5 things I wish you knew before euthanizing

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Euthanasia. The word itself makes all our stomachs drop. It is a gift to pets and a curse to owners - having the power to decide is something we are not comfortable with. However, when going through the euthanasia process with your own pets, you are in a position to make numerous decisions that can change the course of the overall process. As a Veterinary Technician, I witness euthanasias on a daily basis. Let me share from personal experience the 5 things I wish every pet owner knew.

1. It's ok to cry.

People apologize to me all the time for crying over their pets. Whether it's time to say goodbye, or you are simply having a hard time watching us draw blood on your dog, I wish you knew that I GET IT. Many of us who work in animal medicine (myself very much included) are totally neurotic, hypersensitive, and obsessive when it comes to our own pets. I may seem calm and collected while working with your cat, but that's because it's my job and I can't afford to be any other way if I'm going to be good at it. You best believe that the second my dog so much as sneezes, I go into a total state of panic, lose all common sense, and forget everything I learned in tech school. So, when you are crying over the pet that you have loved for years, I assure you, I have nothing but respect for you. I respect how much you care. I respect your ability to make such difficult decisions. I respect your bravery. And please know that no matter how demonstrative you may be with your emotions, you are still keeping it together more than I would be in your shoes.

2. Be there, if you can.

I am lucky to work in a hospital where the vast majority of pet owners stay with their pets for the euthanasia process. However, this is not always the case. I urge you to stay with your pets, if you can, for multiple reasons. First, for my sake. One of the absolute most difficult things I do as a Veterinary Technician is take on the role of comforting and loving a pet as they pass on when their human is not there to do so. It is an incredible weight to try to act on your behalf, and it is emotionally exhausting in a way that I cannot even begin to describe. When you stay with your fur baby, I can focus on my own job, instead of doing both of ours. Second, for your pet's sake. The vet can be a very scary place for animals - they don't understand what all these noises and smells are, or why these strangers are poking and prodding them. Do you want them to experience that fear alone? And have it be their very last memory? Your pet doesn't know what we are doing or why - they only know that you are there, that you said it's ok, that you love them. I remember being a child, and how scary going to the doctor was, but how much more confident I felt with my mom there reassuring me. I imagine that is exactly how pets feel. If you can find the strength to be there, please do so. Please let your love, your touch, your presence be the last thing your pet experiences.

3. Keep the collar on.

One of the saddest things I witness during the euthanasia process is when humans take their pet's collar off when they are still very much awake. To many pets, taking their collar off can have negative associations. For example, I know my own dog panics when I remove her collar as she knows it's bath time! I want your pet to be as comfortable as possible, and that means not making any major changes immediately prior to euthanizing. Pets are much smarter than we give them credit for, and they pick up on the smallest of cues. The unknown is scary to your pet, so even if they don't know what the cues mean, the idea that something is new and strange and out of the ordinary is enough to cause them some sense of anxiety. So, keep the collar on until your pet has passed. Let them go in the state that they always were.

4. Make it a celebration.

Bring treats. Tell stories. Laugh and cry at the same time. Surround yourselves with all his/her favorite toys and beds and blankets. It's ok to cry, and it's also ok to celebrate! I love when people tell me they took their dog to the beach or napped in the sun with their cat right before coming in to the hospital. This is going to be one of the hardest days of your life, but it doesn't have to be for your pet. I 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 this is all said and done. It is ok to cry in front of your pet, to tell them how much you will miss them, to let them see you be absolutely beside yourself. I'm sure your pet has seen you at your worst before - I know mine has. But remember to celebrate, no matter how miserable you are. I promise it will make it easier for both you and your pet. What's more, It 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.

5. Prepare.

I want this moment to be entirely about you and your pet. In order for that to be the case, several things must happen. First, you must understand the euthanasia process. If possible, talk to your Vet or Tech prior to coming into the hospital, or prior to starting the process - ask them to walk you through the steps of euthanasia 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). Know what you're walking into, so that your focus can be entirely on your pet. Second, take care of business ahead of time when possible. Sign any required paperwork. Pay the bill. Decide on after care. Even go so far as to prepare you next meal ahead of time, arrange a ride, rent a movie, invite friends over - whatever you think might help you cope when you return home from the hospital without your pet. The less you have to deal with during and after euthanasia, the better. I want you to be able to focus entirely on your pet during the euthanasia, and then entirely on yourself afterwards. Let's do whatever we can to make that possible.


Every euthanasia is different. Some are planned, some are sudden. Some may happen in your home, some in the hospital. Regardless, they are difficult - to prepare for, to cope with, to experience. I hope these 5 things will help you to plan ahead and to make the process as beautiful as it can be for both you and your pet.


-- Kelsey Beth

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179 comments

  1. Beautifully written, and Thank you.... it's a hell of a day when this happens, and Thanks for sharing your insights, Steven and Hope Ford, Odessa, TX

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    1. Jesse and Laura Seattle WADecember 10, 2015 at 12:44 AM

      I would like to add in the after care that you consider burial/cremation. Many Veterinarians will return you pet's remains to you. Many offer to return the cremated remains to you. There are also pet memorial stones to memorialize your beloved pet. My husband and I put closure on a special life by sharing the best times, the funny times, and even those pain in the neck moments...all they have meant to us. It helps to have share with people who had times with your pets. I have given solace to friends by recalling what I loved about their pet. It all helps in the grieving. Remember their are 5 stages of grief according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Don't expect them to be in order or not to bounce between one to another within minutes sometimes. They aee:1. Denial and Isolation: Used by almost all patients in some form. It is a usually temporary shock response to bad news. Isolation arises from people, even family members, avoiding the dying person. People can slip back into this stage when there are new developments or the person feels they can no longer cope.

      2. Anger: Different ways of expression

      -Anger at God: "Why me?" Feeling that others are more deserving.

      -Envy of others: Other people don't seem to care, they are enjoying life while the dying person experiences pain. Others aren't dying.

      -Projected on environment: Anger towards doctors, nurses, and families.

      3. Bargaining: A brief stage, hard to study because it is often between patient and God.

      -If God didn't respond to anger, maybe being "good" will work.

      -Attempts to postpone: "If only I could live to see . . ."

      4. Depression: Mourning for losses

      -Reactive depression (past losses): loss of job, hobbies, mobility.

      -Preparatory depression (losses yet to come): dependence on family,

      etc.

      5. Acceptance: This is not a "happy" stage, it is usually void of feelings. It takes a while to reach this stage and a person who fights until the end will not reach it. It consists of basically giving up and realizing that death is inevitable.

      Hope is an important aspect of all stages. A person's hope can help them through difficult times.

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    2. Jesse and Laura Seattle WADecember 10, 2015 at 2:14 AM

      Remember as each pet is unique so is each passing and how we live in the aftermath. Sometimes it has been too painful to come home to the bed and toys, so I have put them away before we take them in until a later date. Sometimes it has been too painful to have them put away, so I leave them until it feels right to put them in a place of honor or let them go. Do what is right for you. And remember grief takes as long as it takes. Be gentle with yourself and respect your process. My favorite vision when my chest hurts so bad with grief that I can hardly take a breath; when I pass, just like Cinderella meeting all of her animal friends in the forest, my pets will all be there to greet me with all the love and joy in the reunion. This makes me smile and soothes my soul.

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    3. Steve and Hope - Thank you so much for the support and for taking the time to comment! :)

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    4. Jesse and Laura - Very well said! Because of feedback like yours, I have actually thought about doing a follow-up post going into more detail about euthanasia. Maybe an entire post on what to do in terms of remains, the different options, the different creative ways that people memorialize their pets. What do you think? Thank you for taking the time to comment, I think your words are a helpful addition to anyone reading this post!

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    5. Great article, wish I had read it years ago. Having done this several times, I encourage you to speak more about in-home euthanasia. Pierre, our beloved Siamese had a horrible fear of the vets office. We didn't want his last minutes to be in his least favorite place, so we asked our vet to come to the house. She did, it wasn't expensive and Pierre got to pass peacefully in his favorite spot with Mom and Dad there for more comfort. It was a terribly hard day, but I found a lot of peace in having it done at home. He was peaceful, and there was no long drive home, we were already here.

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    6. Scubajas - Thank you for reading! I'm sorry to hear about the loss of Pierre, but so glad it was in a peaceful and loving setting. I am considering writing a follow-up article on euthanasia, with more details on options for owners. What do you think? Thank you for commenting!

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    7. Right now you’re probably reading this message because you’re desperate to finally learn how to not only train your dog quickly and effectively, but you also don’t want to have to spend a huge chunk of cash on professional dog trainers or read yet another dog training book that doesn’t get you results.

