Remembering Teddy: Ethics in Animal Communication


It was a bittersweet day for me. Teddy, my almost 17 year old perpetual puppy I put down on Oct. 2, 2009, kept coming to mind.  It was not the good times that kept coming to mind, it was his final hours, when his little body gave away.

On that day, I was downstairs in my studio working, when I heard a big ‘thump’ from upstairs. I ran upstairs, and Teddy had collapsed in the bedroom.

I called his vet, telling them this was an emergency and I thought it was time to put Teddy down.

I couldn’t intuitively reach Teddy clearly to see what his wishes were, partly because I was so emotionally distraught, partly because Teddy was unreachable at that time.

The fact he was unreachable told me a lot. In my gut, I knew it was Teddy’s time to go, and I needed to help him transition over.

Clearly knowing that information did not keep me from crying and resisting what I knew to be true.

As soon as the vet entered the room, I told him of my decision. After his exam, he agreed with me, talking about the quality of life Teddy had had, as opposed to the quality of life he would have had, had I elected to put him through the surgery.

Apparently, Teddy did not agree with this exchange.

His vet tech gave him the penultimate shot.  She explained this shot was to relax him and calm him down before the final shot. Teddy was a fairly small guy, only weighing 32 pounds. She said this dosage would relax him, rarely had she ever had to give two shots, even to dogs bigger than Teddy.

Apparently, Teddy didn’t agree with this either.

He had to have two shots. It was clear to me he was resisting transitioning, he didn’t want to go. Yet in my heart I knew it was Teddy’s time to go.  Because of that sure knowledge in my heart, I did nothing to stop his vet and vet tech from euthanizing him.

Had I done right by Teddy? I couldn’t answer that question.  I finally reached out to fellow animal communicator, a caring and sensitive soul, and a talented communicator. She connected with Teddy, telling him of my worries.  Teddy replied he hadn’t been ready to go, if left to him, he would never have left, but now that he had transitioned, everything was fine. He was having a good time.

While we want things to be crystal clear at all times, that is not the way it is.  The truth is we live in mystery, an uncomfortable state for us.  During Teddy’s last hours, it was important I trust my gut, trust what it told me to do was best for all involved – especially Teddy.  It was also important I reach out to people for their support.

Sometimes mystery is actually a beautiful tapestry.


Janet Roper


  1. Ming January 14, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I’m glad the timing was so perfect. Of course I was not aware of that. Teddy “popped” in like he did the day after he crossed over. He said tell Mom I’m in Haiti. I got the sense he was helping people, helping animals. Amazing our pets are, aren’t they Janet? Teddy is making you proud!


  2. Janet January 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    Hi Ming,
    ‘Popping in’ describes Teddy so well. The animals are amazing, helping us, helping each other. Thanks for sharing this with me, it brought me happiness.


  3. Ming January 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm #

    After reading this, I had to re-read my own post on losing Mochi at the end of December. Then I had to cry again. It made my heart hurt to re live that day. But there must be some healing to it as well. I too told Mochi she could help people or animals in need but to visit me too. If Teddy pops back in, I’ll let you know.


  4. Janet January 16, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Ming,
    It does hurt to go back and visit that day, whether you visit it through writings, memories, pictures or conversations. Crying is good, it’s a release and a cleansing for us. And a good way to honor the relationship on the physical plane you and Mochi had. Yes, let me know if Teddy pops in for you. Don’t be surprised if he asks you for a treat. 😉


  5. Pat Minogue June 16, 2010 at 4:04 am #

    Thanks for this interesting post. My remaining cat was staring at the top of the refrigerator as if Kona, my recently deceased cat, was up there. I have a funny feeling he WAS up there, and flickers in and out.


    • Janet June 16, 2010 at 5:31 am #

      Hi Pat,
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Trust YOUR gut, trust your other cat’s reactions, that Kona is indeed with you. Isn’t it wonderful how the animals find ways to stay connected with us when they have transitioned? I invite you to keep your senses open to experience other times that Kona is at hand.



  1. A Memorial to Mitzie | Janet Roper - August 6, 2016

    […] stayed at home, perfectly aware of what was happening. Her angelic family members, Scheisters, Teddy and Emmie were there at the hospital with us, and had been at home supporting us as Mitzie began […]

  2. Dealing with Pet Grief and the Holidays | Janet Roper - July 26, 2017

    […] been a little over two months since I put down my almost 17 year old perpetual puppy Teddy.  This is still a recent loss for me, and there are times when I miss Teddy so acutely it’s […]

  3. Teddy Supports the People of Puerto Rico | Janet Roper - September 29, 2017

    […] 2, 2017, this coming Monday, is the eight year anniversary of the transition of my dog Teddy. Many of you may remember him, he’s the cutie that charmed everyone with his good looks, […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.