Planning, Preparing and Creating a Wonderful End of Life--
For our Dog Kuba.
We inherited Kuba—a regal, playfully loving black lab—about six years ago, when his owners were moving to Nunavut.
He befriended our Pug Frankie and was ignored by Smokie; our fat bossy cat. I had never had such an obedient, well-behaved and needy dog. Going to the bathroom alone became a thing of the past. He loves us wholeheartedly, and we love him back. Our daughter Jadyn snuggles him often, and Tanner calls him his brother and insists that Kuba sleeps beside his bed. He does so, surrounded by his stuffies; Bear, Cow, Flap and Muffin.
Kuba is now 12, with big lumps everywhere and his back legs are starting to “give out” more often. He slid down the stairs this morning while he was trying to get up them. It is time to accept that he is at the end stage of his life and we are preparing our hearts for immense grief. Kuba is a member of this family, and his absence is going to hurt for a long time.
As I urge the world to talk about, plan and prepare for grief, death and dying before it arrives, I am walking my talk. Death and dying is inconvenient and often unpredictable and difficult to navigate sometimes, so I am doing my best to prepare for what is coming… whenever and however it may be.
I am able to take care of things logically right now, exploring our options. I called the veterinarian (put # in my phone) to discuss euthanasia; the cost (set aside $ in the account), a possible home visit or where else it could take place. I’ve printed many pictures of Kuba with the kids and the cat and his favorite position... on his back with all four limbs in different directions.
We are giving Kuba extra love as he nears end of life. The kids know it could be any day or months, but it is coming. We openly discuss everything, and they want him buried on our property. So we are creating a sacred area surrounded by lovely trees. We’ve gathered special rocks to put around his grave and stumps to sit on and have a “visit” with Kuba whenever we want. We can do this because we choose to believe that we stay connected forever, and his spirit with always be with us.
Whenever Jadyn or Tanner want to talk about it, we do.
I go out to the sacred area most days, to clear brush, to think and take care of everything else, so when it’s time for Kuba to leave this earth. There will be nothing left to do but grieve, and then heal our hearts with all the wonderful memories of a really great dog who joined our family. I won’t miss all the hair and the bad breath. I may or may not miss having company in the bathroom.
But I sure will miss all that love!
5/30/2016 08:34:14 pm
Thank you for sharing. I am currently facing the same thing with my 15+ year old jack russell terrier, Best wishes to you and your family <3
5/30/2016 10:07:38 pm
15 years is a long time to love a dog! It's so hard to say goodbye, isn't it? Grief is sometimes the price of love...but it's worth it. Sending love to you and your old jack russell terrier.
5/30/2016 10:05:33 pm
Thanks Yvonne, even though we talked about this I still tear up missing our furry friends... I miss every one of them for their own special "quirks" Kuba was and is a special boy,,, he 's a loves as he goes and wherever he went kinda dog, A great reminder to talk about it before you really have to.
5/30/2016 10:15:44 pm
I still tear up thinking of the many pets I have grieved over the years. It's a good thing our hearts have an endless capacity to love again! Thank you. Kuba is one of my greatest teachers of unconditional love!
5/30/2016 10:28:43 pm
I am so glad that I met and petted Kuba 2 weekends ago at Camp Can Aqua. I can only imagine the sadness your family will experience. My heart is with you when this sad time comes
5/31/2016 10:01:47 am
It was important to us that Kuba come to our special place, Camp Can-Aqua, and be with our special people. So glad you were there too, Jane. You have a great heart!
5/30/2016 11:34:08 pm
Our hearts go out to all of you at this very sad and difficult time. We were fortunate to have cuddled and played with Kuba. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all! xo. Ros and Family
5/31/2016 10:03:39 am
Thank you, Roslyn. You have been on your own journey through grief, so I'm sending you extra love today. Kuba could fool us all and stay around for a while longer. But we know that life--and death-- are unpredictable. Prepare for anything!
5/31/2016 12:01:13 am
A pain like no other is that of the loss of a pet. For they are more than that, a member of the family...a friend and companion that always offers unconditional love. We are sending you all love and big snuggy hugs for Cuba! We love him so! 🐾❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️🐾❤️🐾
5/31/2016 10:05:17 am
You know it only too well. Oscar was the most amazing dog, and you've honoured him well. I love every time you share a post about Oscar's apple tree in your yard. Thank goodness they live in our hearts forever!
5/31/2016 08:38:04 pm
Kuba is one of the most loving pet I have ever known. Here he comes wagging his tail.... A welcome from Kuba never fails. My song to you ...Thank you for all of your love....love you back, grandma xoxo
6/1/2016 06:33:14 pm
Love you Kuba...great inspiring video...Love itxoxo mom
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Yvonne Heath is Canada's Proactive Living Consultant. She is a Speaker, Television Host, Award Winning Author
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