Time To Say Goodbye…
Published: 17 December 2018
As I open my eyes, I can sense that the whole house is waking up. I sigh, another day. I dread getting up out of my bed as every part of me aches and I know it is going to be excruciating once I start moving. The pain has been with me for at least a year now, gradually getting worse. It is so difficult to walk these days and so I spend most of my days lying down. My hearing is not so great anymore either and I did not hear little Jenny approaching the other day until she touched my bad leg. I snapped and quickly realised before hurting her. This is not me, I would never have snapped at a child. I felt so ashamed.
Everyone is down for breakfast now sitting up at the table, but I have not yet left my spot. Food has been put out for me, but I can not bear even crossing one metre for it. Is this what my life has become. I used to be so active, enjoyed long runs in the wood, playing ball on the beach and rough and tumble with my best mate Rambo. However, this week, the pain has been so much that I haven’t been able to make it outside to the toilet and so had accidents in the house, which I have not done since being a puppy. My mum has been hugging me and crying regularly throughout this week and although it pains me, I have lifted my head to try and comfort her but could only manage a few licks at a time.
A few hours have passed now, not that I really keep track of time anymore, and there is a knock at the door. Normally I would bark to ward off unwelcome guests, but that is just too much effort, all I can do is look in the direction of the door. Dad goes to open the door and welcomes in these two ladies. There is a brief chat and then they all come over to me, I feel excited, but can only do a few small flicks of my tail without it hurting. Mum comes and sits next to me and lifts my head onto her lap with dad sitting down next to her. The ladies continue to chat with mum and dad whilst mum is stroking my head and dad is feeding me peanut butter and pepperoni, which is a great treat. There is a slight buzzing sound and vibrating pressure against my leg, but it does not hurt, and I do not want to give up the opportunity of having the treats, which normally I would be told off for taking. Next there is a slight cold and wet feeling in the same area followed by a sharp scratch. The scratch was not as painful as the rest of my aches and pains and this peanut butter is so lovely, I don’t want to stop eating.
I suddenly feel very tired and the pain seems to be easing. Might as well rest my head on mum’s lap and have a nice long sleep.
Good night mum, good night dad.
The above story was fictional and is how we would perceive a home euthanasia to be experienced from the animal’s perspective based on our experiences. All pets will be different in their response as some may feel very vulnerable at this time, but it is always our aim to make the experience as stress-free and comfortable as possible. No-one likes the idea of the “final” journey to the vets especially if our pet doesn’t enjoy travelling or mixing with other dogs and cats. One of our aims with facilitating this service in the home environment is to allow owners to grieve in the privacy of their own home. We know that our pets become part of the family and it is never easy to decide on when it is time to say goodbye, but we are here to help and can support you with your decision. The best place for us to discuss this with you would be during a consult visit, but we can also do it over the phone or via email to answer any questions you may have.
In most cases, where a decision for euthanasia has been made, we would make an appointment to come out at a time that is convenient for you, allowing your family to say their goodbyes. Some people also like to take this opportunity to spoil their pet one final time.
Upon arrival, we will want to ensure that your pet is in a comfortable space, where they will be happy. You can then sit down with them on your lap or rest their head on your lap. We will then discuss the sequence of events with yourself. You can then give them any treat that they would love, even if it was forbidden in the past. This will usually keep their attention off anything perceivably unpleasant. We will clip an area of fur on their front leg or very occasionally on their back leg and then the area will be cleaned with an alcohol swab. A needle will then be inserted directly into the vein, however, in older dogs this can be difficult as veins can collapse, meaning that we must look for another vein. This can be distressing and therefore having the treats available works as a distraction.
Once the needle is in, the anaesthetic overdose is injected and your pet falls asleep. We will then leave the room and give you some time alone to say your final farewells. If you have opted for home burial, we would settle payment and then leave. Otherwise after payment, we will wrap your pet in a blanket or use our stretcher as required to take them to the pet crematorium, Treasured Friends. If you have opted for an individual cremation, you will have their ashes returned to you in a woodland scene scatter tube or other container that they can provide at an additional cost.
Our aim is always to make this final part of any pets’ journey as stress-free on the pet and owner, but also letting the pet die with dignity in their own home. It is a sad time for all involved and not something that should be rushed. By choosing our service, you do not have to stress your pet by taking them into an unfamiliar place, surrounded by lots of unfamiliar smells and you also have more time to say goodbye.
If you would like to find out more about our service, please contact us.