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.