This week was very sad because I had to euthanize a sweet Boxer who had splenic cancer. Her owner loved her deeply, knew she was in tremendous pain and made the decision to end her suffering.
There was not a doubt in my mind that this was the right decision and I told her that, but I’m not sure she believed me.
Sometimes pet owners feel a lot of guilt about the decisions they have to make on behalf of their animals. Often these decisions are financial. Unless I see significant pain and/or suffering, I try not to judge. I have to live on a budget too and everyone’s personal obligations and expenses differ.
Unfortunately most of us also have complicated feelings about money too, and when your beloved animal is thrown in the mix a decision can be agonizing.
How much can love of an animal help? How much love for an animal hurt?
The New York Times just published an article about this very topic. Veterinary medicine has advanced leaps and bounds in the last decade. Ordinary American salaries haven’t, although our willingness to want these things has. What happens in that gap? Do you go into debt? Do you say goodbye sooner than you would like?
I tried to comfort my client and her decision about her Boxer as best I was able. Unfortunately grief is an individual experience and I couldn’t alleviate her suffering even though I could alleviate her dog’s suffering. I told her that the important thing about love is that her dog had an abundance of it while she was alive. That is all any dog wants.