Recently I talked with someone who was struggling with the guilt of having to put their pet to sleep. Then just this morning, I talked with someone whose older pet just had surgery for a ruptured disk in her neck. And the difficulty is that the pet owner needs to go away for a week in the next few days and the guilt has him full of worry.
Guilt can be such a tricky thing and can weigh on us like a ton of bricks. I completely understand this having been through it so often myself in various ways with my own pets.
After talking with my friend whose pet is coming home today, but then he must leave out of town soon, I’m happy to say I was able to provide him some comfort and be a reflection for him that he has covered all bases in making sure his dog will be in the best care while he is away.
After I got off the call I kept thinking about this more and wondering why it is we have such a difficult time with feeling guilty.
So I decided to turn to the Power Animal Wisdom Oracle card deck, as I often do, when I ponder my own challenging questions. It’s my hope that by sharing this and what the card that revealed itself had to say that it will help others facing this feeling of guilt that can oftentimes consume us.
So I asked this question: What do pet owners need to know about feeling guilty? The card I got was Kangaroo, which is about gratitude and being grateful for all you are blessed with.
Reading into this message further, thinking about my friend feeling guilty for having to leave his dog after surgery, Kangaroo confirms that gratitude, not guilt, will help us to ease our worries, which more than often those worries never come true.
Kangaroo reminds my friend how blessed he is to have someone he trusts, who his dog has stayed with many times before, and who has taken care of dogs before after surgery, and who will be looking after his dog. How blessed he is to have this person in his life.
Regarding having to put a pet to sleep – one of the most difficult, heartbreaking decisions we face when having a pet, is that we will likely have to say goodbye to them for their time here on earth is so much shorter than our own.
Kangaroo’s message of gratitude is so fitting for this because she is reminding us how very blessed we were to have had that love and joy in our life from out pets. We can’t have one without the other. This is the reality of loving a pet.
I truly believe with every fiber of my being, and the many teachings I’ve received from my own pets, that our animal friends don’t want us to carry this heavy burden of guilt. As I shared with my friend today, and something I’ve come to understand, is that he can still connect with his dog even when he will be away from her.
I shared with him that he just needs to talk to her in his mind, and she will feel that connection and love. She already knows he loves her and she does not want him to feel guilty.
Guilt causes worry and worry won’t change anything. And we worry because it feels like then we are in control and if we are control we feel like it assures us of a desired outcome. The reality though is that we aren’t in control. But we can be grateful for all that we are blessed with and give thanks for that -that is a choice that we always have.
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