I recently wrote a column about saying goodbye to our pets. I received quite a bit of mail with heartfelt advice and experiences. Here are some excerpts, which I think will be helpful to all of us.
Dear Joan: In May, we made the decision to call our veterinarian because our 17-year-old cat, Sadie, was not doing well and we thought it was time to say goodbye. However, when that day arrived, we decided we had been premature and canceled the appointment.
On June 7, we decided there was no denying it was her time and again made the appointment.
Our vet, who I have to add is the most compassionate vet on the face of the Earth, came to our house the next day. For 17 years, Sadie truly hated everything that had to do with any type of vet care so I tried to prepare myself that this was going to be really horrible for all concerned.
However, when our vet sat down to discuss with us what would take place, Sadie came up to the vet, sniffed her and laid down at her feet. Sadie looked up at the vet and then to us as if to say, "Thank you, I'm ready to go." We all looked atone another in amazement. My husband and I knew at that moment we had made the right decision for her. Saying goodbye to her about broke my heart but I also knew it was indeed her time and the right thing to do.
A few tidbits. Try to have the vet put down the dog at home -- I say "go play." Have some water available for the dog. If there is another dog in the house, put him in another room and watch over him in the next few days for depression.
Finally, give him all you got. No regrets.
Dear Joan: As kidney disease progressed in my 15-year-old beautiful Burmese, Maggie May, I told the vet I would rather be heartbroken than regretful for not making the right decision for her.
Dear Joan: I want to share with you and your readers what a veterinarian told me when I brought my 18-year-old dog to his office many years ago. His words were comforting and wise.
I had Kelly since she was 5 weeks old, held her for hours on end when she broke her leg, and sat with her when she gave birth twice. At 18, she was having trouble walking and eating and had slowed down so much. I felt she was in pain and took her to the vet's office to see if he could help her. He told me that he could stabilize Kelly and she would live for another three to six months. And, then he looked at me and said something I've never forgotten.
"You loved her enough to bring her in; now love her enough to let her go."
Contact Joan Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org; or P.O. Box 8099, Walnut Creek, CA 94596.