I feel like that moment of zen or enlightenment passes when an animal I'm trying to heal, dies. As long as I'm trying, I'm learning and I'm open to suggestion, and somehow, the universe is suggesting. Life, every breath, itself is suggestion, choice. But death really closes the door on it.
This is why I'm really against euthanasia. What do we learn from it? Nothing. We assume dying is less painful than living, or at least, being dead is less suffering than being alive. But we don't know that. Being euthanized at a moment of pain might just leave the animal stuck in that moment for a very long time, for all we know. Like people in forced sedation sometimes experience a continous nightmare until it wears off.
More than that, it is an act of cowardice to euthanize instead of try to heal. The healer doesn't even attempt to battle with the animal's lifeforce to sustain it. I think every doctor, every healer knows that.
When I euthanized Dollu, I couldn't get over it for these two reasons. One, I knew Dollu died in a moment of extreme pain even though he was numb with shock. But his body was dealing with it - he was nowhere close to death. Two, I knew that I couldn't see myself fending off the gangrene that would set in, watching him necrose and rot slowly from the inside like Karia did, not knowing how to save him. I could not find the courage to try, the energy to try, I couldn't face the misery I'd feel watching him drag himself around on stumps, with one eye. It was a selfish decision not to let him try to live - more than that, it was a cowardly decision not to try to heal him with all the remedies I've accumulated for just that purpose, a cop-out.
Anyway, depressing self-recriminations aside, I still have Ancient, Kenchu, Icy and 5 kittens to heal. They're still alive and struggling to get better. There's still room for learning.