|Smokey the Cool Cat circa 1992|
This blog is dedicated to MY best cat in the world: Smokey the Cool Cat
For those people who choose to take care of pets, whether it be dogs, cats, birds, etc., these animal friends become part of the our family. This is especially true when you do not have children. I am sure no pet owner would disagree that your pet becomes your surrogate "child" or family member.
Through out the years, my little buddy became that constant presence that followed me where ever I went in my home. He was there, ready to give me unconditional love no matter what was happening in my life. I loved him back. It was something that got me through some extremely dark periods of my life in my 20s.
I made the appointment for the early afternoon and then spent the morning just loving him, petting him, and thanking him for being my best buddy through my ups and downs. The very end was difficult, but I was so glad in retrospect that I was the one he last saw as he faded away. And just like that, Smokey entered into his eternal sleep with our mutual hopes that we would see each other one day again in the future at Rainbow Bridge.
If you don't know about Rainbow Bridge, it has helped so many of us get through the difficult times of losing our furry or feathered friends:
Below is a partial reprint of an article on ABCnews.go.com by ABC News journalist Jonathan Fenaroli from March 22, 2007. I hope that this blog post and quoted article can help others make that difficult choice.
"Pet Food for Thought: How to Put a Pet to Sleep" by Jonathan Fenaroli
It is a decision no one wants to make, yet most people who keep animals know it is one they will likely be forced to face: when is the right time to put your pet to sleep?
For pet lovers, the idea of euthanasia is tantamount to pulling the plug on a beloved family member, but really loving a pet also means sometimes accepting a sad reality: sometimes it has to be done.
"We always tell out clients this is the last gift you can give to your best friend, "say veterinarian James M. McNamara of the Bethel Veterinary Hospital in Bethel, Conn. "People need to separate themselves from the equation and do what is best for their pet."
There are many factors to consider when making the ultimate decision for one who can't speak -- health, age, and the cost of keeping a sick pet alive top the list. In most cases, a veterinarian can recommend the right course of action, but sometimes the best he or she can do is give you the facts and let you decide.
When and Where?
First, the pet owner must consider when to act. No one wants to see a pet suffer. But at the same time, imagine living with the thought that "maybe we could have done more."
McNamara says it all boils down to quality of life.
"If the animal is beyond the means of what medical technology can do, then the choice is clear," he says.
The hard part, he says, is for the pet own to put the pet's welfare before the owner's.
"I've had people tell me 'money is no object.' But if the animal can't be saved and have a reasonably good life, there is no point."
His advice: Ask yourself a question, "Am I keeping this animal alive for them, or for me?"
Logistics are key as well. Most euthanasia procedures take place in veterinary offices, but some vets will come to your home.
Anyone who has been there when a pet was put down can tell you how hard it is. For some, the idea is too much to bear, while others wouldn't dream of missing the chance to usher a fading friend into great beyond.
BLOGGER'S NOTE: I do not own the rights to the above article by Jonathan Fenaroli. I am merely reprinting it's contents for informational purposes.