Tuesday, May 25, 2010
There is so much joy and love that our dogs give to us. I made a promise to myself and my Beagle Stoner that I would take the pain of having her put down over her experiencing pain in this physical realm. I made arrangements ahead of time with the vet. My partner and I would be with her. I would hold Stoner and we would be talking to her about all the good things of our shared lives. Stoner would be sedated first. She would not feel afraid. She would not feel pain. What Stoner did feel and hear and know is that she was loved and that she was the greatest joy. Stoner is a puppy again, running pain-free and happy through fields of buttercups and four-leaf clovers. I think of her all the time and know that the time was right for her next big adventure. It wasn't easy on some levels. But it was so right. I am grateful for the fifteen years we shared. Those are the memories that I focus on.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, try to make arrangements with your vet ahead of time. Some vets come to the home. Some vets DON'T sedate first. That isn't acceptable to me. No matter what they say, the final shot is not pain-free. If your vet won't provide what you want, the way you want, then get another vet.
After they administered the sedation shot, they left us with Stoner. I held her in my arms telling her the truth about what a great good dog she was/is. I felt her relax in my arms and go into a gentle sleep. Her breathing, which had been labored, relaxed. She was at ease. It was my final gift to my dog. It was very difficult to let her go. She needed to go. It was the right thing to do. We kept talking to her through it all. I didn't want her to feel afraid or upset, so we were positive and not upset ourselves as we talked to her.
If and when the time comes, you will do the right thing for your dog in the way that makes sense to you. It is the gift you give to your dog for the years of gifts given to you.