The Look Of Peace

I have to be honest.  I did not go with my husband yesterday when he took our dog to the vet to have her put to sleep because I was afraid to do it ……….I baled on him big time……

I had done it for Laurie the cat, I had done it for my beloved Allie, I had done it for our not so beloved but sometimes beloved cat Pepper.  I had done the hand off when it was time to find sweet Sammy the cat a home.  But this time I most definitely did not put on my big girl panties and face the heartache.

Every time I have had to put my animal up on the table and let them go, a piece of my heart goes with them and this time I was not up to the task.

It is not as if I am a crazy, rabid animal lover who believes her animals are actually her children.  But I do form an emotional bond even with the ones that don’t connect to my heart.  And letting go is hard for me.

I said my goodbye to ruthie and I let my hubby walk out the door with her.  I regret that decision also and it is a decision I will not make again with another animal.  I believe that you as a pet owner should give your animal the respect to travel that last journey with them.

Why?  because they are loyal and faithful and loving when we are shitty and going through ugly stuff. They love us when we come out of stinky bathrooms, they don’t care about our morning breath, they are quick to forgive when we yell at them or ignore them.  They hang in there with us and should we not do the same for them?

I waited until my hubby had been gone for a while and then I called him.  Perfect timing she had just died. 

“she looked the most peaceful I have seen her in a long time”

My heart broke a little hearing those words because if we had listened to our gut we would have done this in May.  But instead we kept her here for our benefit on a medication that made her absolutely miserable and miserable to live with.

I have always felt that the best reward you can give your pet for thier years of devotion is a quick, dignified and respectful death.  I believe that a dog or a cat cannot reason out their existence the way that we can.  They love us and will just keep loving us no matter how bad we feel.  And most of us will keep them around no matter how bad they feel because it makes us feel better in some way shape or form.

But a pet cannot say, i have worth in this world, they cannot make the choice of quality of life for themselves.  They cannot reason out if chemo and it’s effects are worth it for a few more days or possibly weeks.  We make that decision for them. 

Phenobarbital is an ugly medicine.  It made Ruthie’s last couple of months miserable.  Hearing my husband say those words brought that home to my heart and it pierced my heart. 

There is such a push in this world to treat animals like people.  To give animals the same status as a human. 

Well you wouldn’t kill a member of your family if something was wrong with them would you?  then why would you do it to an animal? 

Well actually said member of the family for the most part would have the presence of mind to make quality of life decisions for themselves.  Something an animal cannot do.  And for those humans who cannot make those decisions, for the most part loved ones make the decisions based on that will ultimately make the person the most comfortable and happy.

It is a huge responsibility to steward your animals life.  To be truthful I am not always the best steward of the animals in my life.  But I try. And it is a huge responsibility to steward your animals death well.

For whatever crazy reason we let the vet convince us that it would be good to put our very old dog on phenobarbital to treat her seizures.  It is a decision I 100 percent regret and I will for sure NEVER subject another animal to that medication again.  NOT EVER.

I am not saying I would knock off a 2 year old dog for coughing or that I wouldn’t treat a treatable disease.  What I am saying is that as is so often with humans, the cure is worse than the disease itself.   It is an owners responsibility to really examine if it is worth it to put your animal through crap just because you can’t let go.  Your animal cannot use words and make those decisions.  If you really want to treat animals like a human then put yourself in their place, would you want someone to do that to you?

The side effects of the phenobarbital for poor little ruthie were…..ruthless…..and they were hard on us .  And instead of the last couple months of our dogs life being somewhat normal, it was filled with angst and anxiety, pain for her and stress for all of us.

Ruthie served us with loyalty and unconditional love for over 13 years and our best gift, our best thank you was the day we let her go with kindness and dignity.


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