How Do You Know When The Time Has Come To Euthanize Your Pet
I know that there are people who do not believe in euthanizing pets, but for those who, at some time, may have to make this decision, I hope this article will be of help.
Recently I had to euthanize my precious dog Maggie, whose picture you see on the right. Losing Maggie was devastating for me and also for her little sister Junbug, but for me, deciding to euthanize was not a difficult choice, it was the only choice.
I first considered what Maggie had always enjoyed. Maggie had always enjoyed:
a) going for long walks,
b) playing in the yard, with her toys, with her sister, and with those she loved,
d) riding in the car,
e) waking up every morning to a new, and sure to be exciting, day. Maggie was the happiest, most energetic, most optimistic, living thing that I have ever known. And, lastly Maggie enjoyed;
f) being petted and loved.
And, looking at that list, what did Maggie still enjoy?
In just a few short days, Maggie lost most of what had been, her amazing strength. She could no longer go for long walks. She was exhausted after walking half a block, so all she could do was lie and gaze, with longing, down the driveway.
And, of course, she no longer had the strength to play.
She could still eat, but no longer recognized food, and needed some put in your mouth to get her started.
In the car, she no longer sat, nose pressed to the window, searching for something to bark at. She just lay panting quietly.
Every morning, Maggie still came to wake me up. The tail that used to wag non-stop, now wagged very slowly. Days were hard for her. Breathing was becoming difficult, as the cancer took over her body.
Yes, Maggie was still petted and loved. She is no longer petted, but she will always be loved.
So, of the six things that brought Maggie joy, four were gone, and only two, minimally, remained.
Every dog experiences different joys. When these are largely gone, then life is no longer sweet.
Could Maggie's life be extended. Possibly, for a short time, by taking extreme measures. Extreme measures were not an option to me. Dogs are not people. By this I mean that they do not enjoy distractions like reading, watching television, visiting friends, and going to movies. Dogs do not anticipate pleasure. They live in the moment. They do not understand that this painful miserable treatment may - or may not - be of benefit to them.
Some people say they cannot bear to let their pets go. They need more time to say good-bye. In my mind, that is about the human, not about the suffering animal. I did what I thought was right for Maggie, and what I know she wanted.
How did I finally decide? As I lay on the floor beside Maggie, patting her and talking to her, I looked into her beautiful dark eyes, and, in my mind, I heard her saying - "Help me Mom". And so I did.