Warning: This video is VERY sad.
This clip, entitled Last Minutes with Oden, is one of the most powerful things I've seen online in a while. It's a beautifully-shot, six-minute-long documentary about a man, Jason Wood, who is forced to say goodbye to his best friend. His beloved three-legged dog, Oden, is suffering from cancer and must be put to sleep.
In the voiceover Wood describes going through a tough period in his life and how Oden stuck with him throughout everything, even accepting his weird friends. "He showed me through his example how to love, and I loved him" he says. "I don't think I showed him how to love, I think he showed me how to love."
We witness the tender, tearful final moments between Wood and Oden. I managed to keep it together until Wood brings Oden to see his friend for one last cuddle. "Say hi to Jesus for us," the friend tells Oden. "He'll give you a brand-new leg." The tears flowed easily afterwards.
I have been through the experience of putting down a family pet, our dog Julie. It is one of the hardest things in the world. There's nothing much you can do except cry, and enjoy a last precious moment with your furry pal. I remember putting a duvet and some pillows on the floor of my bedroom and laying there with my dog the night before we had to drive her to the vet. I just petted her and talked to her. The next morning, my parents drove Julie to the vet, and came home without her.
There's no right or wrong way to grieve the loss of a pet. Everyone deals with it in their own way. For me, it helped that we saved some of Julie's things, like her toys and bowl. I kept a blanket embroidered with her name that she used to sleep on. Now my cats sleep on it, and I like that I have new pets in my life but still have a little piece of Julie's memory.
Has your family ever had to say goodbye to a beloved furry family member? How did you get through it together?
Image by wilsonbentos via Flickr.