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    8. WHY DID SHE PUT THE DOG DOWN.It had 3 legs or what else? The dog looked happy at the water park.

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    9. Copper was very old and had many other health problems. She had (my niece) Copper for many, many years with only three legs.

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    10. Copper was very old and had many other health problems. She had (my niece) Copper for many, many years with only three legs.

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  2. your share button for FB isn't working. Great article!

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    1. You might be able to copy the link and post it on FB

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    2. Woops! Thanks for letting me know, Monica! I am very new to this blogging thing, and have obviously made some technical errors, haha. I am in the process of revamping this website, so I'm hoping to have it fixed in the next month or so. Thank you so much for looking out! :)

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    3. Beautifully written, Kelsey Beth! We just had to say goodbye to furry family member #4 this way. It is a very difficult decision. But, when you know they're in pain, not able to be healed, I think it can be a very selfless decision. To hang on to your furry friend because you're not able to let go is selfish.

      We've been VERY fortunate that all 4 times our vet has told us there's nothing more she can do, if it were her pet she'd be doing the same, and comforting us through the decision making process. We've, also, been VERY fortunate that she's come to OUR house with a tech, let's us surround the pet with their favorite toys, music, and hold them...until it's time to say goodbye. She's not in any rush, gives us as much time as we need after, let's us carry them to her van with whatever toys, etc they're to be cremated with, and hugs us. The ashes come back in a week in a beautiful urn of our choice with a nice personalized sympathy card, a lock of hair, and a card with their paw print. She, truly, makes the experience a little easier to accept. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I feel I need to acknowledge her! She's been our vet for over 20 years. Her name is Bianca Estep from Germantown Veterinary Clinic in Germantown, MD.

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    4. Beautifully written, Kelsey Beth! We just had to say goodbye to furry family member #4 this way. It is a very difficult decision. But, when you know they're in pain, not able to be healed, I think it can be a very selfless decision. To hang on to your furry friend because you're not able to let go is selfish.

      We've been VERY fortunate that all 4 times our vet has told us there's nothing more she can do, if it were her pet she'd be doing the same, and comforting us through the decision making process. We've, also, been VERY fortunate that she's come to OUR house with a tech, let's us surround the pet with their favorite toys, music, and hold them...until it's time to say goodbye. She's not in any rush, gives us as much time as we need after, let's us carry them to her van with whatever toys, etc they're to be cremated with, and hugs us. The ashes come back in a week in a beautiful urn of our choice with a nice personalized sympathy card, a lock of hair, and a card with their paw print. She, truly, makes the experience a little easier to accept. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I feel I need to acknowledge her! She's been our vet for over 20 years. Her name is Bianca Estep from Germantown Veterinary Clinic in Germantown, MD.

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  3. When our last dog needed to cross the rainbow bridge we had traveled to Mizzou to try to find a nueurologist to find out was wrong with her. Turned out she had stage V cancer in her brain. They had a special room for pet parents to stay in that was quiet so you could have some time to love on your pets to say goodbye and then let them know when you were ready. Not the clinical environment like a regular room. The staff there was amazing and made a rough situation better. Man that was a tough 6 hour ride home. Thank you for a lovely blog.

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    1. Kathy, thank you for sharing your story. I am lucky to work in a hospital that also has a special room for these things, and I like to think it makes things just a little more comfortable for everyone. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog - it sounds like you are a very good pet parent in that you went as far as to seek out a neurologist. Your dog was very lucky to have such a dedicated mom!

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    2. Our vet has a seperate 'homey' room for this as well. And yes, do all the paperwork and bills prior to it, you really really cant pay full attention to these things after with the tears rolling. we unexpectedly had to have our 1 1/2 year old pup put to sleep this past summer. she suddenly got so sick so fast, within a week we had no choice. we had the vet run tests and xrays on her, she had been born with deformed kidneys we found out, and it happened so fast that it was too late. within a week all other organs shut down. this was a seemingly very healthy dog prior to this, and the vet always complemented me on the great care i gave her. i am crying right now as i read you words. i did everything on your list right, even adopted another dog! but it is something that always stays with you, and i live each day thinking of her and the future of my dog now.

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    3. Our vet has a seperate 'homey' room for this as well. And yes, do all the paperwork and bills prior to it, you really really cant pay full attention to these things after with the tears rolling. we unexpectedly had to have our 1 1/2 year old pup put to sleep this past summer. she suddenly got so sick so fast, within a week we had no choice. we had the vet run tests and xrays on her, she had been born with deformed kidneys we found out, and it happened so fast that it was too late. within a week all other organs shut down. this was a seemingly very healthy dog prior to this, and the vet always complemented me on the great care i gave her. i am crying right now as i read you words. i did everything on your list right, even adopted another dog! but it is something that always stays with you, and i live each day thinking of her and the future of my dog now.

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  4. Ten years ago I had to euthanize my beloved mini schnauzer, Lacy, who adored our family and was eleven years old. Fortunately, my vet and vet tech had a long-term relationship with us and agreed to come to our home to perform the procedure. We did prepare the grave site ahead of time, thank goodness, and spent the early part of the day feeding her all the yummy treats she so loved. We snuggled in her favorite chair and told her how much we loved her and would miss her. She passed peacefully in my arms surrounded by her human family and in the comfort of the home she so loved. I'm crying just typing this but I will never regret the way we said goodbye to our sweet girl. It was our final act of love to a fur baby who had given us so much love and joy through the years. We still miss her terribly.

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    1. Beautiful. You have me crying.

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    2. I will forever be grateful to the people at Rehm Veterinary Clinic in Mobile, AL for their loving support when we had to euthanize our standard poodle, Louie. We had spent the winter months in Mobile, 1500 miles from home. The day before we were expecting to leave Louie bloated badly, and was diagnosed with a fatal liver tumor.

      The staff at Rehm had met us once before when Louie went there for grooming. His euthanasia was scheduled at the end of their business day, and I think everyone in the place stayed after work as long as necessary to comfort us and cry with us.

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    3. Terri - What a beautiful way to say goodbye to Lacy! I wish that every pet's passing could be as loving as the one you just described. I am tearing up right alongside Cazz and Sarah! Thank you so much for sharing. People like you give me so much hope for humanity!

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    4. Blogger1947 - I'm so sorry to hear that you lost Louie in what sounds like a sudden and unexpected way. However, I am so glad to hear that the members of the veterinary staff were so kind and compassionate in helping you through a difficult day. What wonderful people work at that clinic! I am glad that at least you and Louie could both be surrounded by people who were caring and supportive.

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  5. When I know it's time, I start talking about packing bags to go on a wonderful trip. Telling them how lucky they are they get to go before me but that I will be there soon. I try very hard to make it feel like a good thing, a trip, a fun thing so they don't get terrified. I can cry like hell once they are gone, but try very hard not to do it in front of them and scare them more.

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    1. Oh bless you...that made me sob even more.

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    2. Perfect. Thank you ,your words help more than you will ever know.

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    3. Oh, man, now I'm crying even more.

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    4. Unknown - What a unique way of approaching a difficult concept. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. This is a beautiful, I appreciate all the advice, it makes total sense and all and all, its about making your fur baby comfortable.

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    1. Anonymous - Absolutely! Thank you for the support and for taking the time to comment. :)

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  7. Thank you for this! My girl is coming close to this. I do my best not think about it however your tips are very welcoming. When the time does come i will beable to make it so much more easier for her as well as myself!

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    1. Tonia - I know the feeling! I myself have a kitty who is getting quite old, and I know I will be facing this sometime in the near future. You would think working in animal medicine I would be prepared by now, but I'm not! I don't think we can ever truly be! I have found though that the more I talk about it, the more confident I feel that I might possibly be able to face it when the day comes. I am like you and just want to avoid the thought! But I think these discussions really help to prepare us for the inevitable. I hope you have your girl around for as long as it possible and comfortable. :)

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  8. In tears - I'm coming onto the 7th anniversary of my Sailor girl crossing the bridge. It was so hard, but the vet staff was amazing. One of the techs who had known Sailor during our time there even stayed after her shift to be there with us.
    Thank you for the gentle reminders.
    Now everyone who can - go romp and enjoy your fur baby, make wonderful memories, be filled with love.

