Friday, April 5, 2013

Having the Strength to Do the Right Thing: The Emotional Side of Putting Your Dog to Sleep

Boo Boo, my senior dog, resting on the porch
Boo Boo resting on the porch

Eventually all good things must come to an end.

Old muscles are too tired. Joints are worn.

We've reached the limit of the total number of heartbeats that we've been allotted in this life.

It's as much that way for us as it is four our four-legged companions.

As owners of older dogs we need to be considerate of our our four-legged friends. Sometimes this means being ready to do the right thing by helping them along on their final journey by having them put to sleep. Ask your veterinarian about what euthanasia options you have so that you're ready when the time comes.

This is an emotionally difficult time, so get in front of this scenario and understand that prolonging your dog's suffering because you're not ready to let go is not the way to go. Consider that after all is said and done, no one wants to think that they caused their beloved pet one extra hour of pain and misery if they could have prevented it.

Take heart and know that memories of walks, snuggling, and wet sloppy kisses at inappropriate times will always be with you.

The Rainbow Bridge (below) is a poem written by an unknown writer in the second half of the 20th century which paints a picture of how one day we'll be reunited with all of those furry companions that have given us so many years of love and faithfulness:

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers.
Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...