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The loss of a pet is like saying goodbye to a loyal best friend, whose paw prints forever remain imprinted on our hearts. Three years ago, my beloved dog Molly, who was a 13 year old beautiful black Cocker Spaniel had to be euthanised. She had been sick with bowel cancer which had undoubtedly spread and was now causing her pain and suffering. Sadly, I knew it was time to let her go. I had just completed my Intensive 4 day End of Life Doula training with Preparing The Way (with Molly by my side the whole time) which inspired me to approach her death differently.

My beautiful friend Jen came to the house and supported me to sit with Molly and soothe her as she was quite agitated (I think knew what was happening) and to call on the angels to guide us. Immediately we both calmed and were able to gather Molly's favourite blanket from when she was a puppy, a candle and some flowers from the garden. I rang ahead to our veterinarian and asked if I could have time with Molly before, during and after she died. Fortunately, Molly’s favourite Vet was on duty (he was retired and worked just a few hours each week) and he agreed that we could take all the time needed.

What took place at the Veterinary Surgery that morning was nothing short of amazing. We lit the candle we had brought and had peaceful music I had chosen playing in the background. Molly’s blanket was laid out on the table. I was given time to be with my beloved Molly nursing her in my arms. When we were ready Geoff gently spoke to us both as he administered the injection which stopped Molly’s heart. She whimpered quietly and then went limp in my arms. I sat rocking and holding her letting my tears flow and thanked her for being such a wonderful friend. Her transition was gentle and peaceful, one that I will never forget!

I lifted Molly onto the table positioning a towel under her body and then wrapped her in her favourite blanket using it as shroud. I adorned her head with flowers and moved the candle closer. My girlfriend Jen and I held hands across her body and sang together encouraging the transition of Moly’s soul. We were unrushed, uninterrupted and given the time to say Goodbye.

I look back at this time and realise that what we created was a beautiful farewell ceremony for my faithful companion Molly, rich in rituals and truly graceful. This has helped me to process my grief and feel a great sense of peace when I recollect the end of her life. I believe that every pet owner and their beloved pet should have the opportunity to say Goodbye to one another in such a way that supports and honours their beautiful friendship and bond in life and in death.

Molly was my first client as an End of Life Doula and I am so grateful for the experience. A few months later I scattered her ashes off a jetty in beautiful Lake Macquarie...followed by some yellow petals which followed the water's current to serenity.


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