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    1. Emily - I'm so sorry for your loss of Sailor! I lost a dog over 10 years ago, and to this day I still cry like a baby just thinking about her! We never stop missing them, that's the one curse of loving a pet :(. I am so glad to hear though that the staff at the clinic was so compassionate and kind to you and your baby girl. It makes me proud to be a Veterinary Technician when I hear stories like yours. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Beautiful article! When my last baby was too sick to go on; we were lucky enough to have a wonderful vet. They told us to park in the lot and let them know we were there. I sat in the back of the car, holding her; while it was done. When she was gone, they picked her up and carried her into the building, holding her just like a human baby. As far as losing a loved one goes, I don't think it could have been handled with more kindness. It's never easy, but these are great tips. Thanks for writing.

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    1. Parti128 - What a beautiful way to say goodbye to your baby girl. I am lucky to work at a hospital where we also have the ability to perform euthanasias in people's cars - I think it makes everyone a little more comfortable when possible. I'm so sorry you lost your baby, but so glad to hear that the veterinary staff were so kind and gentle throughout. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. About 10 years ago we had to put our Golden Retriever Wesley to sleep because of illness. My husband, our 16 year old daughter and myself stayed with him and loved him until way past the end. Our vet prayed with us and made a horrible experience a little better. We will NEVER regret this decision and I hate to see people drop off their baby for their last vet appointment all alone.

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    1. Sara - Your story hits home with me! We lost our family dog just about 10 years ago also - I was 17 at the time, and our whole family was also present. I am so glad to hear that you were all with Wesley when it was time to say goodbye. I am also glad to hear you had such a kind Vet who made the process a little more bearable. I think it is a gift to be able to look back on the euthanasia process and recognize how loving and beautiful it was. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

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  11. For Vets: Please don't use a PTS when the pet's "parents" are there hoping for the comfort of seeing their pet's been be relieved as a training opportunity for a vet assistant to learn how to start a catheter. Also in a dog that is dying, they are often dehydrated so starting with a front paw is a better solution than having to put in two catheters, the one that doesn't work in the back and then one in the front. But don't worry too much many of us with experience may have already used some of our own meds to relax our pets before we get to you.

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    1. As a tech this horrifies me. I do know some clinics try for a back leg first, so that the pet can have their front end in the owners lap with out the injection interfering. I'm so sorry it sounds like you had a bad experience, I hope that never happens again. I never learned IVCs on pets that were to be euthed if the owners were present. I learned on young healthy animals that were going in for routine surgeries. You do have to learn how to deal with old veins though (but this was after being very competent on healthy animals), but every place I interned at had us do it on older animals going in for surgery or drop off/stray euthanasias. Drop offs were only one stick chances though, and the experienced techs always got them on the second stick. However, we were beyond gentle and did our best to distract them with much scratching and cuddling.
      Much love to you over the loss of your friend. No matter how many we lose, they always take a piece of our hearts.

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    2. Where I live (Free State, South Africa) and with my vet, my dogs were all given just 1 injection and it is instantaneous. No sedation, as they were calm enough anyway, no catheters, no nasty or strange anything. I held them all and the first time he told me he was injecting and virtually a second later she slumped in my arms and was gone. Both my vets have always been wonderful during this time, letting me stay as long as I wanted, even getting teary eyed with me. I have been with all my dogs, except one who died unexpectedly overnight at the vet, and it is an honour to be with them when they leave. My dogs are well known to my vets and it never occured to me that they, too, might feel emotional when they have to put a pet down.

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    3. 1st Anonymous commenter - I am SO sorry to hear about your experience! I absolutely agree with you that that is NOT an appropriate learning opportunity! I have been lucky enough to work at clinics that don't do this, but I am so saddened to hear there are ones that do. I hope that you gave your feedback to the clinic directly so that they could hopefully learn from their mistakes. So, so sorry!

      2nd Anonymous commenter - Thank you for sharing your training experiences! I have had similar experiences to yours, and the clinic I work at currently also has strict rules on how many times a technician can attempt something before passing off to another person. I think every clinic should have a rule like this!

      3rd Anonymous commenter - The clinic I work at currently performs euthanasias much like the one you described. I am so glad to hear that you had a smooth and peaceful experience with your baby. I also LOVE that you referred to it as an "honor" to be with them when they pass away. How beautiful! I would love everyone to see it this way. Thank you for such a wonderful way of looking at it!

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  12. Thanks for a very good article.
    I've had to have this done several times over the yrs, prob will have to again in not too distant future.
    It wrenches my heart right out! If at all poss, I have the Vet come to my home. This way is so much easier for the pet. It's like they're just slipping off to sleep. I write a lot about the pet and my feelings. I cry until I can cry no more. I feel like my heart will actually break.

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    1. Lindafaem - I unfortunately know the feeling :(. I've read a lot of comments on this article about the positive experiences people have had with at-home euthanasia. I don't have any personal experience with it, but your feedback is helpful in that it lets me make better suggestions for the pet owners I work with. It also makes me think about my own personal pets and what I will do when the time comes. Thank you for your comment!

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  13. I hate when a pet gets old and passes. One of my cats was put to sleep when I was 10. I lost another to disease. Now, I refuse to have them put down unless they are somehow suffering, and I have yet to have an animal that was "suffering" so badly that I needed to put them out of my misery.

    I often find myself holding my pets in their last minutes. I do not mind.

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    1. It can be difficult for owners to assess suffering in a pet. And dying from old age is often not as free from suffering as people think. While I understand your statement, I would be careful about letting them get old and pass.

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    2. I agree-I have seen four of my fur babies pass-the first one I tried everything-I had the vet tell me what to do to try and help Blackie-but all I did was prolong the end and make it miserable for him- he died beside me-my second fur baby Squeaky died along in a room where I had put her to get a test for the vet-the last 2 were 19 and 21 years old-Nite the 19 year and the 21 year old were put down with in 6 days of each other last Dec. When they can't walk right or by themselves-when they can't find a comfortable position to lie down or constantly drink and have problems in the litter box-I knew it was time-it was the hardest thing I have ever had to decide or do-don't let your love for your pet interfere with what you see and know what's true in your heart

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    3. Excuse me for being blunt but it's in an animal's natural instinct to mask pain and suffering as they do in the wild. And it's alarming and disheartening when I hear that from owners. "But they're not suffering" and they emphasize the word suffering as you did when you put it in quotes in your comment. This is completely wrong and irresponsible. You shouldnt keep your pet alive till the last minute where they're being euthanized to be put of their misery.

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    4. What signs should I be looking for? My girl is about 17 and has developed canine cognitive disorder (like human dementia) but she still eats and enjoys her bed and ear scratches. If they mask suffering then how do I know when it's time?

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    5. Thank you all for your comments. I am glad that we are able to have this healthy discussion that can help to educate pet owners! We generally recommend euthanasia when there is no longer a good quality of life for the pet. However, as you have all stated, quality of life is very difficult to assess in an animal who cannot speak to us with words, just as is suffering. I have heard some doctors explain quality of life in a 3-part way:
      1) Can your pet walk? Can your pet move around comfortably? Is your pet mobile?
      2) Can your pet eat? Do they eat willingly on their own, or do you have to force feed them or use medication to stimulate appetite?
      3) Can your pet interact normally with you? Does your pet recognize you? Does your pet have his/her normal personality? (Along with this I would also consider: Can your pet hear/see/sleep? Does your pet get confused or seem distressed?)
      These are not the most straightforward questions in the world, but they do help us to look at things a little more objectively. These questions have even helped me evaluate my own pets, because sometimes our love for our pet overpowers any sense of reason we may have! I know I'm guilty of it!
      Just Vegas - To answer your question, I would ask you the above 3 questions. Your girl may have some behavioral changes because of her canine cognitive disorder, but it sounds like she still gets around well and enjoys eating and interacting with you otherwise. I cannot give you any true advice as I do not know you or your pet, but I would strongly encourage you to have a conversation with your Veterinarian about this. Even though it may not be time now, your Veterinarian will better be able to tell you exactly what signs to look for as your girl ages. Your Veterinarian can also evaluate your situation from an unbiased place, which I think is so helpful in truly evaluating quality of life and/or suffering.
      Maxie Grant - As cliche as it may sound, I really do see euthanasia as a gift. I have had to see human relatives die in a slow and progressive way because euthanasia is not an option for them, and it is incredibly painful. I do appreciate your willingness to be there for your pets as they pass, and I would encourage you to look into a Veterinarian who would be willing to come to your house the next time you have to say goodbye to a pet. I think an at-home euthanasia would be a beautiful way to say goodbye to your pet with dignity, but also allow them to be in a safe and comfortable place. I hope you will consider it, but I also hope you are not in that position any time soon!

