Sunday, April 25, 2010

Farewell Lance

rainbow on Lance

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in out dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

The all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…

Author unknown

     On Friday I made the hardest decision a pet owner could ever have to make. I have never had to make that decision before and hope I won’t have to make it any time soon.

     After I returned from my exciting trip to Columbus, Ohio Lance started going down hill. At first I thought it was just his normal reaction to me being gone. Ignoring me and not eating much then he started having trouble walking. Lance at the Park

     I made an appointment with a new vet as the one I had before wasn’t very friendly or supportive of Lance’s care, but that is another post. Lance’s new vet was extremely knowledgeable about ferrets and did a through exam of Lance. lance the ferret

     It was determined that he had a bacterial infection that was either Helicobacter or Giardia both could cause his symptoms and because of his age it made treating it even harder. Lance would have been 9 years old in May. She put him on Amoxicillin and Flagyl.

     Lance was good about letting me give him his medicine and only once did I have pretty pink polka dots on my face. The medicine made him sleep more and while he drank he wasn’t eating so I had to hand feed him a mixture that some could call duck soup. He didn’t care for it but he never spit it out.

     Early Friday morning he fell out of his hammock with a loud thump and when I looked over to his cage I saw him flopping around like a landed fish. He no longer had control of his legs.

     We spent the rest of the night with me cuddling him in my arms and rocking him until he would fall asleep for a while. I knew then I couldn’t put Lance through anymore and if it were the Helicobacter that was causing the problem he would have a very painful death.

     I made the call to the vet around noon, as I couldn’t stop crying long enough to talk to anyone. I still broke down when I told the vet’s receptionist why I was calling. She was patient with me until I could talk though the tears and heartbreak I was going though. The appointment was made.

     I wrapped my little fur baby up in my blue “conference shirt” and placed him in the carrier. We made a stop and I got him a soft blanket to wrap him in and a new sock to take with him to the rainbow bridge. Silly I know but a pet parent would understand.

     A different vet came in and talked to me about how the process was done. With cats and dogs it is easier, not that this decision is ever easy, because they have bigger veins. With ferrets they give a sedative so they go to sleep like they are going to have surgery and then they take them into another room and give them the final shot in the heart. He recommends to owners that they don’t see that last part.

     So Lance was given his sleepy shot and he and I looked out the window at the sunbeams and the soft wind blowing the grass he had just laid in before this appointment. He went to sleep and seemed to be breathing better for the first time in a week. The vet came in and took him to the back room for that last shot. He brought Lance back and told me I could take as much time as I need before I left.

     Not once was I given a look that said, “How could you?” like I would have gotten from the old veterinarian before I had changed to this practice. The people at the new vet office were compassionate and never made me feel hurried.

     Lance was wrapped in his new green soft blanket with a tiny balled up sock between his paws and laid to rest next to his brothers and sister that had passed before him. His final resting place is marked with a blue cross under an apple tree.

     I miss him a lot but I know he is free of pain and is frolicking on the other side of the rainbow waiting for me to come and play with him and his siblings again. young Lance ferret mischief Gweny and Lance relaxinginthepark Easter ferrets in motion

Sad Jo

2 comments:

Mari Rodriguez said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Jo. Please accept my tender thoughts and prayers for you during this time. It is so incredibly hard to make the decision you did, and you just have to hang on to the great memories and knowing that Lance had a really happy life with you. You are a great mom. Be gentle with youself and let your friends love you up.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Jo. I know what a terribly hard decision this is to make and I'm sorry that you had to go through it. Thankfully, you got to spend some time with him after your trip.