EUTHANASIA, THINGS TO CONSIDER:
The thought of humane euthanasia, is a very difficult topic to discuss and consider for a beloved pet. Oftentimes, euthanasia is a final gift of ‘release’ – from pain and suffering, that we can provide our pets. However, the decision to end a pet’s life can feel like a burden or a curse to pet owners. Having the ‘power to decide’, is overwhelming, and is something we are generally not comfortable with under these circumstances.
During the course of your pet’s humane euthanasia process you will be in a position to make numerous decisions that can change the course of the overall process. Out team will be with you every step of the way to ensure the process is tailored to your expectations, and to make sure your pet passes as peacefully as possible.
We want this moment to be entirely about you – and your pet. In order for this to happen, you first should understand the euthanasia process and everything that is involved. If possible, talk to your Veterinarian or veterinary team prior to bringing your pet into the hospital, or prior to starting the process. We will walk you (and your family) through the euthanasia process so that you know exactly what to expect. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the process (or at least, as comfortable as you can be). Secondly, take care of business ahead of time when possible. Pre-read and sign any required paperwork. Finalize your invoice. Decide on after care for your pet & consider memorial items (www.gatewaypeymemorial.com). Even considering preparing your next meal ahead of time, arrange a ride to and from the hospital, rent a movie, invite friends or loved ones over — whatever you think might help you cope when you return home from the hospital without your pet – is important to consider.
The less you have to deal with during and after euthanasia, the better. We want you to be able to focus entirely on your pet during the process, and then entirely on yourself afterwards. Let us know what we can do to make that possible for you and your family.
Know that every euthanasia is different. Some are planned, some are sudden. Regardless, they are difficult – to prepare for, to cope with, and to experience. Our caring team of professionals will always be available to help you plan, prepare and grieve, as our entire team can sympathize with you on a personal level.
It’s ok to cry.
Emotions can be unexpected, but a totally normal reaction to an upsetting situation. It’s okay to cry – we sympathize with you, and there is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed. When you are crying over the pet that you have loved for years, we assure you, we have nothing but respect for you during this difficult time. We respect how much you care. We respect your ability to make such difficult a decision. We respect your bravery.
Be there, if you can.
We urge you (and your family) to stay with your pet, if you can.
Firstly, for your pet’s sake. The vet’s office can be a very scary place for animals — they don’t understand what all these noises and smells are, or why they are here. Please consider not letting them experience that fear alone during their final moments. Your pet doesn’t know what we are doing or why — but they will know that you are there, that you said it’s ok, and that you love them. If you can find the strength to be there, please be there. Let your love, your touch, and your presence be the last thing your pet experiences.
Secondly, for our sake. One of the absolute most difficult things we do is take on the role of comforting and loving a pet as they pass, when their human is not there to do so. We are always happy to be ‘that person’, however, it is an incredible weight to try to act on your behalf. When you stay with your pet, I can focus on my own job, instead of doing both of ours.
Make the moment count.
Bring treats. Tell stories. Laugh and cry at the same time. Surround yourselves with your pet’s favorite toys, beds and blankets. Remember us mentioning, it’s ok to cry? It’s also okay to celebrate! This is going to be one of the hardest days of your life, but it doesn’t have to be for your pet. We promise that the more you celebrate your pet’s life, no matter how long or short, the easier it will be to continue to live your own once they are gone. It is ok to cry in front of your pet, and to tell them how much you will miss them. To let them see you be absolutely beside yourself. We’re sure your pet has seen you at your worst before. But remember to celebrate, no matter how upset you are. We promise it will make it easier for both you and your pet. This will allow you to reflect on the euthanasia experience with positivity — you will remember that you celebrated and you will feel good about having done so.