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Your Petís Greatest Gift to You
Your Petís Greatest Gift to You He told me I was wasting precious time being fearful and feeling guilty when we should be enjoying our last days and hours together.

Along with cheerfulness, trust, and unconditional love, your companion animal has another gift for you. It is perhaps the best gift of all because it has the power to change your life. No, your pet is not a sorcererÖjust a four-legged creature sent to bring you some wise lessons. You need only pay attention to your pet to find the gift within. Let me explain.

Our furry kids are here with us for only a short while and then we must say goodbye. But why do pets have such relatively short lives? To make us feel bad and grieve over their loss? Or is there some other reason? When my first dog, a black Labrador retriever named Beezer, was diagnosed with fatal kidney disease, I learned to pay attention. It wasnít easy. I was consumed with fear and guilt knowing Iíd have to say goodbye soon and almost missed the lessons he was trying to teach me.

Then I began questioning why this was happening, and asking what if? What if Beezer was here for a reason? What if his dying had some good to it? I started listening to my dog. Forcing myself out of my misery, I shared many quiet conversations with my wise old pal. What I heard was amazing. He told me I was wasting precious time being fearful and feeling guilty when we should be enjoying our last days and hours together. He told me his dying was just part of the circle of life, and he would see me again someday. He said I needed to learn to live in the present, because that was my safe zone. Nothing bad happens when you quit worrying about the past or the future and start living in the present.

Later, when his sibling brother Boomer was diagnosed with bone cancer, I found I was much less afraid and didnít feel guilty over things I may have neglected to do for him. Boomer, all about fun, had his own way of teaching me about presence, and we had some good times together right up to the end. His dying actually was a sacred experience and brought me peace.

Now, I welcome new dogs into my home, no longer afraid of being hurt or feeling bad when their time is up. I also have a clearer understanding and acceptance of death, and I know Iíve changed for the better since these pets left. These were Beezer and Boomerís gifts to me.

When itís your petís time, remember the B Brothersí lessons: Donít waste the precious time you could spend with your pet feeling bad. Your pet knows dying is just part of the circle of life. He doesnít feel bad! Work to stay present. Fear lives in the future and guilt resides in the past. Enjoy the safety zone of today.

Listen to your pet. He has amazing wisdom for you.

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"Your Petís Greatest Gift to You"
   authored by:
WRITER
Doug Koktavy is a Certified Counselor, Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement, and the author of ďThe Legacy of Beezer and Boomer: Lessons on Living and Dying from My Canine BrothersĒ, B Brothers Press, www....



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