Tough Choice For Pet Owners

I wrestled with writing about this particular subject but I felt it might be beneficial to other pet owners facing this tough decision. I was faced with it in November 2019 and again in January 2020.

To euthanize or let nature take its course. It’s a very tough decision and when you do decide you almost always second guess yourself. Did I make the right decision? Who knows what the right decision is? We really don’t have anyway of knowing for sure. We have to ask ourselves if we are keeping them alive for them or for us. They can’t talk so we really don’t know if they are suffering.

In my case the first decision came when my Great Pyrenees, Eros, was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. The veterinarian gave me my options. Treat with steroids, chemotherapy or euthanasia. I didn’t want to put him through chemo so I opted for steroids and pain pills.

Eros responded well the first 3 days. Then he had a couple bad days. He began to get worse. I knew I had to make a decision and it was gut wrenching. I weighed the pros and cons and looking at them I asked myself if I was keeping him alive for me or him. In my case I decided it was for me so I made an appointment for him to cross the bridge.

I almost waited too long. The night before he got down and the only way he could get up was if I lifted him up on his legs. I practically had to carry him to the truck and load him to go to the vet’s office.

They had a room for us to go to without going through the waiting room. It was nice but just seemed such a cold impersonal place for him to take his last breath. I got down on the floor and held him as the vet injected him with the death serum. It was over quickly.

My second decision came in January 2020. My beloved Australian Shepherd, my ride dog, had developed a strange cough. I made Kate an appointment at the vets. I was afraid it was heart worms but that test came back negative. They decided to take some X-Rays. Her lungs were riddled with tumors. This was a Wednesday and when I asked the vet how long he thought she had he said a week two weeks tops. With Eros fresh in my mind I made the first appointment they had available. It was for Monday of the following week.

The vet had prescribed her some pain pills to help make her comfortable. Friday morning I needed to go to town so I took Kate with me. She had a rough time getting in the truck. We headed to town. Little did I know this would be our last ride together.

Back at the house I had to literally pick her up and set her on the ground. That’s when I noticed the spark was gone from her eyes. She got worse as the night progressed. I am not going to go into detail but the last 15 minutes of her life was not pretty. She took her last breath at 12:21 a.m. at home with just me and her.

I had hoped Eros would pass in his sleep but the memory of his death isn’t marred by a death struggle. I will always have Kate’s terrible fight haunting me.

I don’t second guess myself on my decision for Eros anymore. I had made the right decision with Kate but the appointment was too late.

For anyone having to make this decision I hope my experience helps you with your decision. Most of all I hope you don’t ever second guess yourself.

If you choose euthanasia promise yourself you will be there with them when they take their last breath. You being there helps their anxiety. Please don’t let them take their last breath alone with strangers. You owe them that much.

In Memory Of

Eros

Kate

Life Mysteries

The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” – Oscar Wilde

For those who don’t know me I retired from horseshoeing and took a job as a grounds keeper for 3 cemeteries located in Farmington, MO. As I go about cutting the grass I often wonder about the people buried there and what they were like when they were alive.

There was the body of a man that came into the mortuary. Very little information came with him. The funeral director tried their best to find family members but to no avail. All they basically knew was his birth date and death date and that he was married. The only option left for the funeral director was to bury him instead of cremation.

The owner of the mortuary wanted to find someone to say some words over him before he was lowered into his final resting place. So I volunteered for the job.

In putting together some words for a service my mind began to wonder about who he was. What did he do in life? Did he die alone? What kind of person was he? Did he have any family left? So many questions that I will never know the answer to.

The funeral was held the Thursday before Good Friday. I was pall bearer and minister and went back to cutting grass after the funeral. A worker for the vault company and two grave diggers were the other pall bearers. RIP! So much mystery and no answers.

The gentleman was lowered into the ground around 10:40 a.m.. l went back to cutting grass. Around noon I looked back and noticed an older lady standing at the grave. I started to go talk to her but then I realized she had her reasons and I respected that and kept cutting grass. After a few minutes she left. I still wonder who she was but was happy somebody who obviously knew him came to send him off. Life mysteries.