It was a call that came into 4 Paws Farewell. Meg and Bill Clontz knew it was time for their beloved girl, Lizzie.

“Meg and Bill Clontz clearly adored their beloved Lizzie girl. They bravely made the generous choice to release Lizzie when her quality of life had deteriorated” said Dr. Mary Lummis. “With the respect and deep affection that had been the hallmark of their years with Lizzie, Meg and Bill arranged her final moments to be at home in peace. Despite their own grief at losing their sweet Lizzie, the Clontzs were only concerned with Lizzie’s comfort. I am inspired by these pet guardians and their tender relationship with Lizzie to continue to provide our services.”

Lizzie clearly meant the world to Meg and Bill. “Yes, it is always tough losing an animal companion, but Lizzie especially so. She has truly been a member of the family. We were her puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and had not expected to keep her. But a recurring ear infection took her out of the program, and she spent 14 years with lucky us,” Bill shared. “When she left Guide dog school, she became a blood donor as her way of contributing. Over the years she provided lifesaving blood for 54 surgeries. We still have her donor tag which says, “Lifesaving is in my blood.”

With the Pet Memorial Card they received from 4 Paws Farewell, the Clontz family reached out and asked that Lizzie’s photo be shared in the IAAHPC Memorial Tribute video. We are so honored to do just that.

In Bill and Meg’s eulogy they wrote about Lizzie, they shared with others their heartfelt emotions. “It is with more sadness than we can describe that we mark the passage of our dear Lizzie the Lab. She has departed this life. She has been a strong, healthy dog pretty much all her life, but a roster of age-related factors came to bear in recent months that made continuing on a selfish act on our part. A wise veterinarian once told us that when this time seemed near to pay attention to the dog; she would tell us it was time. And so, she did. We already miss her more than we could have imagined, but it was time.”

“Everyone thinks they have had the best dog in world. The difference here is that we were right. Lizzie from day one was not a pet, but an animal companion. She was always a full member of the family, complete with voting rights and in some areas, veto rights. She was not shy about asserting her views and priorities.”

“We were Lizzie’s guide dog puppy raisers, but near the end of her scheduled time with us a recurring ear infection dropped her out of the program, and she became a member of our family. She gave us almost a decade and a half of affection, playfulness, and curiosity. She loved everybody – big dogs, little dogs, cats, but especially people. She didn’t even mind the occasional deer or bear that came into our yard.”

“We were so lucky to live our lives together.”

Bill ended his messages with “I failed to mention in our thank you that we hope her being in your newsletter might bring comfort to others. In a sense, it is another form of service by Lizzie. Thank you again for the work you do and for your kindness.”

RIP, Lizzie. And, so much peace, love and light to your humans’ shattered hearts.

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