was dog/mistress chemistry. She was feisty, rejected and tenacious....and I knew her feelings well. She looked and acted ferocious, but I saw her buttercup yellow personality underneath her mean bark! We were twins!

The dogs had always been together and YAPS would not separate them so we adopted two dogs and not one. I had to do some serious manipulation to get Mr Paul to agree to two dogs, but he finally succumbed to the magic of Misty and the loveable nature of his Blue dog....and that is the way it has panned out - Misty is my darling and Blue, Misty's loyal friend and companion, is his.

Misty and Blue have been our constant companions for the last five years. Misty now has an irreversible condition that could quickly go from okay to really bad very quickly. Two huge growths in her chest cavity have pushed her heart and oesophagus aside and she has lost 10 kilograms and is vomiting all the time. It is heart breaking to see a vital watch dog and my beloved darling friend and confident go down hill so very fast.

OMG - my heart breaks like it is glass. My grief is huge and I am useless to anyone else, including my Misty who is trying to comfort me.

I am shattered. I cry and snort as I write this. I swear and I plead, I bargain and I sob. But, I know the reality..........and I know that I cannot be a fraud. I am absolutely gutted and have held back my emotion since the day of dreadful diagnosis.

As I write this I listen to her laboured breathing and I cognitively know the time is right for euthanasia but WHY does logic HURT so much 🙁

Cooktown light houseI am reminded of two favourite quotes: "You cannot have a light without a dark to hang it in" (this gives me GREAT comfort and reminds me that our light was very bright), and, "Grief is the price for having loved. " Oh Misty, I have loved you and I am so very glad you became part of our life.

Today I tuned into a tele conference with Orrin Woodward from LIFE Leadership[1] for the 180 Club. The man has a knack for speaking the truth at the right time!

Orrin Woodward today spoke of leadership transparency: messaging and modelling and letting people see you do it. As a therapist I know about emotion - I also know about managing emotion and I have been expert at it. I now decide that to be a transparent leader, I need to be real - I need to let people see my raw emotion - my heart-break and despair......and I need to tell you how desolate and terrible I feel to have to put my Misty down. This is possibly the hardest thing I have ever done.

Transparency obviously comes with risks - but I am willing to take that risk....because I am a leader and my darling Misty is also a leader. She has survived dreadful rejection and abandonment but still she guarded and supported us with intense passion. To this very minute she is prepared to defend that which she knows as truth - us. Any noise, knock at the door or threat, she is there, transparent in her beautiful dog stance as leader of the pack.

I have much to learn from both Orrin Woodward and Misty, the most beautiful dog in the world. And, my first learning is transparency of emotions. I am devastated by the loss of my beautiful and vital dog, Misty, and I hope you won't judge or condemn me for it.

May my Misty forever bring pleasure to wherever her dog spirit settles. Misty, my darling, I love you, big time.

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Endnotes:
  1. LIFE Leadership: http://business-membership.com/
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