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  14. I'm closely monitoring an old dog right now. Most days he's OK, then he won't eat,....he will have a very good day before he goes to Heaven. With the number of dogs I have, he'll leave in my arms at the vet's. Thank you. This is a wonderful, helpful article.

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    1. One thing you can do to help you know when it's time is to keep a simple log of good days vs. bad days. When you get to where your dog is having more bad days than good days, then you'll know it's time to see your vet. I completely support euthanizing on a good day, by the way. You don't want your dog to be miserable for his last day with you.

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    2. I knew my boy, Convict, was nearing the end, having trouble walking, not making it to the door for outside, etc., but he still loved his strolls down the drive and back; gave plenty of lovins'. THen, one morning he looked up at me from his doggie bed and there it was, in his eyes. App't made and 2 days later - after much tender loving care - he crossed the Bridge. More so with dogs than cats, they can TELL you "it's time". It was one of his 'good' days, which made the decision even harder - he was so chipper, but his eyes - oh, those "please do it now, Mom" eyes - just devastated me. Miss him daily (been 8 yrs.)

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    3. Roberta - Thank you for your comment and support. I am sorry to hear you will have to make that very difficult decision, as I am in a similar situation and know just how hard it is!

      1st Anonymous commenter - I so appreciate your comment. What a great idea! I think that would be a very helpful tool, and may even try this myself! Thank you!

      2nd Anonymous commenter - I often tell people that I truly believe pets hang on longer than they would otherwise just for their humans. I can see it in pet's eyes when we euthanize - they so appreciate their owners telling them it's ok to go now. I'm tearing up just thinking about it, but thank you so much for your comment, such a beautiful way to say goodbye to your baby.

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  15. Been there too many times, facing it now with our senior kitty. And yes, I have *been* there because when that's the last thing you can give them, it makes their passing easier. For them, at least. But they've always been there for me, so it's only fair, right?

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    1. Lee7rowan - Absolutely! I have a senior kitty myself, and know how hard it is. I feel so lucky every day that she's still here with us! Thank you for being such a dedicated pet parent! :)

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  16. This is beautifully written, and you are clearly the tech we all hope to have present when it's our furbabie's 'time'.
    What I offer in support to others regularly (I am an adviser on a large cat site) is that it helps to realize that our pets don't see death as we do. They don't ache inside st the thought of never being able to see us or feel us again.
    When we mourn it is for our feelings, our loss. For animals it is a natural occurrence.
    The reason why a cat will go off and hide itself to die.

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    1. Catwoman707 - Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words! That is one of the nicest compliments, I so appreciate it. And I absolutely agree with you - whenever I cry during a euthanasia, it is almost always for the people and the hurt I know they are experiencing. What wonderful advice you give, thank you!

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  17. I don't think I should have read this at work....
    I have had to have two dogs euthanized and it is heart wrenching. I have a 4 yr old Yorkie now that I love to pieces and I get emotional just thinking of the day (in the FAR off future) when he will go to the Rainbow Bridge.

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    1. Oh, I feel the same way! My dog is only 4 years old as well, but I still find myself tearing up just THINKING about the fact that the day will come - hopefully not for a VERY long time - but still! I'm sorry you've already lost 2 dogs in your life. I have lost 1 and it was hard enough. I'm so glad to hear that you continue to keep dogs in your life and give more pets such beautiful lives! :)

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  18. A beautiful short film on this topic:

    https://youtu.be/NuOCeJSQCTs

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  19. A beautiful short film on this topic:

    https://youtu.be/NuOCeJSQCTs

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  20. Thank you so much for this great article. This is the worst heartache my family and I have ever gone through. We have had to do it multiple times with multiple dogs over 40 years and always held them in our arms and never regretted it. If I may add one suggestion for those who have other dogs at home. After your dog has passed and you do take off her collar, bring it home and let your other dog smell it. Your other dog will understand what happened from this and be able to tell his pack member has passed. Then he will mourn for a while, possibly a couple of weeks, and eventually recover. We always did this and you can see the reaction of the dog at home when he smells the collar. I think this is kinder than just letting him think the other dog just disappeared and never came back. God bless everyone who has to make this decision one day <3

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    1. I would further add, if circumstances permit, let your other pets see the pet afterwards. I did this last time I had to euthanize a dog, and a few years before that when a sick dog died unexpectedly at the clinic. The vet & staff understood (different clinics), agreed it was a good idea. In that second case my other dog (her daughter) was looking for her, clearly didn't understand where she'd gone, and that stopped after she saw her at the clinic - she knew (and yes, grieved). The other pets take one sniff and they instantly know the pet has passed. Same reaction when an old girl with cancer died in my arms at home: I called my other dog over while I was still not positive my girl had truly drawn her last breath, but the other dog's instant reaction confirmed she had passed.

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    2. When Princess was PTS I took her home and, in her little box from the vet, laid her in state on my/her bed. Then I brought Cee Cee Tortie (who ADORED Princess) in the room to say goodbye-- CC jumped on the bed and slowly circled Miss P, sniffing thoughtfully, then eventually jumped off the bed. Big Bad Baby Twinkle on the other hand, was TERRIFIED and ran off. I never forced her, but she just took one look at Miss P and KNEW.

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    3. Thank you all for sharing your stories! The 2 questions I find the most difficult to answer are how to handle children and how to handle other pets when euthanizing a dog or a cat. I feel the answers are not universal, and are very specific to the particular children or pets and their individual relationships and personalities. I am considering writing a follow-up article on these concepts, and will be keeping all of these wonderful ideas and experiences in mind! Thank you!

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  21. You put me in tears - I can't bear the thought of losing my fur babies. But I'm grateful for the advice - these are my first pets, and I want to do the right thing - I'm not sure I would have known what that was without your input. I thank you. And hope it's a long time before our worlds collide. for all you do.

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    1. Nikki - Thank you so much for your comment and your support. I am very glad to hear that the article helped you in some way. I hope you are not faced with this experience for many years to come.

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  22. We let our 15 year old lab go on November8th. We found a local hospice vet to come to our house on a Sunday morning. We are SO thankful we were able to do this. It was much easier than when her sister was euthanized in 2013. We know we're lucky to have found a vet to do this (we live way out in the country) and that we could afford to do it this way. I realize not everyone can but it was so peaceful, stress free and planned. Our girl had a great dinner the night before and an even better breakfast before the vet got there. I miss her and think about her every day, several times a day. The get was an angel, heaven sent.

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    1. Emmalee - It makes me smile to hear what a beautiful farawell you gave her! I hope you haven't gotten sick of hearing this yet, but WOW! 15 is such an amazing age for a Lab! I am so impressed. What a lucky girl, and what a lucky family! What a testament to the care you must have given her throughout her life. Thank you for your comment!

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  23. When it is that time for one of our furry children, it is when they are feeling their worst. They are sick, and elderly. They have been a member of my family for a long long time. Our final act of kindness is done in our home. We have been lucky to have a vet that does this. It's tough, it sucks, but its the best thing we can do for them.

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    1. Anonymous - Thank you for your comment. I think when it is practical and possible, doing it in your home is a beautiful option. I also agree that euthanasia in general, as well as being with a pet during the euthanasia, are the final acts of kindness we have to offer our loved ones. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. Great advice on a hard subject.Thank you.Janet

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    1. Janet - Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I appreciate your support!

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  25. This is beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time. We are bless with wonderful vet techs at our vet and the hardest thing we've done is to say goodbye to our fur babies- dogs and cats over the years. These are excellent tips and I think we've taken the collars off the dogs. Actually to make them more comfortable, but what you wrote makes total sense. Thank you. I hope not to need this for a long time but the price of saying goodbye is a very small price for loving and being loved.

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    1. Unknown - I so agree, it's all worth it, but gosh is it not the hardest thing in the entire dang world!!! I'm glad to hear that you have a great relationship with your vet and staff. Thanks so much for your comment.

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  26. I told my wife I did not enjoy taking our two Aussies to the vet because it was always my luck to be sitting in the waiting room when a pet owner would be leaving in obvious emotional stress holding just a collar. Reminded me that the day would eventually come for us, and when it did, it was hard.

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    1. Craig - I understand, it is hard to watch :(. However, I think it reminds me every day to hug my dog just a little bit tighter, and reminds me how lucky I am to get to have more days with you. Thank you for your comment!

