My favorite dictionary definition:
noun – A term that childless couples use to describe their pet(s). Also known as a “pet child.”
We currently have three Papillons that are living with us. Ana who is seventeen, Baziilesse and Gaige are both ten. Our beloved Karma left us on June 23rd, 2017, seven days after her 17th birthday. She is up there with Smidgeon, family and friends. Loosing a one of your pets can be devastating. Below is an excerpt from Lap Of Love a veterinarian hospice and in home euthanasias service. When it comes to that decision time consider them, they helped in the very difficult decision.
“DOC, HOW WILL I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME?”
We have heard from countless pet owners that the death of their pet was worse than the death of their own parents. This might sound blasphemous to some, but to others it’s the cold truth. Making the decision to euthanize a pet can feel gut-wrenching, murderous, and immoral. Families feel as if they are letting their pet down or that they are the cause of their friend’s death. They forget that euthanasia is a gift, something that, when used appropriately and timely, prevents further physical suffering for the pet and emotional suffering of the family. Making the actual decision is the hardest part of the experience, and I’m asked daily, “Doc, how will I know when it’s time?” Let us shed some light on this difficult discussion.
As veterinarians, our job is to assist the family in the decision-making. There is not one perfect moment in time in which to make that ultimate choice (unless the pet is truly suffering, something we are trying to prevent in the first place). Rather, there is a subjective time period in which euthanasia is a suitable decision to make. This time period could be hours, days, weeks, or even months. Before this subjective time veterinarians will refuse to euthanize a pet because a good quality of life still exists. After this period; however, we may push for euthanasia because of obvious sustained suffering. During this larger subjective time; however, it is truly dependent on the family to make whatever decision is best for them. Some owners need time to come to terms with the decline of their pet while others want to prevent any unnecessary suffering at all.