Making The Decision

Rest in Peace, Mini 7/23/2002-12/1/2011

It is a day after Mini has gone to Doggie Heaven.  By itself it was a very traumatic day for both Mini and myself. I hate those days and having to make those sort of decisions and the truth is that we defer the decision as long as possible in the hope we never have to make it. I know for the last week, I kept waking up in the hope that Mini had passed away peacefully in the night. It was not to be and yet, in front of my eyes, Mini was getting worse and still I put it off. When all of the facts have been explained and all of the possible remedies explored and the bottom line is still empty only we as humans do not want to lose our beloved pets and in fact, we are the ones being selfish by not standing up and making that frightful decision.

We hold the ability to help our pets in their suffering either by getting them treatment or surgery. There is a point of no return when neither is working, the pet is still suffering and it’s time for the decision to be made. For those of you who have been in this situation you already know that when the pet is not eating, not drinking and  may be staggering as they walk even though they may still be making a valiant effort to live a normal life, it is time to start thinking of the final step. We are all hoping against hope and looking for every tell-tale sign that this particular episode is passing and yea, the pet is on the mend. That is really only wishful thinking as we are all too ready to seize on the faintest glimmer of normalcy and use it to convince ourselves that the pet is getting better.

Death is so final. There is no getting away from it whether it be under normal conditions of old age or the forced position of a human and an animal. The human has the ability to make the decision to end the pet’s suffering as painful as that may be to the human but it is the right thing to do. Prolonging that decision only causes the animal more needless  suffering and in the end, the decision still has to be made. Once that decision has been made and even if the deed has not yet been carried out, the human’s grieving can begin.

Some may say that we have no right to make that decision and only God can decide when life is over. I say to you that you are making the decision with God’s blessing as He would not want any animal to suffer unnecessarily.

Dogs have a unique place in our lives. They ask for nothing  and yet in return, offer love, friendship and gratitude. They cannot speak and yet we hold them very dear for their warmth and companionship. Because of this unique bond, we become responsible for their health and welfare which unfortunately for the human, includes making life and death decisions.

Yesterday, I made the decision to put Mini to sleep. It is not something I am  particularly proud of  but it was the right thing to do and today, even though I miss my little friend, I am glad that I did. She suffers no more as she did for too much of her life. I am grieving but I too will get over it as I turn my attention to the remaining four dogs and two cats with whom I share my life.

There is no better love than that offered by our four-legged friends.

5 thoughts on “Making The Decision

  1. God provides the technology to allow us to humanely end the suffering. Anyone that choses to let an animal suffer, is making the choice to allow the continuance of needless pain and suffering. Personally I would never allow any animal to suffer if there is any way I can cause it to cease. And I would be there with them to the end, so they would know they were not alone and cherished.

    • Well said. You found the words I was looking for. I wanted to be with her to the end but I am too weak emotionally and acted like a coward and for that I am sorry. But, I cannot change who I am.

  2. Sad to hear about your Minnie. She was the reason why you were getting up at 4am to drive to the tournament, instead of spending the weekend in San Antonio. She is lucky to have an owner who cares so much.

  3. Animals might not be able to tell us in words but they show us in their
    actions of all-accepting love and loyalty…they know that they are loved.
    Don’t be too hard on yourself for the final few moments; you gave her a
    lifetime of attention and care. In the end, you did the kind thing.

  4. This post brings a tear to my eye. I just yesterday posted about my beloved old boy Kayser who passed away just before Christmas last year. I too had to make that tough decision. But it was the right decision. To keep an animal dangling onto life under any circumstances because you don’t have the courage to let them go is wrong wrong wrong! Love them enough to set them free from their pain. You have definately done the right thing. And she would have been happy for the peace, and loved you all the more for helping her.

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