Love and Prayers for Peace to Kerri

It’s been a rough season for a lot of people. I always, always feel blessed doing the work we do at Service Dog Express, and I know each of my trainer’s feel the same. However, I am often reminded that the population of people we are trying to help are often fighting battles that don’t always have the happiest of endings. Service Dog training has always been for me a two-fold endeavor – training these magnificent dogs, but also caring for the clients in the best way I can. It is a physical but also emotional endeavor, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I knew when I started Service Dog Express that there would be hills to get over with they physical demands as well as the emotional ties.

I would like to dedicate this posting to a dear, dear client – Kerri, who worked with her Pomeranian, Sheila, and me to pass the Public Access Test with flying colors many months ago. I knew at the time that Kerri was not only fighting mental illness, but she had spent a lifetime fighting pain from surgeries due to deformities at birth.

Kerri has the most beautiful, compassionate heart you can imagine. She always cares for strays she finds, opens up her home to friends who need respite, and she and I have a friendship that I cherish deeply.

I am sad to say that about 4 months ago, I went to visit Kerri and she let me know that she was sick. They had found some nodules in her lungs and throat. Kerri has had over 20 surgeries in her lifetime for back issues, knee issues, and so many other things. At the age of 40 now, she has decided that she is tired. She has decided not to seek treatment for what is inside of her. I spoke with her last night, and her voice is raspy, she is losing so much weight she is stick thin and gaunt, and her kidneys are failing. Despite all of this, Kerri believes strongly that there is life beyond death. She is not afraid of dying. She has made arrangements for all her rescued animals, including Sheila. Her doctor told her she has at best, less than a month left. She chooses to spend that time focusing on the good things in her life, is surrounded by friends who care for her, and has her animals. She has asked me to come and visit her before she passes. Of course, I will do this. I told her I will cry. She doesn’t want me to be sad, because she wants me to focus on the fact that she will no longer have to suffer. I will try.

Please, send love to Kerri’s Service Dog, Sheila. And send more love and prayers for peace to Kerri.

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”