All about Animals: Promises Made to My Best Friend – a Tribute to Duke

There you were, as if you had been waiting just for me. I knew immediately that you would become my best friend, my trusted companion, my beloved family member. You trotted along at my side and home we went, to start our life together.

And so it begins. You soon learned to trust me and to depend on me for all of your needs. My promises to you would all be kept.

First order of business: You must be neutered for health and safety reasons; also to do our part to prevent over-population. Your immunizations will be kept current and heart worm preventative will be given timely.

I promise you that.

Those, oh-so-important dental check-ups and routine teeth cleanings are a must, to decrease the risk of infection and heart disease. I’ll brush you daily to keep your coat shiny, clean and healthy. You will always be kept free of fleas and internal parasite.

I promise you that.

Your little blue swimming pool will be kept clean and full to keep you cool all summer long. In the winter, I’ll be sure that you wear your warm jacket on those cold and rainy days. Your favorite blanket will always be right next to my chair, or you can cuddle up on the couch whenever you want.

I promise you that.

No table scraps for you, pal. We’ll watch your weight to keep that waistline trim. I’ll toss that ball as far as I can; you’ll catch it, bring it back, lay it at my feet, then I’ll throw it again and again.

I promise you that.

The years are passing by us. I note a bit of gray around your muzzle now. You’re getting a little stiff these days. Arthritis is setting in. Those sore joints will be treated with soothing medications, massage, and a warm, dry place to rest.

I promise you that.

We’ve spent 16 wonderful years together. You’ve been my devoted friend; always by my side. Now, the most difficult promise that I must keep is before me. I have promised to never let you linger or suffer, and this promise I must keep. The quality of your life has come to an end and I must do what is best for my best friend.

I will never try to replace you, for that would be impossible. I will only be filling the hole in my heart that your passing has left. It is not out of disloyalty to you that I must love again– quite the contrary.

So as a tribute to you, my friend, I will love again.

And once again, there you were, as if you had been waiting just for me. I knew immediately that you would become my best friend, my trusted companion, my beloved family member. You trotted along at my side, and home we went to start our life together. And so the promises begin again.

To you who are facing a promise that you must keep, I want you to know that euthanasia is a very humane end to pain and suffering. No matter what the circumstances surrounding the reason for euthanasia, there will be a period of natural grief. Please, let there be no guilt. You must do what is right, to fulfill your responsibility to your best friend.

Please remember, love lingering in the heart is love being wasted. There is a pet out there that needs a wonderful, loving home like yours.

Please love again.

Chic Miller

Since 1990 Chic Miller and her husband, Bob, have owned and operated Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal sanctuary on Gas Point Road in Cottonwood. The Millers care for hundreds of abused and neglected animals. Animals that come to this sanctuary remain there for the rest of their lives. Chic is a retired nurse and takes care of all the medical needs for the injured and ill animals. Aside from a few volunteers, Bob and Chic take care of all the daily chores. The Millers care for hundreds of animals, including dogs, horses, ponies, pigs, llamas, goats, cats, chickens and yes, even a one-legged turkey. Chic Miller can be reached at 530-347-0544. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to help support Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary.

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