Euthanasia is one of the most difficult decisions anyone can ever make for a pet who is a beloved companion. Although the decision is demanded by humanitarian obligation, it is always traumatic for the person who must finally make it. It is perhaps the ultimate heartbreak, we must be willing to endure for our adored companion animal. Aside from being the right thing to do, euthanasia can be a psychological nightmare of confusion, guilt and even final responsibility.
As loving pet owners, we have an unspoken covenant with our pets-which we will euthanize, if it is necessary. In the final analysis, only the owner can really understand when the time is right. And even then, emotions still make it difficult. This is the ultimate loving act for our beloved companion animals. It is for them, regardless of the effects on us, that we must do this. But it is inevitable that we will grieve for ourselves, as well. And now we have to learn to somehow put this into some meaningful perspective.
As a pet owner, none of us like to think of the day, seemingly far in the future, when we must say good-bye to our pet. Though the thought may briefly skim through our minds from time to time, we seldom d well on it. It is natural to feel we have a lifetime to enjoy our dear pets. Unfortunately, because their lives are far shorter than ours, we must always be ready to face this terrible decision.
Deciding When the Time Is Right
The decision when to euthanize is as individual and personal as you and your pet are. This is a judgment that only you can make, and it involves great personal courage and sacrifice. Many people fear they will not be able to recognize when the time is right. Do not hesitate to seek guidance from your veterinarian. This is a time when you will need the support of those who truly understand. Some important things to take into consideration, contemplating this decision may be:
Does the pet still seem to enjoy life? Is he/she able to carry out normal body functions as before-eating, walking, and eliminating? Is the pet in pain? What is the medical prognosis? What are the treatment options? Will they create an uncomfortable quality of life?
Some Final Thoughts
We get much love and delight form our beloved pets in life, and we grieve deeply for them when they die. Because of the unique enhancement they give to our lives they become a treasured part of us, forever. When a dear pet’s life ends, more dies than just a cherished friend and companion. Since we make them into living symbols or our own innocence and purest feelings, a treasured secret part of each of us also dies.