The Hardest Decision you’ll have to make.
Maybe you’ve had your dog for just a short time or they’ve been your loyal companion for most of your life. They maybe a family pet or a loyal service animal. They could be a working dog or a dog that lives by its master’s side. Whatever the case they are yours and you need them in your life. They are your best friend and could even be the love of your life.
Unfortunately dogs, like humans, become sick. They may need more visits to the Veterinarians or sometimes their condition needs an operation or more to fix. These operations may bring your dog back to full health, but in a lot of cases these operations or expensive treatments improve their health for a while but the disease still becomes terminal.
If this is the case you are likely to be asked to make the horrendous decision regarding their life or death like so many unfortunate people before you. What do you do?
A lot of different types of questions come to mind. They are moralistic, economic, emphatic and emotional.
These questions quickly surface and need to be thought over and discussed with your family, friends and your veterinarian.
- Your dog is sick and you don’t want them to die as you cannot live without them, so what can be done to save them?
- Will there be operations, treatments? If yes, are they affordable? What do they involve? Does my insurance cover them?
Yes, this seems materialistic, but if you cannot afford the operation or treatment but have it done anyway, what will be your dogs, your families and your own standard of living be afterward?
- What will your dog’s life be like if they do not have the operation? Will they be in pain? Will they suffer?
- How long are they expected to live if they are in pain? Can the pain be controlled by medication and what are the side effects?
- Are there any alternatives and how effective are they?
- Are you, as an owner, physically and mentally capable to look after a sick and/or dying animal?
- What is your veterinarian’s opinion, do you need a second opinion, a third?
When you have considered all options and if you are still not totally sure of your decision, take a good deep look into your dog’s eyes. They will tell you whether they are in pain or not. They will let you know in a way that a loving, caring, respectful owner will understand, whether they want to keep living or whether they want to go to a better place that is pain free even if it means leaving you.
They won’t love you any less they may even love you more for having to make the sacrifice yourself rather than allowing them to live in pain.
Even if you have to make the ultimate sacrifice and have them euthanized, is the sacrifice yours or theirs?
Whatever you decide your pet will still love you, and you will always have the loving memories or the time you played on the beach or in the fields. The first time they brought the toy back and placed it at your feet or dropped it into their water bowl. That sloppy lick up the side of your face. The wet muddy footprints left on your clothes when they greeted you when you got home and their head on your lap when they contentedly fall asleep, thankful, that they are yours.