On December 2nd, 2021, I lost my steadfast companion of 12+ years, my best boy, Simon. He told me, in so many ways, that it was time to say goodbye, yet it has been the hardest thing for me to do.
Words can never relay the joy and balance he brought to my life, at a time when I didn’t even know how much I needed it, especially over these last 3 years when I returned to clinical practice.
- He kept me grounded, “forcing” me to go for walks, seeing sunrises and sunsets that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen, and listening to all the sounds of nature that I otherwise wouldn’t have heard.
- He taught me patience, as he insisted on sniffing almost every tree on our walks, especially as the end of his life drew near.
- He taught me loyalty.
- He showed such dedication to me over his lifetime; I question, especially over these last few years in practice, when work took so much of my time, whether I truly deserved that dedication. But he gave it to me willingly, and unconditionally.
- He taught me love. And that an inherent part of love is frequently loss, when the one that you love leaves this earthly world before you do.
Thankfully, since returning to practice, I have heard enough stories, from enough people, that convince me that we will see our beloved pets again one day, when it is our time to leave this earthly world. So, although Simon is no longer with me, I have a deep conviction that I will see him again one day.
In the veterinary community, there is a well-known poem called Rainbow Bridge that speaks of this reunion with our furry companions who leave us far too soon. Given my profession as a veterinarian, I always knew this poem. Today, it resonates with me more than it ever has before. And it consoles me. So, I feel it is not goodbye, Simon. It is only, “Until I see you again.”
I love you, my best boy. And I miss you more than you will ever know. I am so incredibly thankful that you chose me all those years ago; you gave me far more than I ever gave you.
With love and gratefulness in my heart,
I cannot say enough about Dr. Hilst and the rest of the staff at Journeys Home. The day I have dreaded for so long finally came. But there was tremendous comfort in the ability to say my final goodbyes, and give my final kisses, to my dog Simon AT HOME, and outside, where he always loved to be. He was the dog who always shook like a leaf during an entire appointment at a veterinary hospital, even when nothing major happened, so to be able to plan his passing at home was incredibly important and meaningful to me. Dr. Hilst treated Simon (and me!) with such care and compassion. I am forever grateful, and so very thankful that the veterinary community in Dane County and the surrounding area have this vitally important service available, performed by veterinarians who care so deeply about what they do.