The End, or Not the End
I lost my beautiful girl, my heart dog Zoe, in March of 2022. Or rather, I didn’t lose her, but our connection and relationship shifted to a new dimension. We adopted Zoe, a German Shorthaired Pointer, when she was 5 years old, from a local shelter. She’d been saved from ill treatment at the hands of a hunter. We live in the French Pyrenees, where hunting predominantly wild boar is a local passion and pastime. But the passion doesn’t always extend to the dogs who accompany the hunters. It certainly didn’t in Zoe’s case.
In the 6 years we had the privilege of sharing our lives with Zoe, she took me on an epic journey of learning and love. Through her, I became a games based dog trainer, partnership coach for people and dogs, and re-ignited my skills as an animal communicator. I’d always been a healer, for years of people, through a variety of bodywork methods, and more lately of animals too, through different forms of energy healing.
Zoe changed my life, and changed it for the better in so many ways.
(Fond memories of Zoe with me)
When she was diagnosed with Leishmaniasis, an endemic disease here in Southern Europe, this coloured all of our life with her. I tried for it not to, but that wasn’t always easy, because of the frequent vet visits, medications that were needed to try to stave off this potentially fatal condition, and simply the fact that she was very unwell for periods of time. She had reprieves, many of them, until she had them no more.
I’d like to share with you a little of how our last months went, and how healing and communicating transformed that experience and that time.
In those last months, once we knew we had reached the stage of palliative care, I had some deep discussions not only with our vet, but with Zoe herself. At my request, the vet promised to come to our house should Zoe need a helping hand to pass over. This isn’t something many vets do here, so I was very grateful for that. Zoe had had so much veterinary intervention over the years, and I didn’t want to subject her to ending her life in a vet’s consulting room, if at all possible.
From Zoe’s point of view, she was clear that she didn’t want any more invasive, unpleasant or stressful interventions of any kind, and she constantly reassured me that she was not afraid of death, that she knew and understood, perhaps more viscerally than I did, that it would be like a shedding of a garment and that her true and eternal self would simply shift dimensions.
And despite being a healer and having connections with the Spirit realm, and knowing this to be true, I still, as a mere human being, found it so hard to imagine life without her, and continued doing whatever I could to send her healing, support her with all the methods I could think of, and buy time for us.
Among other things, I offered her Reiki, sound healing, essential oils to sniff, homeopathy, prepared a special home made diet for her, and spent hours simply sitting with her. I suffered from pre-emptive grief, in fact I think I had done for years in a way – feeling sad already about her passing, imagining the pain of it even while she was still with us. I didn’t indulge too much in this, but it was a real factor of our last years together.
However it was the last few weeks of her life that focused my mind and heart on how we can make those last times very precious indeed, and beautiful too, despite the pain and grief. Certainly, my conversations with her helped us both enormously. As did the realisation that time is flexible, illusory and malleable. So as I understood that time was getting very short for us, I flipped into an awareness of the exquisite uniqueness of each moment, which might at any moment, be the last moment.
I was so grateful we had returned to our mountain home after a terrible house fire (another story...) following 18 months living elsewhere, just 5 weeks before Zoe passed. In those 5 weeks she was able to re-connect with a place she loved, with the Nature she knew and was a part of too. She stayed long enough to see us home, as we saw her home.
The days and nights of those last few weeks were as a whole lifetime in a way. Each event was infinitely precious, because it was, or might have been, the very last time she did this, ate that, went into the garden to sniff, looked into my eyes....when I fully realised this, I was able to distill and immerse myself in each present moment more fully than I’d experienced before. She showed me the way, as she had done so often in our life together.
This magic of each experience is similar to the magic of the first time a baby, or puppy or kitten discovers something new, learns something new, does something new....the first and the last are connected in their sacredness, and the first inexorably leads eventually to the last, just as the last will lead to new beginnings and new firsts. The cycle of existence. I realise not all may share this view of life, but it is my view, gleaned from a lifetime of exploration, and perhaps it will resonate with you.
Zoe’s actual passing was peaceful and tumultuous all at once. Physically peaceful, as she died on her favourite bed, in the warmth, with us at her side, and a mere gentle insertion of a needle from the vet to ease the passage. Her preference, and ours too, was for a totally natural death, but she had got to a point where we realised, as the vet had intimated, that due to all the medications she’d had, a natural death might be too hard. And she did signal to us clearly the night before that she’d had enough. That didn’t stop many doubts, much inner panic too, But the moment itself was very peaceful.
The emotions and the times following were hard, so hard. But it was at this time that Zoe started to come to me in Spirit, and guide me through the grieving process step by step. So it was also a blessed time, and proof to me of her presence, free of her body, and oh so pure and loving. Her essence.
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Do stay in touch! Here are some resources for you....
I talk all about our life together and our challenges and learnings, and share much of Zoe’s wisdom too, in my book, which will soon be published, Life and Soul Dog – The Experiences and Wisdom of an Animal Communicator and her Canine Companion, to Inspire and Help You.
After Zoe passed, I also began to share some of her messages through a Facebook group which you are welcome to join. You can ask to join my Facebook group, click here.
Do visit my website, https://www.anyagore.com and you can sign up for these free resources here: a booklet on conscious caring for our sick or dying animals, inspired by my experiences with Zoe and those of my clients, click here, and a guided meditation on Breathing with your Pet, click here.
Copyright © 2023 Anya Gore of Connected Souls ©. All rights reserved.
Please show us all that you like this article by sharing, commenting, and/or giving this a "LIKE" on Facebook. Photo in post (header): Anya and Zoe relaxing (courtesy of Connected Souls).