by Jackie Thomas
Several months ago on a sunny day at home, a veterinarian euthanized my sweet old dog Willie (Willie Wonka) to end Willie's courageous battle with untreatable cancer. A couple of months later, I arrived home on a Saturday afternoon to find my oldest dog Beau (Beau Bear) seizuring. By the time I located a veterinarian, it was too late so Beau was euthanized to end his suffering. To honor Beau and Willie's memory, I am starting a pet loss support group in Tupelo, MS (Elvis Presley's birthplace!). Although it is too early to predict the continuation of the group, I've met wonderful people who cherish the human-animal bond and who grieve when that bond is altered through death. As I grieve Beau and Willie's deaths, I anticipate the loss of Benji Beagle who has metastasized cancer. With the consent of the local veterinary college, I'm providing palliative care for Benji Beagle until he crosses the Rainbow Bridge and joins Beau, Willie, and the other animal companions with whom I've been privileged to share my life.