For some humans, animals are animals. For others, animals are pets. For the rest of us, animals become companions with whom you share a bond and heart connection like nothing else in this crazy and unpredictable gig we call life.
This is my sweet Kelsey. She is absolutely one of the great loves of my life. Behind those deep dark eyes is the soul of an angel who’s love and companionship has touched my life and the absolute depths of my soul beyond anything I could ever imagined. She has taught me that I have capacity to love another sentient being in a way that I didn’t think I could and she has endlessly reciprocated her love for me no matter what. Once a street dog, abandoned by her humans, she spent 9 months of her life in the pound and was days away from euthanasia because no one wanted her. Thankfully, the beautiful souls at Australian Working Dog Rescue Inc found her a temporary foster family and my late husband Brian Antonenko decided she would make the perfect friend for our fur-boy Buddy. When we adopted her, she was under-nourished and simply under-loved but, incredibly, has just blossomed into the most loving, sweet natured best friend I could never have even imagined.
The last few days have been nothing short of shockingly scary and emotional and I am so saddened to see her go through such a tough. I am just so proud of her as she continues to amaze me with her resilience despite the hardships life has dealt her tender little soul.
Life is unpredictable. We always think we are in control but we are not. As humans, it’s our duty to sometimes make decisions on behalf of the souls of other creatures who’s paths cross with ours. Today I chose to face a challenging decision NOT in a state of suffering, but rather, in a state of beauty and gratitude.
Sometimes the greatest love we will ever give and receive in this life involves no exchange of words – sometimes it is just an unspoken connection of energy between two souls.
For me, being responsible for making the heart-wrenching the decision to put my beautiful girl to sleep was one of those moments where I had to face it with loving courage. After days upon days of touch-and-go at the animal hospital, fighting hard against the invisible battle that was being fought inside her sick little body, today we received the devastating news that her small precious frame was riddled with aggressive cancer. Only days ago she was running and swimming and playing stacks on her brother Buddy.
While she was cognitive this afternoon – stable but critical – I made the difficult decision to visit her, with her fur-brother, one final time. Last night, he howled for her and he hasn’t howled since the day my first husband, Brian, passed away. It was so beautiful and I’m so grateful for being able to have provided her with the greatest opportunity to have the comfort and dignity she deserved during the final stages of her life and spend time with her favourite K9 kin.
I lay with her on her favourite cushion I brought from home and held her and kissed her beautiful little nose as she took her final breath. I gave thanks to her for all the endless love she has gifted me and the beautiful lessons she has taught me in the time we have shared together as two souls who’s paths serendipitously crossed 8 years ago.
I am infinitely grateful for the wisdom I have acquired throughout my life and I look forward to helping others learn that despite not being in control of EVERYTHING, you have the CAPACITY to control the way you react to everything, ALWAYS, by expanding your energy to a higher place – a place of love, compassion and unwavering authenticity.
Thanks Kelsey – and Rest In Peace my sweet girl. Brian has missed you x