Ah, our beloved animal companions! Don’t we all desire to make the most of the time they have left? What starts us thinking like this?

Maybe we receive that dire diagnosis with an iffy outcome. Or we notice their physical or mental decline.

We don’t want their time with us to ever end. But now we know it’s limited.

How do we make the most of the time they have left?

Looking back on my own experience, my emotions veered from one extreme to the other. At times, I pretended nothing changed and life was great (“C’mon, kiddo, walk a little faster! You can do it!”).

At other times, I fell into a deep sadness, wondering how I was going to recover from their loss.

I found that neither of these responses brought me – or my beloved companions – joy. There had to be better ways to be a good companion and guardian for my animals.

In my work, I received so much insight into making the most of our time together. So I included those insights in the second version of my bestseller, Peace in Passing: Comfort for Loving Humans During Animal Transitions.

These ideas will help you find more peace and joy each day they’re still with you.

Create a spiritual approach to help make the most of the time

Why? Consider this quote from Robert J. Grant’s book, The Place we Call Home.

“The intellect uses only the faculties of reason, conceptualization and interpretation to translate our experiences into a mental framework of understanding.

“It doesn’t help when the heart is breaking because someone close to us [is going to pass on or] has died. We must go to deeper levels of ourselves in order to receive the healing needed.”

From Peace in Passing:

I invite you – and I give you permission – to create your own spiritual reality of death. If you believe people survive death, can you extend these belief to animals? Since I’ve experienced my own animals’ presences after they died, I know this is a reality.

Developing a daily spiritual practice that includes your animals can provide some breathing space, a place of sanctuary.  This may help you pull the heavy curtain of emotion aside so you can see your animal’s viewpoint: what they’re experiencing and what they desire. It roots you into a quieter place with less distraction.

Clear out your “baggage”

From Peace in Passing:

What beliefs and thoughts about what’s happening to your animal are you holding on to that no longer serve you?

When you recognize your own needs and desires in the relationship, acknowledge them. There’s nothing wrong with your feelings. Look into your heart, and from your heart space, you will remember that you want what’s best for your animal.

Embrace the fact that they’re still with you right now

As my dog Stella lost more hearing and sight, and found walking difficult, I would sing her a special little ditty. Because Stella was a trooper, she didn’t give up.

“Every day with Stella is a good day!”

I wanted to remind us both how lucky I felt that she still had “paws in the game.” It helped me move out of grief and back into gratitude. Which was good for both of us.

I can help you through this stage of life

We can connect to:

  • Discover what they’re still enjoying and what’s not fun anymore.
  • See how your energy and mindset can help your companion perk up.
  • Find out if medication or therapies are still working them.
  • Explain why you’re giving them medication or taking them for therapy or surgery.
  • Help them relax as they know you’re only doing it because you love them.
  • Answer other questions/concerns you have!

Joe’s energy was low

Joe make most of the time they have leftA while ago, Sara booked a session to see how her horse, Joe was feeling. His energy was pretty low. Of course, Sara was concerned. Here’s what she reported a few months after our session.

“After our talk with my 30-year-old horse, Joe in February he certainly did perk up! Our agreements (discussions) worked – he shares more [supportive] energy as long as I bring happier energy.

“As it has warmed up, we have been playing more often. 

“Joe even started jumping while we are playing on the ground! Imagine that! A half blind horse with some mobility limitations enjoying jumping!

“After he showed me that he likes bareback, we’ve been doing bareback rides once or twice a week for the last 2 weeks. He even cantered last Saturday! 

“Today we were riding in the pasture and found a bunch of groundhog holes and had to move spaces where the boys (horses) were living. Joe helped me move everyone in and work the gate just like the old days!

 “Thank you for helping us to make sure we are both getting what we need and assure me that Joe is still just as fun and spunky as ever.”

 I can help you navigate this tricky time!

Book a session!