End Of Life Transition For Your Animal At Home
Making the choice to be with your animal during its End Of Life Transition can be a beautiful experience of love coupled with strong emotions. Your animal friend knows and understands you and how we humans process a loss.
I speak from my own 60 years sharing my life with animals and what these experiences have meant to me. Each one of these beautiful souls was my trusted friend and guide, seeing me through my challenges and crap, accepting me for who I am no matter how ignorant I was to many things. Each of them was always there for me with love and never judging me when I took the path of resistance or denial – which I did several times through the years. This is how we humans learn, we do things until we see another way.
My Thoughts During The Transitions
I offer my experiences and do not make any claim your experience or emotional state will be the same as mine. You might not agree with how I coped with the experience, this is how I chose to do it. I encourage you to improvise, be creative, follow your inner guidance, there is no right or wrong when you are honoring and loving your animal.
I communicated with each animal first to find out what they wanted, what was for their highest good and what their soul needed. Each experience has been different and I would not have changed one moment I had with them. At times during the transition it was challenging to stay in my heart focusing on what they wanted. It is important to choose loving thoughts and feelings and not allow your mind to take control with fear thoughts or wanting to control the outcome.
I invite you to spend as much time as possible with your animal friend. Talk out loud with them how they contributed to your life. Depending on the condition of their physical body, hug them, lovingly touch them, have them lay over your heart being careful not to squeeze them because their bones may fracture, or break. And you do not want to put additional pressure on their internal organs that are shutting down. Talk to them about all your memories, the fun times together and everything you want to say. You can never say I LOVE YOU too much.
My intention is not to persuade you, only to share what I have learned from my own journey and all the communications with the Animal Kingdom, St. Francis and other high vibrational beings.
Disconnecting From The Body
We are all energetic beings within a physical form wrapped around us. When the soul is ready to leave the physical body it will begin to energetically disconnect from the physical body. This process can be instantaneous, take a few hours, weeks or longer. Each animal and human is different, requiring different things to complete their path.
Some of our animals asked for specific crystals to be placed around them, others preferred more attention while others wanted to be left alone for hours. You will learn what your animal wants by observing your animal’s behavior, listening to your inner guidance and asking your animal what it needs because it is communicating with you telepathically.
Imagine yourself in their position, how would you want to be treated, what would you want to hear from your loved ones, what would you like to be sharing with them and let your heart be your guide.
Transitioning Out Of The Physical Body
In the first stages their behavior is unusual or different, they lay in unusual places or with their body tweaked (head one way the body the other), they no longer like the same food (sometimes they just want a change of diet and are not transitioning), they do not want to eat or drink, lie around the water bowl but not want to drink. Note: please consult your veterinarian to determine if your animal requires medical attention.
Once you know your animal is in the final transitioning phase, follow their lead. They may or may not want food or water. Please do not try to force them to eat or drink. Forcing food or liquid can cause them to gag or vomit and will be very uncomfortable for them and you.
Their sense of smell, eyesight, depth perception and direction most likely has changed or declined causing them to walk in circles, run into walls, furniture, be wobbly on their legs, fall down or be unable to get up in time to urinate or poop outside.
Things We Learned to Do
We create a warm, comfortable area where they are not able to injure themselves as they move around. Depending on the size of your animal a baby’s playpen is convenient, you can easily watch them and they can see, sense and hear you. Once they lose their strength to stand on their own, we set up a tote with some basic items: paper towels, wash cloths, trash bags, towels, blankets, plastic eye dropper, bottled water, paper plates for them to eat on, Aloe Vera Gel, flashlight, piddle pads, prescriptions, homeopathics etc.
First layer: an old comforter, sheet or blanket folded in half laid on the floor for a foundation
Second layer: one or two folded blankets or waffle pad, foam rubber for cushioning, depends on the size of your animal, the thickness of the blankets and their comfort level. We used a foam waffle pad for Bandy who was about 60 pounds
Third layer: a piddle, potty pad or large plastic trash bag to cover the area of where they will lay to reduce having to change out the bedding foundation
Fourth layer: a large soft bath towel (optional)
Top layer: a soft blanket or towel. We use cotton baby blankets which are easy to wash.
You will need at least 3 full sets of bedding on hand every day. Please keep your animal on the floor, their depth perception no longer functions in most cases and they can easily fall off a chair or couch causing pain, broken bones, and serious damage.
We do not leave our animals alone during this stage, we alternate sleeping next to them. It is important to be aware that moving them may cause them pain, discomfort and/or injury. If they were out in nature, they would choose a secluded place without distractions.
If your animal cannot turn over on its own: Begin by telling it you are going to change the bedding and clean them. With each bedding change gently turn your animal on its other side to help prevent sore spots. If you see a sore spot try putting a small amount of Aloe Vera gel on it or contact your vet.
For our large dogs we learned to roll them on one side putting the new bedding under and then gently rolling them over onto their other side onto the new bedding, which was quicker and less traumatic. For our smaller dogs and cats depending on their needs we have 2 layers of the bedding underneath them to quickly lift, clean them, removing the soiled layer and place them on the fresh bedding layer. You will find ways that work for you.
Few Examples How Our Animals Transitioned
Our first at home experience was Brandy May 1, 1998. She was one of the puppies from Bandit & Bridgette born in 1987. She had surgery and was doing great, then things changed rapidly. We offered her water and food, blending it with vitamins using a small baster. We were in denial what was really happening. She had said she wanted to stay and that gave us hope. She was trying the best she could, however, her body was too weak. She would be lucid, and awake and then go into a coma like state, fluctuating back and forth for about 4 days until she transitioned.
