Just this last week, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a photo of an old work colleague’s dog, Simon. As I began to read the post, I realized that Simon’s mom, Courtney Lea Thomas, had just made the decision so many pet owners dread.
After nearly 15 years as her beloved companion, Courtney brought an ailing Simon to the vet to be put to sleep.
She knew she had made the right decision, but it was still incredibly hard. I was moved remembering my own pets and thought some of you might take solace in Courtney’s words.
Dear Mom, It was a hard day. But I want you to know that I’m not uncomfortable or confused anymore. All the sounds and sights come through clearly – it’s so awesome to be able to hear again and see so much better now! I say it was a hard day because I knew you were hurting. I don’t ever like to see you sad.
But I need you to know it was also a really good day. I told you I was ready, and you made sure my day was really special.
We were able to have an awesome ham breakfast this morning, you came and picked me up for a lunch date and a picnic in the backyard, you took me to the park for pictures and a walk (and you even let me get super tough towards the other dogs walking my way – WOOF!) and we finished the day off with the most yummy steak that you ordered from the restaurant just for me.
Mom, even though it was hard, I want you to know I consider it a gift. From the day we first met, you’ve always made me feel like the most special boy… even when I was naughty.
You know… like eating that entire taco pizza, tearing up the couch, ripping down the door and the molding, the trash dives, the loaves of bread and all the counter surfing that resulted in my human brothers’ and sister’s food disappearing. No matter what, you always told me I was your boy. Most importantly, I genuinely felt it.
So, I want to tell you that the view from here is great, because I can and will continue to look over you. My role isn’t over – it will never end. Although you may no longer be able to see me or feel me in person, I will live forever in your heart.
I know that watching me get old and seeing my health decline made you feel a little helpless. You are used to being able to fix things. Mom, I couldn’t be fixed. I understood that and knew you weren’t letting me down.
You made a promise to me that you would never let me suffer. When we knew that where we were wasn’t reversible, the greatest gift you ever gave me was letting go… even though I know it was the last thing you wanted to do.
I miss you already, but this place is actually really cool. I’m having so much fun and even got to see Hailey and Willie. There are lots of other awesome dogs up here who say they know you and love you… it’s been neat to hear all the stories.
Please tell Marley and Lilly to take care of each other and let the kids and dad know how much fun life was to share with them. And mom…I love you. Thanks for never giving up on me and for living true to your promise to never make me feel unnecessary pain or suffering.
While it feels bad I know, mom, please look at it as I do – it was a gift. A gift that only you could give me. Thanks for making me feel like I was the best boy in the world.
From here on out I am your Guardian Angel.
I love you mom, Simon (8/12/2003 – 11/30/17).