Karen’s dog was diagnosed with cancer 3 ½ years after Karen adopted Casey through the Aussie Rescue and Placement Helpline. Karen and her husband are one of the wonderful animal rescuers of this world. Casey was a senior dog, so they knew what lay ahead. Still, Karen was devasted by the diagnosis.

Listen to Karen tell Casey’s journey on a podcast where I was the guest speaker. Karen and her friend and cohost, Jean named the podcast…get ready… The Pawdcast! Dontcha just love the name?

The Pawdcast

On their podcast, Karen and Jean have positive conversations about pets and the people who love them. They always end with “PawsUp” and “PawsDown” stories about animals in the news, so be sure to listen for that.

During the podcast, we more animal communication stories and other cool topics. Please support Jean and Karen by listening to the whole Pawdcast here. And if you enjoy it, please subscribe and share it with your friends!

Below is Karen and Casey’s story about this devastating diagnosis. And be sure to scroll down to see other topics we covered in our time together.

A special bond

My dog Casey and I had a very special bond. Casey is one of those dogs that you never think that you’re going to have. They just sort of find their way into your life.

Foster fail

My husband Kirk and I were asked to help transport her through Aussie Rescue. We kept her overnight and ended up fostering her. We decided that Casey needed to stay with us. (And I think Casey decided that the day she met me.)

Casey stops eating

In December 2017, Casey stopped eating, which was not a good sign. Because Casey loved food more than she loved me!

A devastating diagnosis

We found out she had terminal cancer. The vet concluded Casey only had two weeks to live. I was absolutely devastated. We knew in adopting a senior, we’d be on borrowed time. But it was only three and a half years. It just wasn’t enough. And I had a feeling Casey wasn’t ready to go.

I ran into a couple of friends who noticed I was a little down. Mary, who’s the publisher of The Zebra, a local Alexandria VA newspaper, said, “You have to meet my friend Maribeth. She’s an animal communicator and she can help you through devastating diagnosis.”

Connecting to Casey through Maribeth

So Maribeth and I had a phone conversation. Maribeth gave me tremendous comfort. She saw a lot of light around Casey; she was convinced Casey wasn’t ready to leave us yet. Happily, we had Casey for six more months.

The end nears

I got in touch with Maribeth again when it was getting close to the end. Through Maribeth, I told Casey we loved her and not to continue hanging on for us. She left us soon thereafter.

Telling the other animals in the family

dog diagnosed with cancer

Boomer, Casey and kitty Delta Burke

Maribeth also spoke with the other animals. Because when an animal leaves, it’s a transition for all of them. I had my happy little animal kingdom with two cats and Boomer and Casey. So it was going to impact all of them.

When we made the final plans, Maribeth let all the animals know kind of what was going on. The whole team was in there. And when the vet came to the house, all the animals laid down around Casey. Wow. It was the wildest thing. I was petting her the whole time with the vet and the animals were in a semicircle around her.


Lucy cat


Yeah. It was precious for me and Kirk obviously. But watching the other animals and how they reacted, you can’t tell me that animals don’t know. Or don’t have feelings!


A Solemn, Sacred Responsibility

This is Maribeth – I loved how Jean captures what happens when we support our animals during a transition:

Jean – There’s the scene in Steel Magnolias where the mother said she was there when her daughter’s spirit entered the world.  And she was there when she exited. She said it was the most precious moment of her life.

It’s a very difficult time for pet people. It’s a brutal responsibility, but it’s a solemn, sacred responsibility.

Jean’s dogs, Daisy & Savannah, who are alive and well!

Listen to the whole Pawdcast here.

And if that didn’t entice you to click, here are the other topics we covered in the Pawdcast –

  • Last requests from our animals
  • Finding out what happened before we adopted them
  • Helping them let go of past experiences
  • Acupuncture
  • Holistic veterinary practices
  • Bargaining with your dog to get a picture
  • Animals visiting us in our dreams
  • Connecting intuitively with your own animal
  • The evolution of our relationship to our animals
  • Volunteering for rescues
  • PawsUp and PawsDown stories

Have you read my Amazon bestseller, Peace in Passing: Comfort for Humans during Animal Transitions?

Get the book!