Friday, August 25, 2006

Reality Check

We've asked the vet to come to the house to assess Sparkey. She'll be coming on Tuesday while we're at work. Sparkey's ability to walk on his hind legs is diminishing and we think the time is near for him to be freed from the confines of his body. I came to terms with that harsh reality on a walk around the block this evening after work, Sparkey scraping the top of his right hind paw along the ground, his little bootie falling apart at the seams. It's pathetic, and perhaps our hanging on is also pathetic, if not just plain sad.

Old friends from DC came to visit overnight last night with their lovely little girls. These two friends kept Sparkey with them in Maryland for one month in 1999 when we were in Europe. We had previously had their big black Lab---Zimbra---for a year while they were on their honeymoon in the mid-90's. We have been very soulfully connected to one anothers' dogs and children over the years, and they knew that this visit with Sparkey was definitely good-bye. Old Zimbra---Sparkey's former housemate for a year---left this earth a few years ago, beloved as always. Our friend Paul told us the story of finding Zimbra dead in the living room one early morning, and I verbalized our desire that this would be our fate with Sparkey, but we know for certain that this will most likely simply not be. He will need our help, and soon. Ah, me.

Sogyal Rinpoche shares:

At every moment in our lives we need compassion, but what more urgent moment could there be than when we are dying? What more wonderful and consoling gift could you give to dying people [or animals] than the knowledge that they are being prayed for, and that you are taking on their suffering and purifying their negative karma through your practice for them?

Even if they don’t know that you are practicing for them, you are helping them and in turn they are helping you. They are actively helping you to develop your compassion, and so to purify and heal yourself. For me, all dying people [or creatures] are teachers, giving to all those who help them a chance to transform themselves through developing their compassion.

---Keith

2 comments:

andrea said...

I know that fear: you don't want to say, "yes, now is the time" until it really is time. And you most certainly don't want to look back and say, "I waited too long". I will tell you though, that because you are motivated by such deep love and mutual trust, that you really and truly will know. And as you also trust your vet, they will guide you too, knowing that you want to do what's best, as painful as it will prove to be. I'm sorry to hear that that time has come so near.

Keith, RN said...

Thank you,Andrea. You are very kind and wise.