When our animal is ill or dying; facing difficult decisions.

For this post I thought I would write a little about a sensitive and challenging question which unfortunately so often confronts us when we have an animal companion: when our animal is sick or dying, when is the right time to assist in their passing? This is a big subject so I’m only going to touch on a few areas which I hope will be of help to those of you going through this, or for when you will…

Let me say from the outset that all animals are unique and different so I cannot cover all possibilities surrounding this subject, which is where individualised animal communication comes in. However, as I’ve had lots of animals over the years, I’ve had to face this question numerous times, it never gets easier or simpler but I have found there is a way through this that works for me. I’ve also helped many people who are going through this, using animal communication.

However much we would want for our animals that they pass over of their own accord gently and easily, for me and for many others that I’ve worked with and known, this simply doesn’t happen too often. I have only had one of my animal family who has passed away suddenly with heart failure. Which is why I feel this is an important subject.

Firstly, let me say clearly that working with your vet during this time is important, listening to them so that you can get their opinion based on clinical experience is part of the mix which can help inform a decision. Sometimes the situation is very clear and obvious, which makes everything simpler although no less difficult. However, sometimes it isn’t as clear cut and illness or dying takes place over days, weeks or months, and it is about this that I would like to write about. This is based on my experiences with my own animals and when communicating with animals during this time.

Each animal is different, each have their own view on death although most are usually not as afraid of it as we are. What is important to many, is that they decide when the time is right and they rely on us to work with them on this. Some may also want us to walk consciously with them through this process, as both animal and human prepare for their death. This can be challenging for us as we are also in the midst of our own grief, but it is something that if we can do for and with our animal companion, the ripple effects touch not only our animal companion but many other animals who have no one present at their passing. This is seen as a great act of service to the animal collective.

I have never come across an animal who didn’t want their human family present when they were put to sleep, never. Many vets also affirm this by saying that the one thing that stands out, at this time, is the need for the humans to be with their animal friend. So, please, despite your pain and grief and however difficult this may be to read, be there for them at this time.

Most animals, like us cannot predict the exact time of their passing, there isn’t a crystal ball and although we would love to have such clarity, this is mostly held in mystery. Like us, when in the midst of pain and suffering or illness an animal can feel that they cannot go on, that it’s too much. This doesn’t mean to say that they are ready to pass, it means that for that moment or period of time, they are struggling. With help, with time, the cycle can change and they move out of this state – just like we do. Communicating with an animal whilst they are in this emotional state needs to be seen in this context, so it is important to have a bigger perspective here. There is a very different feel to this state and an animal who feels absolutely ready to pass.

Sometimes in spite of illness, the vital force and life spirit of the animal is such that they almost demand of us, that they are not ready to pass. This can be for a variety of reasons and a lot of the time their reasons are because of others and their wish to stay here for as long as possible, for others. Sometimes even though physically they seem so depleted one can still sense a strong vitality and will for life. Take notice of this. This is also where animal communication can help.

With my animals, and I’m sure others have experienced the same, illness can bring high and low cycles and we try to ride the wave of these, supporting our animal the best we can. If the time comes that an animal has gone through enough and the illness is just taking hold too much, then one can feel a change in the animal and in their vital force, over and above the ‘highs and lows that have gone before. You will feel, sense, know that they are ready for you to help them pass over. Sometimes, before this stage is reached you will ‘know’ that your animal cannot go through any further veterinary intervention, it is too much for them. This is where we have to use our intuitive and felt knowledge of what treatments our animal can withstand, and what the right thing to do is. Sometimes, we have to make the decision to try a treatment or to stop…This is where we speak with the vet, but we also need to trust our own judgement and knowledge of our animal.

Most if not all animals would prefer to pass over in their own home. In the case of emergencies, this isn’t always possible of course, but I have to say this is what I have found their preference to be.

Lastly, many people ask me to ask their animal to give their people a sign that they are ready to go, because we are so wanting to ‘get the timing right’. Over the years I have tended to find that this doesn’t really work and it puts so much pressure on everyone because everyone is ‘looking for the sign’. My advice to you is simply: know that there will probably be cycles of highs and lows. Ride these the best you can, responding appropriately, and spend as much time with your animal as you can. Trust your intuition, for there will come a time when the highs and lows stop, and you will find your animal looking at you in a certain way, you will feel their energy and vitality shift into a low gear, or they will become emotionally unable to cope or just so tired.

There will come a time when you will simply Know.

I am going through this with two of my own animal companions, Michael in the photo is one of them, and I’m not at the end of it yet. I am doing all that I have written above. It is a sacred and precious time with them as I don’t know how much time we have. But each day I walk consciously with them through this. Both have been near to death, both have rallied round on several occasions. Their will to life is great and both would rather be here than not. Each day I take as a blessing, helping them, nursing them and always listening.

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