The Undying Love26th January 2020
Recently, a father and son duo came into the practice with their 15 year old Jack Russell to see me. They had the dog for eight years, having obtained him from a rescue. This dog had been through with them thick and thin. They told me stories about him being so nervous when they first met, recalled anecdotes when he touched their hearts and listed places where they have been together in the past. The details were so vivid and spoke with much earnest.
Today, they had come to perform the dreaded deed of letting him go for his quality of life is vastly affected by his weak legs. It was truly heart breaking listening to their story and seeing how sad they were to be here.
I feel sometimes, some (not all!) vets have taken euthanasia as part of the job and fail to recognise the significance of it to the pet owner. I know in the past, on a busy day, I may have been guilty of it, where the euthanasia has been booked in the middle of a busy afternoon and I am rushed from consultations to consultations. I remember needing to attend to an emergency euthanasia consultation where a mother and her two teenage children were present for their 12 year old Shih Tzu that needed to be put down due to being inappropriate urination (senile dementia). I remember being present taking a history, understanding their story and reasons. The previous appointment was a newly diagnosed diabetic cat. I remember despite my best intention and concentration, my mind could not help but wander back to the treatment of the cat. After I had administered the euthanasia solution (after sedating the dog and about 20 minutes in), I felt myself getting stressed by the long line of pet owners that I am about to see. It was not easy (for me) to be completely present for the family.
On the other hand, there has been other euthanasia where it was not rushed. I listened intently to the pet owners. In those occasions, I still found myself inadequate in understanding the situation. How can anyone relate to another the entire relationship, feelings and past memories of a lifetime of pet companionship?
Coming back to the father and son duo, after their beloved Jack Russell had gone to doggy heaven (I totally believe there is such a place!), they thanked me and left. It was a very sad day for them. I did my best to console them, not believing it helped a single bit.
To my delight, they rescued another dog and brought him in to see me three months later. I have always marvelled at the strength for pet owners to find another pet, knowing that they will have to go through the pain of losing that pet again. It is such an inspiration and overwhelming pleasure and happiness when I see pet owners extending their love to another pet. I have no doubt this dog is going to be well taken care of.
The generosity of their love for animals runs deep. They understand that they are not replacing their pet but merely sharing their love to another pet. This powerful undying innate love for animals brings positive energy to the all around and makes the world a better place.
If you had ever lost a pet and could not bring yourself to get another one due to various reasons, thank you for caring for your pet. Pet ownership can be full of burden as well as the happiness it brings.
If you had lost your pet and found the strength to have another again despite the heart ache that your loss caused you, I salute and commend you on your strength and understanding that your love for animals is eternal and important. It makes you you and the world needs more people like you to spread your presence.Back to Blog