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The Toughest Decision

It's not something I want to talk about.  It's not something I even want to think about.  Any pet owner knows that one day, this love and companionship will come to an end.  Sometimes it comes by surprise, or with very short notice.  Other times it is up to us to decide, it the quality of life still present?  Animal pallative care, or animal hospice, has been on the rise in recent years with several organziations offering end-of-life assistance.  Pets can be re-homed at the pallative centers, or pet owners may seek advice on making difficult decisions.  The International Association of Animal Hospice and Pallative Care has some great articles and advice as well as links to other groups who offer similar services.  Jon Katz, a New York Times best selling author, has dealt with this difficult topic and shares his experiences in his book Going Home: Finding Peace When a Pet Dies.  Most importantly, it is okay to grieve.  Grieve for as long as needed, as deep as it hurts.  Animals are our family, it is necessary for us to mourn this loss.  It is my personal belief that after companion animals "cross the rainbow bridge," they are free to run and play, frolick, lick and laugh surrounded by love and compaionship.  We will see them again someday.  Until then, I send my thoughts & prayers to anyone coping with the sadness of losing a best friend. 

If you have any thoughts or advice on coping with pet loss, please share below.  A conversation like this can help with the healing process.


Ema Hudson's picture

Another great article from the New York Times, focusing on the choice of euthanization and how we know when it's time:
Deciding When a Pet Has Suffered Enough