This is Jenny, the long-time pet of a friend whom has
a terminal illness; she was sent home from the hospital last evening;
"nothing more we can do," doctors said.
Today while sitting with my friend a couple of hours, her dog snuggled into my side.
Whenever I moved, the dog came with me. As I prepared to leave,
hugged and kissed patient and other friends in the room,
Jenny came and stood in front of me blocking my passage out of the room.
Her eyes told me she was grieving and needed some comfort.
Although I'm a chaplain, I've never consciously comforted a pet before.
Today I felt like this dog was "asking me for help."
Still, I knelt down and
held the dog's face in one hand and
placed my other hand on top of her head. Speaking softly,
I said something like,
"it's difficult, this grieving, isnt' it?
You're suffering, too, I know."
All the while Jenny, the dog, never moved her eyes from mine;
her eyes were moist and serious.
"Trust in your Creator, ok," I found myself saying.
"God loves you; this is uncharted territory for you, I know."
I continued to speak softly and directly to my friend's pet while the
others in the room talked softly. I marveled, realizing I
hadn't often given much thought to the grief of pets. After
a few more strokes to her head, I got up to leave.
Jenny turned, walked to the other side of the bed and
prepared to sit with her owner.