Sick dog and that look that you never forget
When pets reach the end of life, euthanasia often takes place on a shiny cold elevated table, in a vet clinic filled with the smells of other animals, and noises like barking dogs. But more and more people are seeking the comfort of home for the end of their dog's life. It's a trend that started years ago, and covid restrictions which prevented family members from being present in these final moments, has resulted in more requests for in home services than ever before. During this most heart wrenching of times, people forced to leave their beloved dog alone and scared, facing only strangers, are demanding better.
Many veterinarians are not trained or not comfortable in grief management. While the client is going through sheer anguish and the pet is in fear and sick, the doctor typically follows training protocols, treating the entire event as a medical procedure. It's not! It's heart wrenching anguish for all involved. The inhumanity of it all has burgeoned a trend toward euthanasia at home, in an environment full familiar things and loved ones.
The pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in business, said Rob Twyning, who founded the company Pet Loss at Home with his wife, Karen, a veterinarian.
When Penny Wagner was facing the prospect of not being allowed to be present for the end of life of her beloved giant Schnauzer, Clarence, at her local vet office, she contacted Pet Loss at Home. Clarence, suffering from advanced kidney disease, was euthanized in the comfort of his own home. Penny and her husband cuddled Clarence as they cried, and their other dog, Cooper, was able to say goodbye as well. ?He?ll always have a special place in my heart,? said a tearful Penny. "I think he was very comforted by the fact that he was home and that he was with loved ones up to the moment we said goodbye."
The peaceful end to a peaceful life via the home euthanasia process has a closure effect on the journey you and your pet just completed. I have been present at two of my family's such passings, and I can assure you, while gut wrenching to the core, being at home is the right thing to do as a bookend to your love. I remember how calm both dogs were as the first needle went in. We were crying uncontrollably, but the dogs were peaceful, surrounded by loved ones and familiar things.
At home services often include condolence gestures to the grieving family. They send condolence cards or make clay paw prints as memorial gifts. After Clarence was gone, the person assisting the euthanasia at home sent a condolence card with marigold seeds inside, suggesting they plant them in the dog's honor. They did, and sent her a photo when the flowers were in bloom.
The cost differential can be quite high, from $100 at the vet office verses $300 with a private service. For those who cannot afford at home service, or choose not to be present for the death of their pet, that option still exists.
For our loved ones to die peacefully, without pain, in the comfort of their own home, surrounded by the people they love and who love them. Isn't that what we want for all of our family members?