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  27. We just put my dog Frampton down 2 1/2 weeks ago they came to our house he had a glorious last day Filet Mignon and the doggie park. My vet had said when you feel sorry for them it is time to say good bye. We miss him so much. The woman that came to the house were AMAZING and did not rush us and we cried. This is a great article. Thanks

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    1. Unknown - I'm so sorry to hear about your recent loss, but gosh what a lovely day you made of it! So glad you spoiled your baby and made it a wonderful day for him. I really like that perspective that your Vet gives, I may have to offer that to people I know in the future. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

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  28. When our sweet Snowball - after fighting bone cancer for five months, and having a glorious time going EVERYWHERE with us for her "bucket list" (in a wagon, because she could not walk anymore) - let us know that while she wanted to stay with us - so much - her body could not go on anymore - she stopped eating and drinking that day- we took her to her favorite lake, and spent the entire day with her - I sang to her, told her how beautiful she was, and how she was going on this amazing journey but that we would follow behind later. The vet joined us there as the sun was setting, and Snowball fell asleep in our arms, the biggest doggie smile on her face.
    With our boy Cooper, the vet came to our house - he too fought cancer, but his decline was more sudden. I held my sweet teddy bear and sang him to sleep with a lullaby. I wholeheartedly agree with so many of the other posters: if possible, have the vet come to your house. But wherever your fur baby crosses the Bridge - please be there, hold them, let your voice be the last thing they hear. Let your smell be the last thing they smell. It was beyond hard, but I am so very, very grateful I was able to hold my sweet Snowball and Cooper.

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    1. Jeanine - You just nearly made me cry reading your comment! Snowball and Cooper were obviously very very loved and lucky! I can't imagine a better way of putting things. I wish every pet owner could be like you!!!!!

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  29. Today it's more commonly accepted to heavily sedate them (to the point they fall asleep, which is different than just giving them something to calm them) before they go. It's a much better thing for them and you. The worst thing is hearing them make noise at the end, when it doesn't have to be that way. I just euthanized my little guy in July and it was a whole different experience than all the past dogs who passed away. It was peaceful. I also went at the end of the day, and he had a chance to do all the things he loved to do, including eating all his favorite foods. I wouldn't change a thing.

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    1. Dellbabe68 - While I'm not glad you had to say goodbye to your little guy, I am very glad to hear everything was peaceful and that you were able to spend a great day together beforehand. I wish all euthanasias could be that way! I think a lot of doctors treat pets on a case-by-case basis, but I do see a fair share of them using heavy sedation as well, especially with pets who are still very alert or anxious or mobile. I agree it is a kind thing to offer in those scenarios, so that things can be as comfortable for everyone as is possible. Thank you for your comment!

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  30. Great article. We unfortunately had to experience this four years ago with our sweet 16 year old Bichon, Sophie. All of my family stayed in the room and we kept her wrapped in her favorite blanket and I held her through the whole procedure. Of course we all cried but I take comfort in the fact that she looked up at me as I was holding her and my face was the last face that she saw. She knew how much she was loved. As hard as it is, it is so much better if you are holding them. Our Vet was wonderful to let us know everything ahead of time. It is still difficult as she will always be the fur baby that our children grew up with. Thank you for this article.

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    1. Lynn - This makes me so happy to hear. Obviously I am so sorry that you lost your Sophie, but how wonderful that all of your family came and stayed with her! If only all pets AND humans could be so lucky as to be surrounded by people who have loved them all their lives. So beautiful, thank you Lynn!

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  31. Very well said. we went through it with our dog of 16 and 1/2 years. I still cry when I think about her. and yes being there with your pet help let them know that is all right and as you promised that you would always be there for them until the very end.

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    1. Absolutely, Jeff. What a long life you gave your dog! I still cry when I think about the dog I lost as well. We will never stop crying over them because we will never stop loving them! Thanks for your comment, Jeff.

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  32. Another good tip is if you have other pets let them see & smell their friend after they have passed so that they know what has happened to them & they don't start searching & calling for them, which I can tell you is heartbreaking to see & hear.

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    1. Very true -- one of my cats who adored the cat that had to be PTS approached her body, circled her and sniffed thoughtfully, then slowly left. The other cat was terrified and so I let her run like blazes out of the room.

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    2. Good points, thank you both for commenting. I believe in handling this aspect of things on a case-by-case basis since, as you stated, every pet handles things differently. One reader commented that they always bring the collar and let the other pets sniff it and they seem to know - I thought that was a brilliant idea that I hadn't heard of before! Thank you both for your input!

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  33. Thankyou for your article, I remember every detail when I had to put my KC down about 15 years ago, he was such a good kitty. Our fur babies are like children. I agree with all of your points.

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    1. I'm so glad you agree, and thank you for taking the time to comment. I couldn't agree more - my fur babies ARE my children!! :)

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    2. This is a beautiful article that many can benefit from reading. May I have it published in a breed magazine (giving appropriate credit, of course)?

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  34. Hands down, the very best article I have read on this very difficult subject. Short, sweet, and to the main, and most important (in my opinion) points. We had a let my sweet, best friend, heart dog, Starski go a few weeks ago after a 3-year long battle with lymphoma. He was such a love and gave all he had to stay with us for as long as he possibly could though in the end lost the unwinnable fight. He will be missed until I see him again at the Bridge. Thank you for your heartfelt and informative article.

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  35. thanks for this. Murphy is 16 , still doing well but i know he can't live forever. he's my best bud and i will be a big mess when it happens. this helps a lot.

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  36. I'm a vet assistant and idk y but it really bothers me wen ppl say I can't be with my pet....I feel its selfish...I feel ur pet needs u at their last moments on earth...they love and trust you and need u til the very end...I set my feelings aside becuz my animals need me its not about me its about them and their last moments and I want them to always remember that I love them....wen I hold an animal to be euthanized I always tell it that I'm so srry and that they r a good boy or girl and it tell them it's ok....it is probably one of the hardest parts of the job becuz it breaks my heart that their owner didn't want to be there to tell them good bye..they don't kno me and wat I say doesn't mean as much as ifit were coming from their owner....wen I had to put my dog down at 8 becuz of colon cancer I was devastated but I held her and let her kno I loved her with all my heart and I was srry ...she was my best friend and it kills me to this day that she isn't here with me..I miss her everyday

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    1. For some owners, although it may seem selfish, watching a pet die really is too much to bear. I've been a vet tech for 18 years now, and I used to get incredibly upset when an owner wouldn't stay for the euthanasia. It felt like those owners were abandoning their pets, and I just couldn't understand why anyone would do that. Over time, though, I came to respect the fact that it's an incredibly personal decision. And really, if an owner truly feels they can't be present, then they probably shouldn't be. Our pets pick up on our emotions, and if we are overly upset then that will cause them more anxiety than being with a vet or tech (or assistant) who is being calm and soothing. One of the docs I work for can't be with his own pets when they're euthanized, because he's so upset and doesn't want his pets to feed off his distress. (Just think of how many dogs feed off their owners' anxiety in the exam room, but become calmer when you walk them back into the treatment area.)

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    2. When I took my girl of 17 yrs. into the office (it was an emergency case). I was told by the tech. that the Vet didn't like the owners to be in the room so I left. That was the Biggest mistake I ever made.As I was standing at the counter all I heard was her howling. I still cry because even after 4 years I hear her last moments over and over again.

      I have now been Fostering for a Boxer rescue for almost 3 years in her memory. Most of the dogs we take in are Hospice fosters and I am with every single one of them when they pass.

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  37. Thank you for your excellent piece. We recently put down a dog, and the vet tech was amazing. Her words to my mom, "You are doing the right thing," was something my mom really needed to hear at that moment. My parents have bee devoted pet owners for my entire life and have sadly had to see many dogs over the rainbow bridge, including multiple strays they adopted. But this dog was a different case because she had belonged to my mom's very dear friend who had passed away only three months earlier. My mom felt she had failed her departed friend by "allowing" this to happen. Of course, Mom had "allowed" nothing to happen - the dog was 14 years old and was on 3 daily medications for a heart murmur. Mom mourned all of our pets who left us, but had never blamed herself as she did for this one. The emergency vet wasn't allowed to recommend euthanisia, so hearing the vet tech - an educated professional - say, "You are doing the right thing" and "This is the choice I would have made for my dog" was something my mom desperately needed to hear.

