On Saturday, November 15th I had to put my beloved dog Rufus to sleep. He had been with me for 11 years, and was a gentle, loving soul. His Lymphoma has progressed to the point that he could no longer stand, eat, and was in constant pain. I knew it was the best for him, but that didn’t make it any easier.
This may not seem like a topic to share in a blog that is mainly focused on fertility issues, but in fact it is. When we go through infertility treatments, we seek comfort from the things in our lives we can count on. Sometimes, people let us down with the things they say, even when they are trying to help (does “just relax” sound familiar?). But we can always find comfort in our pets. Studies have shown that just petting an animal can create a relaxation response in the body. And seriously, who is a better listener than your dog ; ) ? Rufus was with me through failed IVFs, heartbreaking test results, and also the happy news that we were finally pregnant. Whatever you feel about how we can or can’t communicate with animals, it always felt like he just “knew” how to react, when to snuggle up, what kind of look to give me…. He was a sensitive, caring boy. Since he was a rescue and had some anxiety issues we were never sure how he was going to behave with our son when he arrived. But, in true Rufus fashion, he was incredibly gentle and loving with Evan; as if he knew we were all in the same family.
I wanted to say a huge thank you to Rufus, for being there when I needed him, for supporting me through my infertility treatments (whether he knew it or not) and for being a great companion. I hope you all get comfort from your furry friends, especially when you need it the most.