If you knew your dog was coming to the end of her life, wouldn’t you want to have one perfect day with her?
Good Advice for Grieving a Pet
I’ve borrowed or renewed at the library Jon Katz’s book, Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die four times. How could I read a book about grieving a pet without becoming nuts with grief myself?
Finally, I cracked open the cover. And I’m glad I did. It’s a wonderful book.
One of my favorite stories was of veteran, Harry and his beloved dog, Duke. When the vet told Harry Duke wouldn’t last much longer with his chronic heart disease, Harry decided to spend one perfect day together.
They cuddled on the couch. Harry took Duke on his favorite walk, albeit slowly and with lots of rest breaks. Duke chased balls. And he got to eat a big plate of steak.
After Duke passed, Harry had that wonderful memory of spending the day with his best friend, doing only what he loved to do.
Planning a perfect day was the best advice Katz gave for preparing for a dog’s death.
But it left me asking one question: why wait until our dogs have a fatal diagnosis?
Why not plan a perfect day with your dog now? Or every year? Or every month?
Honey’s Perfect Day
Honey’s birthday is at the end of the month. Sounds like a perfect excuse to plan a perfect day for her.
What would Honey do on her perfect day?
- Play several vigorous games of tug with Mike
- Go for a long, off-leash walk
- Do nosework games
- Play with another dog
- Learn a new behavior with a clicker and liverwurst
- Visit with her favorite human friends
- Eat sweet potato snacks
- Doze on Mike’s lap while he watches a movie
I think we can do that.
And when it’s Honey’s time to leave us (hopefully more than a decade in the future), we’ll have lots of perfect days to look back on. And not just one.
Have you ever planned a perfect day for your dog? Did you do it at the end of their life? Or earlier?