Travels With Kathi #5

Travels With Kathi # 5 – End Of Life

End Of Life

We listened to the radio as we went on our farm calls .  The news on this January day was dominated by discussions of a bill being considered in the Colorado State Legislature called “The End of Life” bill.  The essence of the bill was to allow a person to choose euthanasia for himself or herself if they were suffering from a terminal disease.  The end of life matter hit too close to home for us.   Our oldest Labrador, Ruby, who was fourteen and one half years old, had been experiencing a worsening condition where she was unable to keep her food down.  Although Ruby was not extremely sick, she was becoming weaker each day, and her demeanor told us the struggle was getting the best of her.  Although Ruby was not a human, the subject of this bill and our struggle with Ruby’s condition was emotionally very similar.



Ruby was, for me, what I would call a once-in-a-lifetime VIP {very important pet}.  All of the dogs that have lived in our home have primarily been Kathi’s dogs, and have preferred her over all other humans.  But Ruby seemed to sense I was a VNH {very needy human}.  Ruby would often choose me over Kathi!  She would lie next to me on the sofa and allow me to pet her for long periods of time.  I called her “my snuggle pup”.  Ruby was a very obedient dog and was good on so many levels.  But when she was hunting birds, she would often choose her ideas over either of ours and more often than not her ideas would prove to be the superior ones.  We loved that independence in her.


I have heard Kathi tell many clients that they would know when it was time to let their pets go.  Well, the advice proved accurate for us; we knew the time had come.  We gathered the dogs together around Ruby on her bed.  The medication acted quickly as I snuggled one last time with my Ruby.


Profound Loss

The loss of Ruby was profound.  My eyes still glass over even months later as I recount her loss.  But even as my loss is great, the joy received from knowing Ruby for fourteen-plus years is much greater.  Ruby was a great blessing in my life.  Many people say they can’t bear another loss and therefore can’t get another animal friend.  It’s their loss.  Because if one doesn’t take the risk and get another animal, you can be sure you won’t experience the great joy.  The greater the love for an animal, the greater the sadness is at their loss; that’s the deal.   As for me, count me in.  I will always have animal friends as long as I can physically and financially fulfill their needs.


I’m sure our clients have many special animal friends that you feel the same love I felt for Ruby.  It is a great honor for all of us at Littleton Equine Medical Center to give care to your special friends.  Thanks you for your trust!

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