Choosing when to euthanize an animal friend can be harrowing. It’s difficult to say goodbye at all, not to mention to be the one to “pull the trigger” and make the final decision to let them go.
I’ve experienced both sudden and unexpected loss, in addition to being faced with the euthanasia decision, and either one is not fun.
I’m a healer, and even though I know our animal friends cross over to the afterlife and are still around us, it’s tough to not be able to help them heal and to live on. We also have to adjust to no longer feeding, petting and being greeted by our fur baby.
I think of the sudden loss of a pet and often our best friend, as being like ripping off a band aid. It hurts like heck temporarily, but then we heal and are spared the difficulty of making a choice.
But when our animal friend is slowly passing (such as in the case of kidney disease which my Maggie had), then the decision of when to let them go needs to be made.
If we feel we made the decision too soon, then we wonder: “Could they have been around longer so that we could enjoy their company?” If we wait longer we may think “did I allow them to suffer needlessly”?
The best answer is to go with your “gut”. What FEELS right to you? There is no right way, and no one else can make the decision for you.
Only YOU know your animal friend inside and out. By tuning into them and getting a sense of where they’re at (unless there’s a case of obvious suffering), you can get an understanding of whether they’re ready.
It’s also important to prepare yourself for grieving, and know that whatever emotions you’re feeling are a normal part of the process.
Above all: Love yourself, and allow yourself the space to understand and to know that healing is needed.
And finally, know your fur baby is with you not only in this life but beyond.
We can still tune into them and receive the unconditional love that they have for you.
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