It is an honor to observe the special connection between people and their dogs in happiness and grief.  What follows happened on a Tuesday morning.

The vet clinic phone rang at 10:00 a.m. as Doc was finishing a surgery.  The client said “I’m out of town and my daughter just called, it’s Hopper and he is having a major seizure.  She is going to bring him right over….he’s 10 years old and I understand it might be ‘his time’.  My son is driving down from the city to meet her at the clinic”.  When I hung up the phone I told Doc “this might be a tough one”.

15 minutes later, a tearful 19 year old Anna arrived with a neighbor.  Doc went out to the car to help them carry Hopper into the clinic and start the exam.   I joined them a few minutes later and Doc had given Hopper a sedative to try and quiet his seizure. Hopper was a 10 year old Australian Shepard who had raised Anna and her older brother, who had just arrived at the clinic.

As the seizure continued, I held his head steady and kept his front legs from thrashing while Anna rubbed his stomach and held his back legs.  Doc explained what was happening.  I continued to hold Hoppers shaking head and talk quietly to him while his eyes ricocheted and his legs quivered.  The sedative was not having an effect.  Anna leaned forward and whispered “Hopper, Hopper” and with that Hopper turned his head, leaned into her and licked her tear covered face. In the throws of a 30 minute long catastrophe seizure, a voice he had heard all his life registered with him and he gave her his gratitude and affection with that lick on her face.

Another sedative was given and the seizure was slowed down.  From the stillness of that sedative we moved Hopper to the place where all our beloved pets go, to hopefully, greet us once again.  His transition was peaceful and he given it his all, with that final lick.

Afterwards I asked Doc “was that an involuntary response or did Hopper really respond to her voice with that lick”.  Doc quietly replied “He knew”.

\”He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.\” – Unknown

Lori from KS