Poignant content alert. It’s been a long time since we had a pet in the house other than taking temporary custody of my friend’s cat after she passed away. I travel so often and we have such erratic schedules, we probably won’t be getting one any time soon. A friend is struggling with the decision about his dog and will probably make the difficult choice next week. It’s the usual dilemma of how long do you wait when there is truly no hope of any kind of recovery, limited eyesight, and virtually no mobility.
Several years ago, my former mother-in-law was faced with the situation and she had finally braced herself. She had called the vet to tell her she would bring the dog in on her way to work. She had petted him, kissed him and gone in to get dressed. Oddly enough, she came out, went to pick him up and realized he was no longer breathing. As she sat and wrapped the afghan around him to take him to the vet (teary-eyed of course), she suddenly realized how grateful she was not to have to take that final step. Interestingly, not long ago another friend discovered one of the vets in town actually provides an in-home service. Yes, it does cost extra, but in the same way as hospice for people, it allows the final moments to be in a familiar setting filled with love. It isn’t something I would ever have thought about, but it does make sense.