By Coleen Ellis
The guilt of euthanasia. Every day I visit with loving pet parents who are either still reeling from making the decision for their precious pet, or are still questioning if their decision was the right decision. I hear from some pet parents who are facing that walk right now, questions of “how will I know it’s time?” or statements from well-meaning professionals such as “you’ll know. Your pet will tell you.”
Bottom line, this is a personal decision, a decision for loving pet parents that comes with prayer, reflection, research, and much, much more.
If you are a pet parent who is being faced with making this decision, or one who is looking at an elderly pet knowing THAT decision is right around the corner, I want to give you some permission. And, I want to turn to all of our veterinary professionals with this plea as well. Give us ALL of our options when it comes to the end-of-life walk with our pets.
I know as a loving pet parent, I also want to have the option of natural death for my pet love. I want to have this discussion of my pet’s end-of-life walk as a collaborative discussion, versus just one option to consider. I want to be asked “how do I see the end-of-life journey” with my pet. Let’s talk about it together, and give me options. I understand that in some situations, natural death might not be the most loving decision and option, but tell me that too. Help me understand disease progression or even palliative care options to keep my Big Guy comfortable and give me all of the time we can have together. If we are at a point that cure is no longer an option, let’s together move to care for him. As pet parents, we want to eek out every possible minute we can with our loves. Help us do that! Because, at the heart of all of this, I want to know I did all I could as a loving, caring pet mommy.