1herman last photo 25 may 2015.pspimagebbCelebrating Herman: Goodbye dear friend Herman. Job Well done

This is not my first walk to the rainbow with a beloved Boston. Several years back as a foster parent, I decided to be the home that took in those that were needing a quiet place to end their walk.
Herman will rest beside several others, in a special place in my backyard. Under the shade of an Oak tree.

No, it never gets easy to say goodbye.2A101 4399
For some it is downright frightening. Especially the feeling of helplessness. Then the guilt sets in… “I did something, I did not do something, I did not get him/her to the vet in time, I took him to the wrong vet. I did not spend enough time with her. I did not spend enough money to stop it in time.  I am a totally failure!"  If you did your best, then leave it at that.  You are not alone.  I have to push back the guilt each time, trying to second guess myself.  This dark feeling of guilt is an enemy that interferes with reality of our life.  Most of us do the best we can with what we know to do.

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This is my passionate belief that we (humans and our beloved animal friends) should leave this side without fear, knowing there is a greater plan than we humans will ever be able to understand. We should not fear death, if we believe in God the creator. We know this passing is natural. We should celebrate the lives that pass before us, rejoicing that they will soon back in the arms of their creator.


Do not get me wrong, I am not judging the decision to try to stop the dying process: but it is what it is, we cannot change this. I personally believe this is many times a reflection on how afraid the owner is of their own death.



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 Although I will greatly be missing him, Gracie Mae will even more. Even though I will be deeply saddened and will greave his passing, Gracie Mae may be more impacted. He was who she tucked away treasure (a bit of a treat)from, just so she could guard him from getting the hidden treat, even when she did not want it (a game? Not sure) Herman would do his darndest to sneak into her hidden treasure pile the moment he thought she was not looking, and steal it much to her immediate anger.  I know he gets a big kick out of doing this, beyond the taste of the food.

No longer will there be anyone to bother, or taunt into playing. No one to rush over and grab a bite from under his nose.  Gracie will miss the competition of finding before Herman, all the good stuff.




Please forget all of the guilt.  Remember this:  Whose death are you most afraid of? Yours? Or your beloved pet? If you are secure in the thought that everything that is born will die and this is a natural process, it is a little easier to deal with. We humans contrary to all the hype are not in control. 


Each creature has a natural life period.  There is nothing in this world that can change that. Not all the money, time, care or love can change the time allotted on this earth.  However, neither should we judge others on how they deal with impeding death, their own, their family members, friends, or pets. But I have seen several cases where the fear of an owners own death, caused a delay in putting down a suffering, untreatable pet, far beyond what most vets and experience pet owners would understand.  Thousands of dollars are being spent only to keep alive a dying pet, in pain, just to appease a fearful owner willing to go into debt to “save” their dog or cat.  


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Do not get me wrong, I am not judging the decision to try to stop the dying process. But, it is what it is, we cannot change this. I personally believe this is just a reflection on how afraid the owner is of their own death.

Depending on the individual owner and pet, sometimes letting them die of a natural cause may be a more humane way.

But in Herman’s particular case, I have noticed his quality of life is quickly becoming very frail. The vet as assured me, there will not be any way of a heart transplant, nor funding for one, if this was possible. I have to look at what is best for Herman.



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  Just now as I write this, I was stopped, Herman, having rested for several hours, wanted to go outside. I let him out in the yard to do his normal walk around the yard, with the goal of letting him do as much of the things he normally would do. I shadowed him several feet away, although from a distance, you would at this particular point, not think anything is wrong with him. I was watching him closely knowing at any moment he could collapse. The heat of the day is growing, it is supposed to be in the upper 80s here in north Alabama today. As he walked the yard he did his business and sniffed all the smelly places. Half way back towards the house his breathing was becoming labored, he was getting again close to the breaking point.

He was calm, I walked over, picked him up and brought him back inside, gently placing him on a dog mat near his favorite chair. Soon he gained enough strength and climbed the step placed there for his ease of getting into the chair. He would have been upset if I had helped him. He still wants his independence (just like some humans I know). He is resting again, calmly and as comfortably as one can be at this stage.

The hardest part of making this decision, is he is eating, drinking and doing his business normally. I just do not want him to die alone. Many days I am not home for hours. We will let our vet help make the final decision. If he agrees with me, while there is no pain, and is in my arms, would be the best time.



The most we can do is to influence the quality of life, happiness, good food, a sense of belonging, the satisfaction we get when we do the right thing, the acceptance that we cannot have it all, nor always create the change making everything do what we want.

Family and friends should be the most important influence towards a happy, peaceful, joyful ending for us all. For some, this kind of support is not there. Our pets can become our lifeline to our well being. They become our companions, our best friends and our children. We dedicate our life to them. We buy special furniture, beds and foods for them. We take them to the Vets and spend many times more on their care and medicines than we do on our own. Even after all of that, one thing still lingers out there: We cannot stop them from aging, getting sick or dying.

Just now, Herman climbed down from his perch and followed me into the other room just to be close, but did not want to he held, just close by. When I returned to the computer desk he went back to his perch in his chair. In the background I have soothing calming music for both of us. The other two dogs are sleeping.

The joy of making things happen, is such a powerful energy maker. This will seem weird to some, but I think that Herman9IMG 0290 just sparked an idea to me. Take this time in celebrating his life, to make an offer to give something away from our Boston Terrier Network Shop, in his name. I will think about this a bit to see what comes of this spark of an idea.

I remember when I first fostered Herman. He was an imp of a dog. A fun loving prankster, whose one mission in life, seemed to be to see how many ways he could come up with to escape. Even today, when his energy was strong enough to indicate he wanted out, there was that look in his eye, a smile spread across his face, “The door is open!!!! I am going to ESCAPE!” Off he went bouncing through the doorway, scampering past me, across the patio. By the time he had come to the grass, he was slowing down, as he was walking. His breathing was beginning to be heavier.


Oh how the tears flow. Selfish me. I cry not because you are now across the rainbow in peace.  No, I cry because I already miss the pitter patter of your paws across the floor. Your demanding bark telling me to get immediately to the door and let you in... The shape of your body sleeping in your favorite chair.  Tonight when there will be a smaller chorus of snoring. I will miss you the most.


Edited by Jan Mitchell