Saying goodbye to our dogs is the hardest part of having them in our lives. At least it is for those of use who bring them in as members of the family.
How you say goodbye is the last act you will share with your companion. Please, make it count. I once saw a lady crying, drop her dog in the vets arms and walk out. Obviously she loved her dog, but for whatever reason chose not to be there in her dog’s final moments. It broke my heart. I don’t want to bash people who have done this in the past, but I do want everybody to think hard about this before they do it , or do it again.
Yes, it is hard to say goodbye. But please, think of your dog. Your companion who has looked to you for everything his entire life. He will be looking for you in those final moments too, and you won’t be there.
I have had this happen both ways. The first dog I lost was only 2 years old. She was in intensive 24/7 care after two surgeries for Gastric Dilatation with Volvulus. I went to see her every day, but was only allowed visits. I kept my phone by me for 10 days in agony waiting to take her home. On day 10 at 9:30pm my phone rang and my heart dropped. She was going into cardiac arrest and she wasn’t going to survive. I rushed to the clinic, but when I got there, she was already gone. No, I didn’t leave her by my own will, but it was still crushing to know that she died in a sterile environment in the company of strangers.
The second dog I lost was my first dog. She was 14 years old and had been fighting osteosarcoma for almost a year. When it spread to her lungs and she started to struggle to breath, I had to make the choice I never wanted to make. I had wanted to wait until she passed on her own, but then I realized that would be her struggling to breath, drowning from lack of air. And I could not know when it would happen.
I made the decision for home euthanasia. If I had to let her go, I would be there, holding her and looking into her eyes on her last breath. And I was, and I did. And I cried.
If you have the power to chose. Please be there for your pet in his or her last moments. Be the last thing they see before they cross the rainbow bridge. Be strong for them, and be strong for yourself.
In memory of my best friends and companions