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  38. Thank you Kelsey for your wonderfully written and thoughtful advice. I'm crying my eyes out as I'm reliving having to have my Maggie (14 year old poodle cross) put to sleep just over a year ago. She'd been battling kidney failure then suddenly had a seizure. My husband and I rushed her to the vet's, with me cradling her, in her bed. The vet gently explained there was nothing more that could be done, and it was time to make a hard decision. He said it would be painless and quick and she would just go into a deep sleep. I couldn't leave her, so I gently held her and softly told her over and over that I loved her, I was sorry and it would be okay. It took only a couple of seconds after I gave the vet the nod, for her to slip silently away. She had loved me so much, as I loved her. The vet cried with us, and then gave us some time together. I couldn't have let her go through that on her own. I missed her so much that after 5 or 6 weeks, we adopted another 'senior' rescue dog who'd had a rough life and we love him very much. He's helped to heal my heart, but I'll always miss Maggie. Kind regards, Annie, Australia

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  39. I shouldn't have read this at work and need to stop reading the comments for now...I'm a mess. I lost 1 dog a little over a year ago...I was out of town...he got very sick and passed...I never got to say goodbye :( Now the dog I've had since she was 8 weeks old is just days away from her 15th birthday. I'm trying my best to cherish every minute I have with her, and not fear how hard it will be when she's gone.

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  40. I have had seven dogs and four cats that I have had to say good bye to. It doesn't get any easier with everyone. I don't know if I could sleep at night without knowing that I did the best thing for my babies, because they were suffering. I was there, looking into the eyes, singing their own special songs, and petting them...... with all but one, and I couldn't be there for that one....I still feel bad that I couldn't be there to this day, and it has been 30 years. I don't know if it was my imagination or what, but with each baby I saw understanding in their eyes....it was like they were saying, "It's ok Mom". There was no fear, no panic, they just seemed to say I love you....my Schatzie put her paw on my hand and nuzzled, then looked directly into my eyes with that message. It was always ok, if I were there it seems. Not being there with my Buster is much more difficult to handle than all the other experiences. So, if you have a fur baby that is precious to you, and has loved you unconditionally all their lives, please be there for them at their last moments. You are their life, and you'll go with them when they leave here, and you too will be able to sleep at night knowing the best was done. I thank the teck for this info...everyone needs to know how important these 5 things are...for you and your pet. I would add one thing, make sure you find a kind and loving and understanding vet, that knows what they are doing....important!

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  41. I wish you had told people that not all vets use the two shot method. As difficult as it is to discuss - I think people need to know that the potentiality for negative side effects during the process are much greater if only one shot is used. When I was at an emergency room one time, with a cat that needed to be put down - I had a verbal battle with the vet because he was used to using only one shot, and two shots would "cost more." - - - but I wanted to do all I could to make Frick's passing (he was a terrified but terminally traumatized feral) as peaceful as possible. If they don't know what method is used, they need to ask!!! (Best to do it now, before the need is there).

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  42. Our vet came to our house to send our dog to sleep. It made all of the difference for us, and we will be forever grateful to our vet and the technician that helped.

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  43. Kelsey: A friend just passed this article on to us. It is beautiful and I wish I had had it a few weeks ago. We had to put our sweet boy down on the 15th of November and we are having a touch time. We did hold him and love on him and he passed quietly and peacefully. It is such a hard time for all of us!! We will always miss him.

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  44. Unfortunately our sweet boy was drowning in his own fluids - he had chronic bronchitis for a while and the vet thinks he blew a heart valve when coughing. We needed it to be swift because he was suffering so, but we are heartbroken still. Last year we could not put our tree up because all of our dogs have a section of ornaments. This year we got it up but not without tears of sadness. We held him as tightly as we could, we whispered in his little ear, and we kissed him all over as he fell asleep. It is the most difficult thing we have had to do. He was our first, now we have two older dogs following behind and we appreciate this article so much.

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  45. Thank you so much. Great advice about a very difficult subject.

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  46. When I took my beloved agility Weim to the vet for the last time we stopped at the ice cream stand. Maggie LOVED ice cream and always got some for running agility. The stand hadn't opened but the operator was there. I told her this was Maggie's last outing and I was hoping to get her some ice cream one more time. The operator asked what flavor would Maggie would like as she turned the machine on just for us. I will be ever thankful for such a caring soul.

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  47. I also think it is important for your pet have a vet or vet tech who knows them. When we had to let Scout our beagle cross over we took him to the vet office where they knew him and loved him. Scout would always go behind the desk to visit with the vet techs and that is where the treats started. They had a room read with a blanket and lots of treats. Scout's passing was full of laughs and tears by everyone and at stress free as possible.

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  48. If your own dogs panic when you take their collars off, please make their lives less stressfull by implementing a countetconditioning and desensitization protocol for both taking the collar off and the bath itself. As a fellow CVT I know behavior isn't strongly emphasized in many clinics but we need to do better for our clients and our own animals

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  49. I've had to go through this with 3 dogs and 2 cats. I've been there with each one, bawling, kissing and crying as I type this. Blessed to have had each of them with me 15 years. Luckier than most but not near enough. I know have a senior cat since we rescued him w/ deformed paws at 4 weeks. He's 12-1/2 and we love him. Yes, we stayed, we held, we kissed and we grieved.

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  50. Thank you so much for your article. You have a heart as big as out vet does. He has had to euthanize a few of my dear ones, two of them at our home because they were such large labs. The last one was a large chocolate lab ( over 100#) and was having seizures. The vet got down on the sidewalk and held him and cried with us before beginning the process. He is a dear man and a good friend. Rhett passed on knowing how loved he was. Not something we look forward to doing but so glad that there are people like you and him that make the process more understanding and forgiving. Love all the fur babies that have been in my life.

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  51. Bridget and Mark WelscherDecember 9, 2015 at 6:43 PM

    This is great advice for everyone. Lost my first Pembroke Welsh Corgi in Feb of 2013 and it was the hardest thing for my husband and I to go through. I felt like my heart was permanently broken and just felt so horrible. Reading your article was so moving and really gave great advice. It also really helped that everyone at the vet clinic we used loved our Toby as much as we did. The vet staff kept in touch with us and were happy to see us come back with our new Corgi puppy.

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  52. I've been with far more animals during euthanasia than I can count.

    I always have the vet come to our home, if possible, and it usually is. That way, the animal is at ease and also, the other animals in the household can see the body and realize that he is dead and has not simply disappeared. They need to grieve too.

    One thing I'd like to add-- if you've made an appointment and your companion is suddenly better, don't be afraid to cancel. I've had animals suddenly rally and live another few months. Others only had one good day and then it was obvious it was time. But not only have you given them the time they had left, but you make certain your conscience is absolutely clear. Grief is difficult enough without adding guilt.

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  53. One thing I very much encourage..do NOT hold your pet when it's time to do 'it'...maybe a hand on the hindquarters, but do NOT be holding the animal. I did that with my super beloved german shepherd that got hip problems and went down early, I wish I had never done that,and never will again. I'd tell you why but maybe you can figure it out, I don't think I could get thru typing it

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  54. I'm bawling like a baby reading this, surrounded by the new loves of my life, my precious fur babies, but never forgetting when I had to make this decision myself to put my beloved rescue pup down. I wish I had known some of this then. Changes I would've made to make both my time and my pup's time in the exam room easier for both of us. Thank you for a well written article.

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  55. Yesterday, I had to make the ultimate act of compassion for my sweet 19.5 yr old kitty. This post could not have come at a better time for me. Thank you for writing these words. Although I cried again, they gave me a great sense of comfort. <3 Tina

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  56. Beautiful, you made me cry! My dad and step mother recently had to put two of our dogs down they were both Blue Healers but the male was blind and deaf and with living on a farm and being 12 years old it was time a very sad time they were not able to have children so their baby was named Chance and the second also a blue healer had cancer her name was Lacey she was 8, this all happened within 2 months of each other :(

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  57. I had to put down my guinea pig in an emergency situation (my piggy was my baby and we only got 3 years together)as soon as the vet looked at him I could tell he was even worse then the 20 minutes that it took to get there, as soon as she told me the only option would be to put him down I asked if we could do it right that second, she told me they don't do it infront of us, but she would bring him right back....I was balling my eyes out and I apologized to her, and she said you never have to apologize to me for loving your pet. she brought him right back and I got to hold him and talk to him and pet him and love him till he passed, and then I got to old him till I was ready to let him go.
    I had to go by myself as my husband was at work, it was 11pm and when I came out 2 nice ladies were in the waiting room and as I was standing by the door, I could tell one of the ladies asked the receptionist if I was ok and she told them what had happened and one of the ladies walked over and asked if she could hug me (I have touch phobias) and at that point I didn't even care who it was I hugged them back, and was so glad to have someone there.
    the next day I donated all of his things and waited to hear when his cremains would be back. It has been 3 months and I am preparing to move to a new place, I miss him so much but tomorrow I go to set my appointment for him memorial tattoo

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  58. adding to so many comments seems somewhat pointless, but just to say that 4,231 homeless dogs were put to sleep last year. If you are in any position to, please advocate non-breeding, micro-chipping. Each and every one of those 4,231 dogs were scared and alone, and were very likely to be just as special as your dog.

