Our beautiful Lena, our yellow Lab, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on August 27th 2016.
We adopted Lena in May 2014, from Safe Harbor Labrador Rescue. We knew she was a senior, but felt she would be a good fit with our 10-year-old Labrador Gus, who was aging rapidly, and had other health issues including severe hip dysplasia. Turns out, it was a great fit. Lena was almost completely blind when we picked her up that day in May, but we didn’t hesitate and taking her. We loved her the moment we laid eyes on her. She was funny, affectionate, loved to give hugs, and was my constant shadow. It’s just not the same without her here.
We knew she had a tumor in her kidney, and the kidney function was not good. But we’ve been told by the vet that this could go on for quite a while, but I wasn’t expecting her to be fine at lunchtime on Friday, and not be able to stand up on her own Friday night. This just happened so quickly, and I was emotionally unprepared. As a family, we decided to call and schedule the euthanasia the next morning.
Friday night, I laid on the floor with her, with my pillow up against her bed. I stroked her head and rubbed my hand up and down her side and wondered to myself if anything else could be done, instead of putting her down. Maybe there was some other medication that we could give her that could prolong her life? Maybe there was some other idea the vet could come up with? I knew there wasn’t, but I was agonizing over what my baby Lena was going through. I kept stroking her, and was waiting for her to give me a sign, like all of my previous dogs had done. She looked at me with sad eyes, and I knew she was giving up, but I needed some reassurance from her, that it was time for her to go. I laid there on the floor with her, and talked to her, and started to cry. Lena then must have sensed something from me, and suddenly began to lick my fore head. I couldn’t believe it, I needed a sign, and maybe she was giving me that sign. Then she started to nudge my hands which had stop rubbing her, and as soon as I opened my hands up, she began licking them also, then back to my forehead with more licks. OK, I thought to myself, this is my sign…..this is Lena telling me she can’t go on any longer. She knew I needed that sign and she gave it to me.
That Saturday, I called Caring Pathways in the morning, and scheduled in home euthanasia for 2 PM that day. Dr. Lori arrived right on time. The entire process was so calm, and peaceful, not just for us, but for Lena. Our other Labrador Gus was present when Lena was given her sedative. He came over sniffed her a little bit, and then laid back down. Lena left this world surrounded by her family who loved her immensely, and comfortable in her bed, with her toys and tennis balls around her. We got to hold her and stroke her, until she was gone. As she was carried out on a stretcher to the car, Gus walked alongside of her, and Dr. Lori and my husband stopped the stretcher and lowered it a little bit, and Gus sniffed Lena’s head one more time. I think this was his goodbye to her.
In time, we will be back for another rescue Lab….no better dog in the world….thank you Safe Harbor for allowing us the privilege of having this beautiful soul for the time we did. We will hold her in our hearts forever.
In friendship from us, and hugs from Lena,
Brian, Carolyn, and Samantha Langan