EDITOR”S NOTE: Today we have a guest post about the difficult subject of euthanasia from Mary Alusin.
As a pet owner, you can identify with me if I say that I’d wish my pet dog will live forever. Such wishes root from the fact that our furry friend actually has to die. We know it’s true, but we can’t help but deny it, right?
I admit that I had lived in denial. My little dog, Robin, was getting old and had grown weaker this year. I noticed it, but I refused to acknowledge that she was exhibiting signs of aging. That is because I knew what was next after that. Until time forced me to accept the reality.
The Painless Death
Robin had suffered a few respiratory diseases when she was in her prime. And she managed to survive all of them. But her bout with pneumonia this year was different. We had our vet check on her. We gave her medications. We pampered her more. But her health kept on deteriorating. She, then, reached a point where she wouldn’t eat and move anymore. It was a bit weird from my perspective, as she was supposed to get better already.
It dawned on me. What if my dog is at her end, but is fighting so she can run to me again? It was a comforting thought at first. But for the few days that I saw how she suffered. I figured it would be selfish to keep her like that. She should instead be free of the struggle.
When I realized that, I consulted with my vet about putting my pet to sleep. All things considered, he agreed with the option of spending on dog euthanasia. He gave an assurance that the procedure would be painless for Robin. I was relieved to know that Robin would no longer suffer. But when I arrived home and saw her again, I felt a sharp and heavy pang inside.
The Day She Finally Bid Us Goodbye
I brought Robin to our vet’s clinic the next day. After some finalizations, my veterinarian led me to the lab and left us. He said I should say my goodbyes first.
I was sitting there, carrying a nearly lifeless Robin. I hugged her and began to cry. I heard a soft whine, and I cried even more. She couldn’t speak so I thought it’s pretty useless to talk to her. Instead, I continued to hug her and cry. I felt it was enough to tell her how sad I was that we have to part. I felt that my pet is aware of what’s about to happen. And that she has accepted it.
I was holding Robin when the vet administered the drug for putting her to an endless sleep. She relaxed a little. Then, just like that, she was gone. My eyes were dry, then. I thought: Ah, it was indeed a painless death. But it left a hole within me that was so big, it couldn’t even be expressed in tears.
Grieving Over The Painful Loss
Our family buried Robin in a patch of land we own after holding a short ceremony for her. My younger siblings were wailing when the casket was brought down. I also cried a little. There was little grief on my part. I was, after all, still in denial.
It was when we returned to our normal lives that the grief finally engulfed me. It’s because I realized that a part of my daily life is now gone. Forever. There was a missing piece in everything, from my morning brisk walking to returning home.
Fortunately, my family and friends helped me cope. They let me cry or talk about Robin when I felt like doing so. They offered consolation and didn’t force me to get on with my life. My father put it perfectly by saying that I should grieve and never hold back.
I also found relief by collecting all of Robin’s photos and posting them online, one picture each day. It helped me remember all of our fun times together. And as I go on with the reminiscence, I was relieved and thankful that I had given my pet a happy life.
To put your pet dog to sleep (euthanasia) is a difficult decision. You have to consider a lot of things before choosing such an option. But, if it’s to end your furry friend’s suffering, know that the procedure is for the best. Of course, you have to prepare yourself for the grief that is to come.
Just like me, you can get help from your family, friends, and your memories with your pet. Always know that the profound sadness will pass. And soon, you will realize that you’re doing your deceased pet a favor by moving on.