Jan 26th 2008

Izzy and Glen, Saying Goodbye, Pt. 2 (see above)

Posted in Glen & Ann, Izzy

Paster Beyer conducting the service for Glen

During the service, Izzy stayed mostly by Ann’s side, moving at the end to a spot under a nearby chair. He stayed close to Glen’s family during the two-hour service, during which he hardly moved.
After his initial visit, he did not approach Glen’s casket, or look back, except at Ann, to whom he returned twice. I don’t know if there is a God, or if there is a heaven, but if so, these two loving creatures will meet again. The relationship that developed between Izzy and Ann was perhaps the most powerful thing I have witnessed in my experience living with, studying and writing about dogs and their interactions with people. It was the strongest bond he has experienced in hospice work.
I believe her spirituality and need combined to send him a signal his very keen, people-centered instincts picked up on. Ann was both loving and open about her grief, and she showed emotion, and needed comfort in a way that was not only appropriate, but possible for him to provide. Sometimes, they seemed to be praying together, a feeling that might say more about me than him.
She would talk to him, pray with him, hug him intensely but also was able to turn away from him to tend to Glen or to her husband and then turn back to Izzy when she needed some grounding, or when he seemed to need her.
I remember how drained, even stricken, Izzy seemed after Glen’s death, holing up by himself, immovable. With Ann, I believe he felt – was – successful, as if his work was paying off. And it was.
I will always remember the bond between the two of them, something unspoken, intimate and quite powerful, a testament to what dogs can mean to people at points in their lives.
It was quite beautiful, even at a sad time. As always, I am cautious about anthopomorphisizing,
but Izzy seemed very reluctant to leave Ann, to walk out of that funeral home.  A lot of people wanted to say goodbye to him.
It seemed he had more to do. And we do. We see our next hospice patient next week.

Saying goodbye: “Goodbye, Izzy,” Ann told him, as the funeral concluded. “I thank you and I love you.”
She said during the service that Izzy came into her life and held up like a cloud when she need him. They seemed to talk to one another.