This goes out to everyone who has made the hard decision to say goodbye to a beloved pet.

Tears are mixed into these oil pastels, flowed out last night.

This is our precious Venus. Tears all over her coat as we said goodbye a few hours earlier.

My daughter found a heart shaped patch on Venus’s front right paw, and another heart shape inside one of those silky ears.

Venus stretched that paw out on my knee in our last lovely afternoon together yesterday. She reached that paw out to us as she laid her head down and we whispered her into her final rest. We pressed that little paw against our chests as we kissed her tired and beautiful body goodbye.

Life hurts so much sometimes … I want to savour every moment, consciously enjoy in my life all that Venus loved: warmth, comfort, snuggles on a warm lap, head bumps, deep low purring, chin rubs, watching butterflies, chirping at birds, gently swiping away irritations, taking space, finding a high place to rest, licking up all the gravy first and unapologetically leaving the lumpy bits behind.

Yes, she lives in our hearts. But I mourn because she wanted to live and enjoy life for herself as well!

Life is so precious. Love and gentleness is everything. I want to absorb that wisdom deep into my lungs until it is an automatic part of every choice I make, moment by moment.

Thank you Venus. We miss you so much.

A paw from my heart out to everyone, for all the beings who you love, for all beings whose presence you miss.