Yes, there are plenty of animals in shelters needing homes. But, once we Baby Boomers get to be over-70, at least the media tell us, we will hesitate to become pet parents. Our cat, dog, rabbit, or bird may have died. When that happens, we're shocked that we have so many tears in us. We don't want to go through that kind of loss again. And we fear that no one will take care of our animal like we did if we pass on. Sure, papers are signed and trusts are set up to take care of the animal but we have all watched greed and indifference take over.
Today, I allowed my awesome animal companion Jason to pass on. The vet said it was the last stages of kidney failure. Three months ago I had brought him in for a check up at 18 years of age. That's when the kidney problem was diagnosed. Back home, though, he thrived for those 90 days. Then darkness fell quickly. Two days ago he stopped eating. This morning he was hiding. Without an appointment I packed Jason up and we went to the vet.
I miss him. But do I have it in my heart to give his place to another homeless animal? My college friend Kathleen Heubner said to let time make that choice. I should just lean into the grief. And that's what I will do. Meanwhile, my apartment is no longer a home. Not without Jason.