There is something profoundly beautiful and saddening in observing a creature knowing it is time to move on from this world, and for its family to celebrate their life and passing in a respectful and dignified manner.
This post covers the final day of a little Staffy called Buddha who was diagnosed with a very aggressive, advanced cancer around her organs, and as a result, was living in extreme pain and discomfort. The very difficult decision was made to have her euthanized in the most humane and respectful manner possible. My dear friend Nas sent me a message in the final few days of Buddha's life asking me to document Buddha's final day. Knowing full well how significant Nas's dogs are to her I felt privileged to be asked to undertake such a special task for her.
As I observed Buddha and the people who surrounded her at various points during her last day there were many ebbs and flows in her demeanor. She undertook all of her favourite activities this day, like going for a walk around her neighbourhood seeing all her favourite houses and people, having a bath, eating peanut butter, and getting pats from many of her friends. At times she would perk up like a puppy filled with life. During others, the pain of her sickness would overtake her and she would gaze outward, as if to look at something else waiting beyond for her to go to. I heard many stories from the people around Buddha that day and she was truly a people's dog. What was perhaps the most profoundly heart-breaking though was watching Buddha on her final return home take seat on the blanket that was laid out for her, as if to accept that her time had come and she was ready to move on peacefully, ridding herself of this corporeal pain.
The respect paid to Buddha's life was exemplary; filled with dignity that would be owed and justified for any living being.
She found peace.