Tag Archives: axel

In the End –All that is Left are Memories and Paper




It’s been a week now, and if somebody asks me about that day last week Axel went to the rainbow bridge I cry. The house has never seemed so empty, and the world outside has become quiet. Much as people still try to make me see my decision was right, I keep second-guessing what I did and descend into a pit of guilt. The thing is, even veterinarians who are trained in pet care are oftentimes just making their best guess, because our dear pets can’t talk; they just can’t tell us what’s wrong.

I’m no stranger to death. Am I confusing other past losses of life with his? Is it now somehow bound up with this grief? I think loss is loss, and when loved ones – human or animal – go we feel it acutely. I realize now how dependent I was on Axel after Angelo died, and why I am grieving so intensely. I still keep looking at his picture and find myself saying, “I’m sorry”. I keep wondering if I was 7 years-old might I be able to accept and process Axel’s transition without any difficulty or confusion.

The only thing I’m grateful for is the fact my worst fears weren’t realized – I didn’t want to die before he did. It’s a small consolation now. Yesterday I finally opened a card from the Valley Veterinary Clinic. Through my tears I saw that it had been signed by the whole staff and that a donation would be made in memory of Axel to help care for animals in need. They had no idea that some nights I parked my car in their parking lot for a few moments as I knew his body was still there until Monday. Or yesterday, I stood on the edge of the road in view of Waggs’ N Whiskers on Highway 7 and watched the dogs play outside from a distance.

I’m a writer, and I need to process my grief by writing, so that’s what I am doing. But, the moral to this story is, no matter how much you love them, sometimes you have to let them go. Never let anyone suffer and live, love and do your best. The world was a better place with him but the last thing he would want for me is to be sad— and animals are as real to us as our family and friends. But there’s one huge difference–our relationship with our pets is so uncomplicated, so pure and simple – they need us -and don’t ask us to be anything other than who we are. In my world of being a whole lot different than other people, it can be a close call. But he didn’t care about that, he just knew I was brave enough to be myself. I loved him and I did my best for him, and in the end, I made his pain stop. I am really trying not to regret that, as a quiet death in loving company is the best any of us can hope for.


A Message From the Rainbow Bridge



As the morning light eased through the windows I rolled over Axel’s squeaky toy I had gone to bed with. I trudged downstairs still talking to an invisible beloved pet and began to throw peanuts outside for my friends the squirrels. One of Axel’s greatest joys was his tiny furry pals that roamed the neighbourhood. He let them to know he was in charge of the yard and chased them a few times in the morning. Later he would lay by the door and allow them to run up and down the trees freely.

This morning something strange happened. Instead of hanging on the branches of the nearby trees two squirrels ran across Campbell Street when they heard me. Then another small black fellow came out from nowhere and scampered up the stairs to my feet. He looked at me intently and all three seemed to know Axel had passed on to the rainbow bridge. They had never come so close to me ever. So what did they know that I didn’t?

Not that we can ever admit it, but it seems pets make the transition over to the other side easier than we do. While I am having great difficulty accepting my beloved pet’s death it seems they just aren’t attached to their physical forms like us. While we fight to our last breath they have already prepared to joyfully move on to the next frontier.

Axel didn’t care what medication I gave him to take the pain away in his hips- he lived with it silently. My boy lived his life like all animals. There is no doubt in my mind animals were put on this earth to teach us about mercy, forgiveness and love. Axel knew just like the squirrels did today that no matter what end of life decision I made for him; he wanted me to release my guilt and move on. I honestly think those squirrels got a message from him to tell me that he knew I loved him and did the best I could.

 Never underestimate what a pet can do – they leave us with a legacy and a reminder that the ultimate part of life is to enjoy it. Maybe someday we will understand the rainbow connection.

Some day we’ll find it
The rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me


Because You Loved Me –In Memory of Bluemist Volker Aksel




For weeks I have felt selfish and put off making that final call to the vet. When Axel fell down the stairs a few times on Sunday I knew I had to make a decision. If my boy broke his hip he would be in more pain than he was now. Was this the right decision? If his medication was changed could he live another month or two? Was killing the best friend I ever had really necessary? For the past few weeks there have been many doubts, grief, and overwhelming guilt. For months the pamphlet “How to Know When It’s Time” has stared back at me on the kitchen counter.

“My boy” still ate, played with his ball, even though I knew he could barely see it because of his rare eye disease. How could I know if Axel was really happy living like this? He never complained much, but the groans had become more frequent and louder. It took time for him to lay down, and he had stopped sitting months ago.

Last night as he watched Christmas movies with me I knew it was time, and so did he. This morning we both had our final answer as he stared at me silently from his blanket next to my bed. His eyes told me he was just going through the motions and his hips and legs might not make it through the winter.

Axel had always been known as the family dog who loved to bark at the neighbours and chase squirrels. He joined our family in 2004, but in 2012 when Angelo developed cancer, the bond between Axel and myself became very strong. After everyone went home the night Angelo died- the house became silent and forbidding. Axel came up to me and nudged his head under my arm, and from that second, that minute after, he never left my side.

Today he was so crippled with arthritis I had to struggle to lift him into the car. There were many last hugs as we walked across the parking lot to his final frontier–the front door of the Valley Veterinarian Clinic. My closest friend licked my hand one last time, and again, I wondered if I was doing the right thing.

Without him I am lost, without comfort and peace. His head on my knee healed many times of sadness and loneliness. When he was beside me he protected me from the dark and unknown things. My last words to him were full of love and tears.  I told him to wait for me, and to find me when my time is near. As I hugged him I repeated what I have told him thousands of times— that he was a good boy and I will always need him. No matter where Axel is–he will always be my dog.


Bluemist Volker Aksel (Axel) was given peace from pain at 4:00 PM December 1, 2015.

 February 10, 2004- December 1 2015

Son of Vontilo’s Storm and Bluemist Britta Ronny’s Girl

Brother and friend to Perry and Schuyleur

May he rest in peace- his family and friends mourn his loss.


Thank you to the Valley Veterinarian Clinic in Carleton Place for their kindness and compassion.

Till Milkbone Do Us Part — a story about Axel..

A Message From the Rainbow Bridge

In the End –All that is Left are Memories and Paper




March 2015