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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

When Is It Time To Let Go?

Posted Saturday, March 7, 2009, at 7:43 PM

Forgive me for being brief, this is a subject I prefer to avoid but a long time friend may be taking a final journey in a few days. We've enjoyed his company every time he comes to visit. We've lost a lot of long time friends of the last year or so. Puppies I met when I first started working after college 13 years ago are now old dogs. Where has the time gone?

So when is it time to let go? It's a question we love and hate to hear. We love that you care enough about your pet to ask us this question. Usually this question means that we'll be loosing a long time doggy or kitty friend (yes we consider you and your pets our friends; at least the ones that don't bite).

There is usually a reason for asking. Your pet has gotten old and is slowing down.

The answer requires some explanation. But first, most veterinary clinics require a medical reason; not that you just don't want them anymore or are being vengeful against someone you once loved.

We have three guidelines: They don't enjoy your company / seek your attention, they are no longer interested in eating, are wasting away and prefer to be alone.

I've added another: if they can't see well, can't hold their urine, are arthritic and bit at the hands that care for them. This is the example of our friend. His family has grandchildren and they are concerned about them.

Yes, you will miss them, you will feel the pain of their loss, and you will experience grief. It can't be helped but given time it will get better. There will be other pets to share your love and life with and there will be people who understand and will share hugs and tears with and we will have a box of tissue ready.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Oh, it's so sad. My dog is a Golden Retirever, arthritic and probably would love to be relived of his pain, but no one in this house is taking him yet. He loves to go for walks but we limit him now. We adopted a shelter dog and he had cancer, it was so painful to have to let him go. And the vet didn't want to put him down. He was NEVER our dog, never let us in, and and for us to take him to the vet for the final journey was almost more than we could take. We also had a springer that had fierce allergies and finally died from diabetes, and a dog that was beaten within inches of his life trying to protect us from a break in and a burglary in Colorado. Dogs are fine people, and they are worthy of all our goodness. I love my 4-leggeds! They are a special group!

-- Posted by fred2 on Sat, Mar 7, 2009, at 10:02 PM

Dogs may not be people but they are family to many of us. We had our Sunshine for many years - but after she was diagnosed with cancer - the vet told us - we had to make a decision about letting her go and easing her suffering. He told us we would know when it was time. It was time when she tried to be a good dog but could not longer. We could not let her suffer and her eyes told us that. While we all miss her deeply, we appreciate the time we had and will hold her in our hearts as she was the furry member of the family. She never judged us, got angry except at the dang gone squirrels, and always made us feel like we were glad to be home with every wag of her tail.

-- Posted by coolidge on Mon, Mar 9, 2009, at 6:32 PM

Thanks for the wonderful comments. I did intentionally avoid the whole euthanasia vs letting them pass on their own subject. It makes me sad to see any living thing in so much pain that they avoid being touched (humans with endstage terminal cancer, kidney failure, etc included). There are times when any and all pain killers don't cut the pain. This is why I'll say no more.

-- Posted by amystrauch on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 3:11 PM

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