Some years ago my family owned a “work dog” pup, an animal from a “preferred breeder” and, therefore, “purebred”.  One evening, at supper, the dog jumped up on our kitchen table and started to eat the food.  When we tried to get close he snarled and growled and, frankly, frightened us all.  We spent considerable money to try and find a solution.  But, in the end, we gave him to a farmer who lived some distance away with the promise that he would care for him.

                Last evening I received a call from out west from a lady who was absolutely frantic.  Her female of the same breed as ours, was “becoming strange”.  About 1 week ago the lady came home and found one of her cats, being shaken in the mouth of her dog.  She was able to wrestle it away!  Prior to this the 2 cats and the dog had lived together for at least 3 years with no incidents.  On Thursday last the dog grabbed the other cat, shook it until it was dead, and when the lady tried to intercede it bit and attacked her.  She called me explaining that she did not know what to do.  She explained that her vet had advised her to “get rid of the dog” but she was reluctant, thinking that there might be some redemption.  NO CHANCE!  My advice:  “get rid of the dog immediately if not sooner!”  Was she willing to take a chance with visitors, grandchildren or others? 

                People who know me will tell you that I am not in favour of careless euthanasia and I will explain this.  I once listened to an interview with a young couple who had a two year old dog, lived in Calgary and were moving to Toronto.  The woman indicated that they “could not find a home for the dog so they had it put down”.  I was angry, openly upset, and sad.  They rewarded their dog with death which was done merely to rid themselves of a nuisance.  They should NEVER BE ALLOWED TO OWN AN ANIMAL AGAIN!  Euthanasia is proper for aged, terminally ill and / or seriously injured animals,  BUT NOT FOR CONVENIENCE.  The lady from  last evening was in a difficult position which really wasn’t so.  She wanted enabling to assure herself that she was going to do the right thing IN THIS CASE.  The REALITY OF LIFE” is that not all animals, including people, are redeemable or “FIXABLE” and we do not always know why.  She called me today, Saturday, to allow me to support her in her grief-  the dog was gone!  Grief is a response to all things sad, lonely and a coping mechanism and I will and have walked with many many people in various stages of the grieving experiences.   HOWEVER, I will  never support destroying life simply to get rid of it.  That, too, is THE REALITY OF LIFE for me.                                                                                        Brien


"It is OK to dream about what you would like to do until it is time to do what you were meant to do."

          I am sitting in my den on this wonderful weekend reflecting on how fortunate I am to live in Canada, worts and all.  Last week I heard a speech which, in general, was a message that for every event that occurs there is an opposite action:  this is Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion:  For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.  How does this apply to us?  What does a law of motion have to do with animals and pet loss?  Well, for a start, we accept into our hearts and homes incredibly giving animals which, for the most part, bring joy and happiness to all.  But, at the same time, we have to accept that an animal’s life is usually SHORTER in lifespan and that we, in the end, will lose this gift.  Similarly, as a lesser example, many of us are fortunate enough to own a home and some land.  The distaff is that we have to pay all the bills and taxes incumbent with that ownership.  There are thousands of examples:  I am certain that you, the reader, can offer many of your own.  What is the point of this note?  Simply to say that, while our friends and trusted allies are alive and amongst us, offering unconditional love, we should honour their presence and not only be happy, but be thankful that these gifts have come to us.  Make every moment with your animals count as true goodness in our lives.  Then, when it is time to say goodbye and let go, we will have the thoughts and memories that we gave our animal friends as much love and contentment as possible, and we were rewarded with everything that is to celebrate in life.       Brien