On Jan 28th, 2016, I had to put my beloved Benny down. It was heartwrenching. I wrote a story to process my grief, and now it's being shared all over the world.
I had been thinking the night before about what the doctor had said: The first shot would relax him, and the second would stop his heart and brain.
Benny had never stopped a day in his life. I couldn't comprehend that. But he had been up and down, and getting sicker, for months. The irony struck me like a hammer: There is a very fine line between relieving an animal's struggle, and a mircale cure. And it depends only on your perspctive.
So I explored what it might be like from there. And the voice was totally Benny's - overwhelmingly loving, utterly compassionate, driven to serve the cause of happiness even as his body failed, without truly understanding sadness. It just wasn't in his emotional vocabulary.
The original photo that went viral is here:
I reposted it as a note later, so people could find it more easily:
Then Fox News in Atlanta picked it up:
And today, Good Housekeeping shared it:
I loved Benny so much. He was a part of me. And although I'm still in the midst of grieving his loss, it has been so comforting to see people respond to his sense of purposeful love. And it has been a good exercise for me to reflect Benny's kindness and generosity onto others. In that way, he is very much alive.