The Most Touching Goodbye's


The Most Touching Goodbye's

Gina Johnson

Veterinarian for 5 years, in the veterinary field for 11.


I can’t narrow it down to just one:

  • The old dog with the bad back legs, whose owner fed her six cheeseburgers that day and drove her to several parks. The dog sat on her bed, looking so excited to see all of her family (mom, dad, teenage children who had grown up with the dog) and friends (the teenagers’ friends who had grown up with the dog too) surrounding her, petting her, telling her what a good girl, what a good girl she was.
    • I hope I can go the same way: full of cheeseburgers, surrounded by love.
  • The woman who bent over her little cat with the failing kidneys and put on a song from her phone. Somewhere Over the Rainbow began to play, clear and beautiful. Tears dripped down my nose while I tried to keep my hands steady.
  • The kind elderly woman who tearfully petted her little Pomeranian’s head and said softly, “I don’t think I’ve ever loved something so much in my life. Not even my children.”
  • The woman who cradled her dog on the floor of their living room, and whispered to her loud enough for me to hear, “Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for helping me get through all the miscarriages. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
  • The stoic, tough-looking man hugging his 100-lb dog on the ground and telling him, “You’re such a good boy, my favorite little monster, you’re the best. You’re just the best.”
  • The little girl sheltering her seizing puppy in her arms. The puppy was supposed to take care of her, to be a service dog because the little girl was sick, but instead the puppy had fallen ill and could not be saved. The mother held the girl, and the girl held the puppy, and I held the puppy’s paw and gave the final injection. The girl sobbed her goodbyes, petting the puppy’s soft little ears.

Euthanasia is a sacred thing to me. All of them mean something; every loss carries weight. There are some that have stuck with me.

lisa sp