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A Good Death

Maia’s Last Days


“Mom, I am ready to go,” Maia, my 14.5-year-old wolf dog, said to me one day. “I want to hear it three days in a row,” I replied.

She said this to me a few days after she fell off the bed. The falling episode happened at 6 a.m. and caused her a great amount of pain. From that day forward, her wolf instincts would wake me up at 5:45 a.m. to help her off the bed and into the other room. At 6:30 she could, if I wanted her to, get back on my bed.

Day 2: “Mom, I am ready to go.” I was stalling and replied, “I want to have your picture taken. Can you wait? It will be on Day 4.” Maia agreed, saying, “I would love to have our photo taken. I want to be in your book that changes the world. That I can wait for.”

On Day 3, I avoided the subject and I said things like, “I don’t mind lifting your hind legs so you can walk around. We can do this for years. I don’t care if you poop in the house. I am just glad you are pooping. Maybe we will try the heavy muscle building pharmaceuticals. Maybe that will help.”

Day 4: Stormy (my Aussie), Maia, and I meet Grace, the pet photographer, at Griffith Park. A coyote scavenges for food in our general vicinity. Maia and Stormy walk side by side. Maia smiles and looks in the camera. She tells Grace, “I can tell you capture everyone’s soul. Thank you.” Grace says she hopes Maia lives longer. I say she probably will. On the car ride home I hear, “Mom, I got my picture taken, now I am ready to go.” I cry.

Maia
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Courtesy Photo

Maia

That night I take her to my friend Caroline’s so Maia can eat horse poop. At home Maia says, “That was a perfect last day.” Then she asks if her doctor can be the one that euthanizes her. At 4:15 p.m. the next day, I drive her to Carpinteria to a park by the beach. Our appointment is at 5:10. “I have been to this park before,” she says and refuses to get out of the car. “This is perfect here,” she says about the blue comforter I laid across the dog beds in the back of the jeep. “I am just going to tell the doctor, ‘I am not moving.’ This is where you have to do it and tell him thank you for being my medicine man.”

Storm and Maia ate cat food and my friend Jim brought them a hamburger. At 5:30, Dr. Otto gives Maia the sedative with Stormy lying beside her and her head cupped in my hands. As Maia falls asleep, for 15 minutes I send her telepathic affirmations about how perfect she is, how brave and conscious, and how she has overcome so many obstacles. I tell her I owe all of what I know to her. I tell her I love her. I tell her to drift out of her body and that we are connected by a golden ribbon. To my surprise I can still hear her. She tells me of dog friends she is seeing. She tells me she loves me. She tells she is scared. She tells me of the golden ribbon and how she is no longer frightened. Right before her soul leaves her body she says she sees my grandmother holding a gigantic beef bone. She says my grandmother is telling her that her teeth will not hurt her when she eats it.

Storm and I feel her beautiful strong soul lift and engulf us accompanied by a gentle breeze. We are sad. We take her body home so her three cats and bunny (Joey, Makia, Serafina, and Bean) can see her body, then we wrap Maia in a white sheet and bury her at Caroline’s pet cemetery. There Maia once said, “Here it feels like heaven.”

Remarkably, I can still hear her now. She is very distant. She says she can watch us but she is not yet allowed to come closer. She says it is amazing that I can hear her. The others she is with, their loved ones on Earth cannot hear them. Maia says she is learning.

When I feel bad for times I got frustrated with her, or feel like I could have done more, she says, “None of that matters. You were perfect.” She tells me, “I will always look out for you.” She tells me she is reviewing parts of her life. She looks at the abuse, the wolf in her vs. the dog, how she has known love, and how she feels “smart” in heaven because she had a human that could talk to her and could hear her thoughts. She says she is learning quickly and is moving up dimensions. She assures that in a few days she will feel closer.

Here on Earth, my animal family and I are so grateful that we can still hear her, but the empty space in the house brings us often to deep sadness. Maia in her physical form will be missed greatly. I am so honored to have been her caretaker. Maia, we love you.

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