A pet is more than a domesticated animal that keeps us company, for most people, a pet is synonymous with family. Hence, when a beloved pet is struck with an incurable disease or reached the age where they are already physically suffering, their owner’s heart grieves tremendously. The hearts of vets are breaking because pet are owners are forced to put their pets to ‘sleep’ rather than prolong their agony. This also allows their pets to leave with dignity.
However, though pet owners choose to euthanize their dog to end their suffering, it does not make this decision any less difficult to accept.
It is no secret that some pet owners are not by the side of their cherished pets when they are about to die. They just can’t handle the situation of having to see their beloved ‘family member’ permanently go away.
Although understandable, vets strongly believe, it is during moments like this that our pets need us the most.
“Do not make them transition from life to death in a room full of strangers, in a place they don’t like. The thing people need to know that most of you don’t is that they search for you when you leave them behind.” The thoughtful vets working at the Hillcrest Veterinary Hospital, expressing their strong sentiments to persuade pet owners to stay with their pets until the very end.
Here’s the photo of the content of their meaningful post which is circulating online, clearly explaining how owners, who leave their pets when they are about to be put down, are breaking their hearts.
When people read this post, many left heartbreaking comments:
Jennifer agreed one-hundred percent with the post!
Randy chose to stay by his animal companion’s side to the last second to honor the 20-years of joy he gave him.
Dr. Evan Shaw, another veterinarian agrees with the viral post. The dutiful veterinarian had his fair share of pets that were euthanized with and without their owners. Dr. Evan and many vets like him say that pets handle their situation better when their owners are right beside them.
“I have a lot of return clients and I have found that people who aren’t there at the end of their pet’s life find it to be one of their biggest regrets at a later point. I totally understand how hard it would be, but death is ultimately a part of life and needs to be experienced to help the grieving process.” Dr. Shaw said, sharing his two cents about the issue.
Jessi Dietrich who spoke with other vets shared what she learned about pets that are about to be put down. “He said when he has to put an animal down 90 percent of owners don’t actually want to be in the room when he injects them, so the animal’s last moments are usually them frantically looking around for their owners and to be honest, that broke me.”
Put yourself in the shoes of your precious pets. Don’t you want to be surrounded with the people you love on your final breath? Your beloved beasts feel the same way too.
To further educate pet owners about the process of euthanasia, the American Veterinary Association are sharing information about this controversial process. Words of encouragement and support are posted on their website, which reads:
“Grief for a pet, or pets of particular species, may not be fully respected by some members of your community. Even well-meaning family and friends may not realize how important your pet was to you or the intensity of your grief. Comments they make may seem cruel and uncaring, although they were not meant to be taken that way.
Be honest with yourself and others about how you feel. If you feel despair, talk to someone who is receptive and nonjudgmental when listening to your feelings about the loss of your pet.
Seeking out social support can help you work through your grief. If immediate family and friends are not able to provide this support, seek out an emotionally safe and accepting environment such as a pet loss support group. Talk about your sorrow, but also about the fun times you and your pet spent together the activities you enjoyed and the memories that are meaningful to you.”
The American Veterinary Association does not only share educational information about euthanasia, they are also offering grievance support to the mourning and grieving pet owners.
Although this is not something we wish to happen to every pet owners, still, vets would like to remind everyone that our responsibility to our pets does not end the moment we decided to let them go. Indeed, no one would like to see the pet they have taken care of die in front of their eyes, but let’s think of it as a way of sending our beloved to the next life.
As Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” It sure is painful to lose our beloved, but looking back at the life shared together will surely paint a blissful smile on your face.