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The Inevitable Best Friend End


There comes a time when we must make a decision for our best friend but this owner chose a unique way to keep her dog forever close. Kleenex and insight required.


February 2019

Vickie Haywood, Dog Sports Editor


So it happened to me in December 2018... I had to make the decision to give my beloved Jager his angel wings. We had faced the canine dementia life for as long as we could bear it.


Early on, Jager sired 2 litters of pups with my own bitch and one puppy was always his stand-out daughter. He adored her and she came to visit frequently. There was never any question whatsoever that the moon and stars were hung just for her, in his mind anyway! While he recognized other progeny that he saw often, this one wild child was always his favorite. Her name “Cricket”. She is seen below at 5 weeks old and weighing 1 pound.


In the 1st photo, Cricket contemplates "asking" for the toy from JagerDaddy, then worrying,

"oh lord will he eat me?" Finally, Cricket says "MINE ALL MINE!!"

I treasure these photos, reminders of the precious times before the end.


Cricket came back for an extended vacation-visit. She was to be spayed but her owner, an engineer by trade, could not take off long enough to care for a surgical patient. I hoped and prayed that Jager would remember her and perk up with this visit.


For those 10 days, even with her surgery, Miss Cricket sniffed, rubbed, enticed, begged and wheedled her “JagerDaddy” to acknowledge her presence. She tried desperately to share their very favorite “fish sticks” and special toys, to no avail...


It sadly was not to be. He just was no longer in our world... Jagar, a companion to many hearts, including mine, a constant friend that saw me through a devastating divorce, sleeping on my bed and absorbing gallons of tears. Truly my best friend.


The decision was made to give him his angel wings. More than “put to sleep” I had to decide how to honor him. Traditional cremation, burial, or maybe something a little different.


I chose the “something a little different”. It’s called alkaline hydrolysis and has only been recently available in my area. I discovered a company that offered pickup and delivery and we made the arrangements.


Alkaline hydrolysis is different in that no fire is used to render the cremation process. Instead, a water bath containing alkaline salts is used in a stainless bath receptacle, slightly heated, slightly agitated to basically bring about a more natural decomposition over a period of around 20 hours. The effluent that remains is highly pure and poses no threat to the environment. Just a little fuel consumption with no ash going out a chimney and the remains often yields 20% more than traditional fired cremation.


The first bonus was that when my Jager was returned to me, rather than gray, charred kitty litter looking remains, I have sand as pure as the fresh driven snow. The second bonus was that this service was considerably less costly than our local fire cremation service.


If you would like to learn more, search alkaline hydrolysis for pets, water cremation or aqua cremation to find out if the service is available in your area for pets or humans! The last time I looked, only 13 states have this service for humans.


My comfort for the time being is that Jager lives on in my home through his descendants. I am so blessed to be able to reach out and touch the many wonderful poodles who have graced my life. Yes, I still weep for him, missing the wonderful temperament of a loving, caring “southern gentleman” who was an ambassador for his kind.


Instant Information on ii Jager who now joins his great-grandfather Devonson (Ch Oakwood Cantellees Devonson CD, a group winning therapy dog), my CDX boy Loganberry and my sister in a hand thrown pottery urn made by my first poodle mentor, which sits in my China Cabinet awaiting the day we all merge. My son will decide how we will be honored and dispersed (or kept as the case might be).


Run ahead of me dear friend, wherever it is we go next, and wait for me there..... EST 2002 ©   1901



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