This weekend I made the heartbreaking decision to put a timeline on my eldest dog's life. It is perhaps the hardest thing I have ever done.
I was certain that as she began going downhill many months ago that God and the natural balance would take her to peace when it was time. I did not want to interfere with the natural course of a life. But as I looked into her eyes this weekend, as she had again taken a sharper turn for the worst, I decided I can no linger sit by and watch what is now suffering.
The sweet dog that has been there for me through some of my darkest moments and my most joyous celebrations will be with me until Friday unless she chooses to go before. It weighs heavy on my heart and yet I know it is the right decision.
The one factor I did not consider when I trusted that nature would take its course was the strength of unconditional love. If Austin has taught me one thing over these years together it is how truly unconditional love looks. Her quality of life is gone, she struggles daily with even the simple things we take for granted, and yet she holds on for me. Her love is larger than her own interest and well being.
I am so grateful and so blessed to have found such an amazing dog. I'm grateful Austin chose me that day at the shelter. I'm grateful for her loyalty as she stood by my side even when I could not stand. I'm grateful for her forgiveness for all the times I fell short as an owner and friend. I'm grateful for all she has taught me about love, truly unconditional love. I'm grateful for her gentle spirit and playfulness. Though I am heartbroken at the thought of losing her, I am grateful for all the support I have in finding the strength to give my baby peace.
How can you find gratitude in grief? What tough decisions have you made out of love?
May today remind us to live in the moment and take time for the ones we love. May gratitude help heal the wounds of a breaking heart. Have a beautiful day!