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    Replies
    1. When you advocate for only rescue, you reward the irresponsible & those motivated solely by profit. Meanwhile, the caring & responsible breeder who does everything right by getting all health testing done, using only dogs of sound temperament & raising puppies in the house with love & proper socialization - they are vilified as equally evil as the puppy millers. It's not a simple answer. The question is too complicated for that

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  59. I did everything you posted here. I made it as happy as it could be for her. I brought a bag full of treats and gave every single one to her. I let her enjoy the things she truly loved before leaving us. It was so hard on us and to this day I cry. Only because I miss her and loved her so dearly. They say you have 1 very special friend in your life like I did. Not that you cannot have another. But, there is one that was that good in everything she did and was. Mine was her, Kaycee. And it's been 6years and I still cry when I think of how much I miss her to this day. I love you Kaycee bug.

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  60. I'm crying reading this! Thank you for sharing this - as a fur momma 3 times over AND a foster momma my furbabies are my EVERYTHING and I would always do whatever I can to make them feel safe and loved.

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  61. Thanks, Kelsey. We're actually preparing for this now with our kitty, so this is an incredibly helpful read.

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  62. Rats. Most people think of them and go "eurgh, they're dirty, they carry disease". In fact, they're fastidiously clean, intelligent, and extremely loving. I fell in love with them. Problem is, they only last 2-3 years at the most. You invest your love in such a precious little animal with the most amazing personality, and you only get such a small time with them. Euthanizing them is so, so difficult, because the injection has to be done into the heart, otherwise the passing is painful. Luckily, my vet gives them a whiff of gas first, so that they're unconscious when this happens. I choose to cremate them, too, so we have their ashes at home. We made a decision that, when we die, we will have their ashes, along with our cat's ashes, mixed with ours, and scattered together. We've just lost one of our cats, Oscar, an extremely lovely boy. He'd had cancer for a while, so we made an appointment a week in advance so we could spend some time with him. I'm so glad we did. We spent the final day snuggled up on the sofa with him, feeding him treats and loving him. It was a good way to remember him.

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  63. nice job! well done!! good information for us to have!! very well done. Thank you!

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  64. Thank you for this. Tomorrow we'll be putting our dog down due to cancer and to say this has been an awful week is an understatement. As hard as it was to read this, I'm thankful for the info. x

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  65. This is a lovely article and having a beautiful (feisty) 16 year old toy poodle I am preparing to go through the grief of letting him go. After reading this article and reading the comments I feel as though I was a coward when I stopped in Reno, NV at an emergency vet to have my beloved Raggs released from his pain of his cancer. I was a long haul truck driver and we had been fighting his cancer for 4 months. He seemed to be doing well, enjoying the ride and getting out to run at the truck stops. Then one day in July of '04 his little body gave up and when I woke from my shift of sleeping (my husband was driving) Raggy couldn't stand up anymore and his eyes told of his suffering. We were going through Reno on I-80 and found an emergency vet clinic that let us park our truck and trailer in their lot. We took him in and when the Vet told us it was "time". I kissed my Raggy and and told him how much I loved him but I was emotionally unable to stay with him so I left...I felt as though my heart would burst and it was only keeping an 18 wheeler on the road and safe that got me through the next few days without my little furbaby in the shotgun seat next to me. I would be remiss if I did not say that I regret not being with him at the end but, as I said, I was a coward. I will never do that again and plan on being with my best friends at the end (no longer driving truck) and helping ease them into the next world. I did receive a beautiful card from the Emergency Vet Clinic that explained that the vet techs loved on him and hugged him as he passed....bless them. But it still does not erase the guilt that I feel that I will always have. I now have three rescue babies that I will do right by when the time comes....in memory of my first pup Raggs............

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    1. Raggs was your beloved friend who was also your "teacher" -- he has no anger or bad feelings about you not being there with him physically -- because you WERE there with him, in spirit. I am willing to bet he will come, tail wagging, to greet each one of your babies when it's time for you to have them released from their suffering. And he will smile at you in spirit because he has never stopped loving you.

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  66. I couldn't be there for my dear kitty Nikki when it was her time- I had moved off to grad school 11 hours away and left her with my parents where she was comfortable. Her kidneys weren't doing so well and finally after 3 months of being a part, she lost weight drastically and had to be sent to the Rainbow Bridge. My parents took her but they didn't stay with her because my mom was sick and my dad had to be with her. I'm comforted to know that vet techs probably took my place to comfort Nikki in her last moments. And very thankful to them.

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  67. I just had to do this the day before Thanksgiving with my three-year-old cat. Stoney had colon cancer; as a vet assistant myself, I had ample access to whatever resources he needed, and I was there during the surgery where we removed the first tumor. It looked horrible. A few months later, he lost all the weight he had gained back since surgery and had to strain every time he went to the litter box just to get out a couple drops of bloody diarrhea. It was heartbreaking, especially since he was so young and he was the first cat that was mine (rather than my parents'), but I know I made the right decision. In his last days, I gave him all the tuna, milk, and lunch meat he would eat, and when it was time to go, I lined his carrier with catnip. I went in on a day when I wasn't working and had it done (staying with him all the while) and then went to my dad's and held his body while my dad dug him a grave beside my childhood cat's. It was the worst day I've had in a very long time, but I know he had a good last few days.

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  68. I have a very distinct memory from when I was fourteen. One of our cats (Boo was only a year old) was shot in the spine by a BB Gun. She was paralyzed and I found her the morning after she'd gone missing right outside our house. My dad and I rushed her to the hospital, but she had to be put down. She'd never be able to walk again. I cried and told her I loved her. I'm grateful I was there. It was a painful memory, but an extremely important one as well. Thank you for this article, it's very important to tell people this. Animals are special and deserve to be treated with love and kindness.

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  69. I wish I could have been with my Keiko when she was euthanized. But I couldn't. I just couldn't. She was attacked by a dog. Her back was broken. She was in so much pain, the vet gave her a sedative while we were there, then took her to the back room. I couldn't handle it. I was a wreck and had such a hard time processing it all. It happened so fast. She was my little angelbaby, my Keiko, I loved her like I love my children. She was an amazing little cat and I miss her every day, but staying with her when she died just wasn't something I could do and I regret it so much but I couldn't do it. I'll grieve her loss till the day I die. :(

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  70. I have been with my dogs when it was their time. Thank you for affirming the decisions I made.

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  71. I have so far been fortunate to only need to euthanize one pet - my beloved cat that was my closest companion for about 15 years. I didn't see it coming, either. She started acting a bit odd, and I knew she was old, but I figured I'd have a few more years with her. But after running tests, I found out she had prevalent malignant cancer and even if they made her more comfortable right then, she'd be gone within a few months. I knew that whatever day I had to say goodbye, I would not be able to function at all, and I made the tough call to just let her go that day.

    I didn't have time to prepare, but it also meant I didn't have time to dread it. I hugged and cuddled her and cried my eyes out. Just thinking about it making me tear up right now.

    I lost it when she went, and am just fortunate my wife was there to handle things like the arrangements for her cremation and paying the bill and driving home, because I was a worthless wreck all day.

    I still miss her terribly and think about her all the time. I hated seeing her go, but I'm glad the last thing she saw as she slipped off to sleep was my face. She was calm right at the end.

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  72. Important conversation, everyone. I had to put my horse down after many months of trying to help her get well -- she was done and she let us know. My wise vet said that it's every owner's responsibility AND PRIVILEGE to be able to ease their beloved animal out of this world. Your pet doesn't know what's coming next, so don't project your angst onto them, and don't keep them around in pain because you're having trouble letting go. As my vet said, it's our responsibility and privilege to help them and save them from suffering. They give so much to us -- knowing when to let go lets us give back to them.

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    Replies
    1. True but folks, don't get into a guilt trip wondering if you let your pet live "beyond its days", if you know what I mean. Sometimes, IMHO, unless they are gasping for breath and dying right in front of you -- sometimes it's the pet itself telling us they want to stay a while longer.

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  73. Every vet who has euthanized one of my kitties has explained the process to me (even the vet who was so grumpy!!!!). I sang to each kitty on the day they passed, hugged, loved and explained to them what was happening. I left their collars on (I should have taken Miss P's collar off before RM set in, but that's another story. It eventually got taken off respectfully -- oh the poor lady at the crema place...). I stayed with them (obvious, from my former comments), I helped them transition to the next world as they passed, by visualizing their souls taking flight. I ONLY HOPE SOMEONE DOES THAT FOR ME WHEN I DIE!!!!
    (And my heart broke into a million pieces after their souls left their bodies. AS for them-- I can only hope toy said "Whee!! I feel so good now!! Oh, my Meowmie is receding from my sight!! But I'll be back!!!")

