Frequent contributor Jim Peters sent along the following:
My dog is teaching me how to die. Not in the immediate future, of course, but when it naturally happens. She has been an incredibly great dog, named Frances Cabot Lowell (not Francis, like the father of modern Lowell, she is after all, a girl). and she has lived a healthy fifteen years, which is old for her breed – a Golden Retriever. We call her “Cabot.” She was the answer for our daughter’s wish at age seven for a dog for her birthday. In “dog years” she is 105. She is not giving up the ghost easily, in fact, it is just the opposite. She is wagging her tail, holding her head up, and tries to stand up but needs help at that point. She has insisted on going to the bathroom in the backyard, walking to the neighbor’s yard in order to catch some sun, and lifting her head up when you call her name.
We have been cajoled, impressed upon, and pressured to put her away at the vet’s. But that would be the ultimate cruelty. It is not up to us to determine the date she is supposed to go. Right now she seems happy being in her own home. It is bad enough that she is dying, it would be the ultimate in cruelty for us to determine that she is no longer understanding being petted, or given ice on her tongue, or given small bites to eat. It is our decision that she should be able to live until the last minute and we believe that she understands that.
So, what is she teaching me. That you live life until the end. That the right to die is not a doctor’s perogative.. That anything that lives will die the way God wants it to, and that indeed God is the final arbiter of our time on this planet. She is fighting everyday for another day here, and every morning that she, or any of us, wakes up, is a blessing. I have repeatedly stated my belief that doctors should not participate in abortions (except in the case of rape or incest), and that they definitely should not be taking the lives of our weakest members of society. Euthenasia is not kind, and is the opposite of every innate sense that we have. read more »