My little friend….Truffles.


Yesterday was a hard day. Though oh so tiny in size, our little Yorkie, named by our daughter 12 years ago…was mighty in spirit. I had to euthanize her yesterday morning.
She had suffered an aortic stroke over a year ago and this injured her kidneys severely enough to start her into chronic kidney failure. It was a miracle that she ever recovered from such a severe condition. In my 26 years as veterinarian, I had never seen nor heard of this condition in dogs. Her survival, a testimony to her will…..all 3 1/2 pounds! It was time, her quality was rapidly deteriorating.

Mighty Truffles, comforting Truffles, peculiar Truffles, persistent Truffles. She wore so many different hats. Ready to take on the next big dog, only to run behind us when her bluff was blown. Running out the front door to bark into the night, challenging any…waiting a response…dog sonar pinging the night. She would circle, round and round as her rice bag warmed in the microwave…how she loved to curl upon it! Pawing at the water bowl as if more water would suddenly bubble up from a spring. Taking each kibble to eat at some magical spot away from the dish. Probably using more calories to eat than what she actually consumed. She loved watermelon! She was dedicated to nightly pattern of burrowing under our daughter’s covers to spend the entire night after night for over a decade. Steady Truffles, she was our little friend. Faithful and honest. She was true to the end.

After a good cry, and many moments throughout the day and likely days to come as we look to see her in familiar spots, at expected times….and realize that our tiny friend is not there…our hearts will dive and swell. The hurt will boil and push out through our tears. This grief we feel is real. It’s OK, but it’s not easy and it’s not fun. Many of you my friends have felt this and just this reading may have pulled the bandaid back to feel once again the raw hurt of a pet friend gone. I have been there in that room, on that family room floor and have hurt with you. A little secret, I always bow to place my hand on and say a short prayer for the pet I have just euthanized, and for his/her loved ones. That they may be comforted.

Once again, I am humbled and feel so very honored to “tend the flock” knowing that we will see our loved pet ones in heaven. What a gift it is to enjoy our pets throughout life and then to have to let go… and in time, be thankful for all they have given us at the earthly end of their journey. It is bittersweet, more bitter right now, but then becomes sweeter as we re-member how one such as Truffles, enriched our lives. A beloved pet can show us how to be better humans….loving one another for who we are….without condition.

To Truffles, our little friend, rest in peace and please don’t start growling at the cats in heaven as they approach your food dish, they never did and never will want your food anyway.
-Dr. Amsberry

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