HOW TO SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR DOG
It’s very difficult and painful decision to decide when and how to say goodbye to your dog. I spoke to many people when trying to decide what the best thing for Kompis would be. In addition to my good friends, I spoke to 4 vets, who all told me it was her time any time I felt was right, given her condition. Yes, she could eat (with help) and poop (I had to help her not fall over), but she was no longer “here”. Her mind/personality left us weeks ago, and it was only getting worse. Her lost eyesight caused her to run into things constantly, and be a total hazard to herself.
I wanted to share with you the response I got from a veterinarian I’ve worked with before who lives in New Zealand.
I think it was the most well-worded and helpful of all the great advice I received. I hope it can help you if & when you have to make this difficult decision as well.
Thank you, Sue Robb! Here’s what she wrote to me:
“Quality of life is an important part of the decision on when is the best time. What many owners forget is that QOL also involves the humans in the family as well, perhaps because that is where the guilt feelings come. From what I have watched with Kompis, especially with the video clips that you have shown, is that her spark has been absent for a while. Her decline has been obvious, and like with all of our animal companions with their shorter life expectancies, her demise is inevitable. But if you are finding her care has become a burden, then I think you owe it to her to help move her on her way. She has been such a wonderful friend for you through her life: what a disservice it would be to only be able to remember her in her decline rather than in her strength.
Whenever you are able to make that final call, it will a time of regret, of recrimination, and of guilt. But I have watched many clients becoming angry at their pet because of the last few weeks, or expressed regret at not making the call earlier. There is no easy time to say “now”; we are never ready.
Guilt is part of the grief cycle. It comes for us all. But you have done so much with her over the years, and you don’t deserve to feel guilty. And neither of you deserve to find her last days a burden.
Euthanasia is a gift we can offer our pets. It relieves them from their struggles, it ends their pain, it is an act of love.”