Bandit came up to me at the beach one day, wagging his tail, wet and his coat full of sand. He laid his head in my lap and went to sleep. I spoke to several people that lived around the area and they said he had been loose on the beach for 2 months. Bandit was lucid, mobile and eating up until the time his soul left. He wanted to be inside the house instead of outside with Bridgette in our large covered dog area. At that time we had 9 cats, and inside space was limited as we were acclimating Dharma to the family. We made a large bed for Bandit and Dharma in the garage so we could be with him. The cats would come in and visit them. He transitioned October 1998 within 2 days, and he was calm and peaceful.
Skeeter was shot by a neighbor in 1982 and the vet could not save him. I was shocked that someone would shoot an animal in our neighborhood where I was raised. My sister came over and took me to the animal shelter where Stuffin and I connected.
At Animal Control there was Stuffin, sticking her paws through the cage holding my hand. I couldn’t resist this loving 8-week old kitten. During my grieving for Skeeter she licked my tears helping me to heal. She was with me 19 years before she stopped eating and her body began shutting down. She chose a large basket with a pillow for her bed. I would turn her over and change her bedding as needed. All she wanted was to be close to me.
Sass was in a litter of kittens bound for the animal shelter when I picked her up, she nuzzled my neck and I brought her home. She and Stuffin were always together. She peacefully transitioned at home with my sister in 2000 while I was living in Arizona.
Diamond: Up until the last hour before her transition, she was eating, drinking, was mobile and had followed us out to the garden laying down next to us while we were weeding. She began meowing, wanting to be on our laps, then followed me into the house. She meowed, I picked her up, her body convulsed almost falling out of my arms. I set her down, called my sister to come and within an hour she transitioned.
Bandy (Lab/Belgian Tervuren Mix): She had planned on transitioning before we were to leave for a 10 day trip to Hawaii for a family wedding. She requested that we be with her when she transitioned and she had hoped she could do it on her own. She weighed 60 pounds and was used to living outside in a covered pen with the other dogs. One day she lost strength in her hind end and couldn’t walk on her own. We moved her to our living room so we could support her hind end while she walked outside to go. She loved all the attention and would whine if she could not see one of us. Her appetite was normal and she was lucid to the last day.
The day before we were to leave on our trip we knew our pet sitter could not continue with the care that was necessary, so I talked with her and asked if she was ready to leave, she said yes and needed vet’s assistance. We made the appointment for that afternoon and were with her until the end.
Sera: She was a soul mate to my male cat, Cassidy, they were always in an embrace together. She had surgery for 2 large cancerous lumps on her throat and within 2 months the lumps returned. She requested not to return to the vet. During her week of transition, she wanted to be held most of the time, she would purr and loved to be draped over my shoulder when I was sitting at my office computer, or curled up in the crook of my arm while I was in the living room, laying outside in the sun or next to the water bowl. It was challenging for me to do most things while holding her, but I don’t regret a moment of it. It became clear it was important for me to be fully present with her and not be thinking about anything else.
Cassidy: He was with me 17 1/2 years, he showed up in our backyard one day huddled under a wheel barrow in the middle of our 4 barking dogs. Two months prior to his transition he had lost weight even though he was eating 3 times a day with his normal routine. He began coming back into my office wanting to be held. He was very vocal at night with a guttural meow. His last night, he jumped into my sister’s chair and began meowing with a meow I had never heard from him. I immediately sensed he was transitioning. I put him on my lap, then on my heart and talked to him. Then he laid down on a table between us while we placed our hands barely touching him. It took him less than 4 hours to completely transition and it was quiet and peaceful.
Making It Easier
Disregard all time frames; this is about what their soul needs and what you can emotionally handle. This is a life cycle and you are honoring their life and what it means to you. I cannot tell you that you will not experience an emotional roller coaster if your animal chooses to transition at home. It is important to take care of yourself, make sure you get rest, eat properly, take vitamins and get some fresh air.
The animals understand how we humans think and do not hold a grudge if we cannot experience an at home transition. They will accept going to the vet for assistance to transition if their person chooses that method.
Sounds You May Hear
There will be times you hear moaning, whimpering, crying, their legs will move like they are running; this is the part of the process of releasing the energy so the soul can disconnect from the body. Their breathing will fluctuate from deep to shallow breaths and maybe fast pants. They will appear to be in a coma and will not hear you and then be awake, and lucid. They are disconnecting their soul from the body a little at a time. The human ego mind tries to take over and fix what is happening, but recognize this is natural. If you follow your animals lead, things will progress much more smoothly. They will continue to urinate and defecate even after they have stopped eating and drinking.
There may be a time where it seems that they changed their mind, wake up, get up, or possibly eat and act like their old self. This usually will not last long; it happens because the energy has built up in their body and needs to be released. Stay very close to them should this happen, because we found it can stop just as fast as it began.
As the soul leaves the body the bladder & colon are released. Feces may be released when you lift them. Their body immediately begins to decompose, causing stiffness and odor.
Before your animal gets to this stage, I encourage you to have a “what to do” plan in place. I recommend you have Animal Control’s phone number available to have them come for the body or if you plan to cremate them to have someone be available to drive with you.
I hope this has helped you and I am sending you and your animal loving energy as you have your experience.
Infinite Blessings Suzi Dalling © 2017