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  74. "I can only hope toy said "
    THEY, not toy
    (Bless you Spel Check)

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  75. She is absolutely right!!! I did all these steps in April when we had to lay our Beautiful girl Blue to rest due to breast cancer. I was so happy that I stayed with her, at first I didn't want to but I did and I cried and laughed we talked to her about all the joy she had brought us. The vet talked us through all the steps and gave us as much time as we needed. Three days after she was gone my grandkids came and we released 12 blue balloons to honour her. Blue for her name and 12 for her age. Rest in peace my beautiful Blue we think and talk about you often!!!

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  76. Very good article.Brings back a lot of memories of 4/11/13 when we had to euthanize our Riley,a beautiful,handsome Cocker Spaniel that was our baby.He is forever in our hearts,never to be forgotten.

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  77. Thank you for this beautiful and thoughtful article. I still cry whenever I think of my cat whom I had to help to the Bridge many years ago.

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  78. I can't stress enough how much it will help to have "paid in advance" or pre-planned the billing. Being in the middle of a meltdown because you have lost a beloved friend & being asked to pay isn't a good thing.....(been there, done that)

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  79. Hi I lost my sweet boy in May. He had heart issues and Liver cancer. I knew his time was short and I was prepared to help him on that awful Thursday. So early that morning though things took a really bad turn for the worse and he suffered. I called my vet as soon as I saw he was in big trouble but had to wait 1 1/2 hours for them to arrive, I felt so helpless and that time seemed endless I tried so hard to keep calm for him but ended up going almost frantic. By the vet got here my sweet boy was on his side and I think was almost gone anyway. I have never felt such pain in all my life. The grief is bad enough but I also have this quilt that I left it too late to help him. I pray to God that what he experienced was worse for me to see than it was for him to go through. Also I pray to God that he knew I was with him until the very end. He really was my heart dog and going through this has left me with PTSD. I do so agree now better a week too early than a week too late. I feel I failed him so much. I will always love you my beautiful sweet Gadget beagle. I feel for anyone having to go through this and so hope you get the timing right because it is not always that easy.

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  80. I want to thank you so much for this article. I read this the day before I had to euthanize my beloved Bella on December 10th. Paying before hand and keep her collar on ws wonderful advice. I am grieving so, and it has been 5 days.

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  81. I always encourage clients to stay, I explain in detail from walking into the room (we always have a nice blanket covering the table and a chair next to it for them) letting them know they are in control of the entire process they can take as much time as they need and not to feel rushed. I explain giving the sedative and why, administering the ethanol what to expect and what could happen, and that it is normal and ok to feel guilt during and afterward, control but they just made the most difficult, loving and selfless decision for their baby they ever have. I also encourage getting a paw print whether they get ashes back or not. The clients that can't are usually concerned about what happens to their baby afterwards, I tell them that the crematorium we use takes the ashes and spreads them on the flowers in their memorial garden they have there.

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  82. Very nice post, impressive. its quite different from other posts. Thanks for sharing.

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  83. What a stunning article!! I had to let my Cleo go on 15 December 2015 - 4 days before my own birthday! She was 17 years old, and was my first baby, we have shared so many memories, she has seen both my children grow up, my wedding, Christmasses and Birthdays. She house trained all our other dogs and did such an amazing job. I love her dearly still. Time came and off course I was very saddened, but my Vet was fantastic, we had our own little room and were left alone, I cried, laughed and we shared memories - me obviously carrying on do you remember this and when we did that and when you pulled all the blinds apart, I laughed and cried a bit longer and a bit more, stayed with her till the very end, whispering and holding her tight. After it all, I took her home and had her funeral, made her cross for her grave and still sit and spend time. Thank you for your blog!!

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  84. Thank you for such a beautiful article. It def helps more than you may realise. Unfortunately I read it 2 days to late as I had to make the decision to have my best friend euthanized after 3 hard but priceless months of caring for him throughout the final stages of a 15cm tumor on his kidneys... It would be made all the difference to me to have read this article prior to assist with the preparation of the actual euthanasia process and massively would've made the world of difference if I was more prepared for what was to follow once it had been done ie: coming home without my friend and the days to follow what to expect etc the tips on preparing for that make so much sense to me now that I am having to experience it as I write this response... Thank you again

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  85. I'm a veterinarian and at this time in my career my practice is limited to performing home euthanasias. Your post is terrific and hits so many nails right on the head. Thanks for so beautifully sharing your thoughts and suggestions.

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  86. Kelsey Beth,

    Thank you so much for your counsel during a difficult experience.

    When we adopted Dixie from the Humane Society, we had been told that many puppy mill mothers end with kidney failure due, in part, to the doses of antibiotics fed to them. So we had her checked out by our vet and found that one kidney had already failed and the 2nd was partially gone; but, for the past 2 years, she was stable. Then, in November, her 2nd kidney started failing and she steadily declined.

    After 2 1/2 years of being able to enjoy the BEST dog in the world, last Wednesday morning Dixie took her last walk through the neighborhood with my wife, and, in the afternoon, we hugged her good night for the last time. I woke up around 3 AM the next morning and jotted down the following verses...

    Hear our tears, they mourn aloud…
    We weep for her, adorned in shroud.
    She brought such joy to all she met –
    More than a dog. More than a pet.

    Being good was never hard
    Which made her held in high regard.
    Her single goal was just to please,
    Which she performed with grace and ease.

    Our thoughts she knew (and that’s no joke);
    Our words she heard before we spoke.
    She had no faults or flaws to mend,
    She was the BEST – the perfect friend.

    Her life was brief, yet filled with love,
    So now her place is far above.
    The Rainbow Bridge is her new home,
    With no more pain she now can roam.

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  87. One of the hardest parts for me was, after a sudden illness and euthanasia for our beloved dog, to go up and have to deal with a massive vet bill. In our case, the final straw was hearing that we would need to pay another few hundred dollars to get our friend's remains back. In the emotional upheaval of just having watched my dear dog die, I chose not to pay that extra cost and then had to tell my kids that there would be no body to bury nor ashes to spread. I know that vets have legitimate costs, but to pay thousands of dollars when your animal dies is extra-awful.

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  89. It is fully true what you are writing here. As a man with 52 years it brought me tears in my eyes again. I remember to my Giango (Yorkie, died in 2002) and Gizmo (Border Terrier, died in 2009). Unfortunately I was not in vet hospital when Giango died on recovering from a heavy intestinal operation. But I was with Gizmo when he had to be eutanized because of a brain tumor. I have now two dogs and I don't want to think to the day I have to make my decision. Fortunately Zurich vet hospital deals with the bill later in that case. I could pay it when I pick up the cremated remains of my beloved friend.

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  90. OK this made me cry! If someone else mentioned this above I may have missed it, so excuse me if so. But one thing I've heard about is that some Vets will come to your home to perform the euthanasia. Obviously this is a well planned out scenario between you and your Vet. What I like about this idea is that it removes the anxiety that many pets feel when going to the vet...and for their owners as well. The fact that our Lab would be in her home surrounded by her humans and her Ridgeback "baby sister" just feels like a nice alternative. I'm one of those people who find it difficult to cry in public (stoic Scottish heritage!)so to be at home would remove a lot of that anxiety for me and therefore for the dog as well. I really loved the idea of taking her first to her favorite beach, or, park on her last day & surrounding her with her favorite toys and blanket! Excellent article, thank you!

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  91. I've been there for all of my fur babies when they passed. Best thing I ever did. They give you their whole life, it's the least we can do to be there for them at the end to comfort them as they pass. Thank you for this well written post.

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  92. I've been there for all of my fur babies when they passed. Best thing I ever did. They give you their whole life, it's the least we can do to be there for them at the end to comfort them as they pass. Thank you for this well written post.

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  93. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  94. his is a great article. I would also add under preparation, decide how you are going to handle the remains. We had a friend with a large dog. She made arrangements to have the dog cremated but did not give the vessel much thought. It was very shocking to her when she arrived to pick up the dog's ashes and there were two packages. The vessel was too small for her dog's ashes. So the hospital had put the other half in a sealed plastic bag in a cardboard box. She was still very upset over the loss of her long time friend and the shock of having him in two containers freaked her out. She said that she should have asked the vet how large a vessel to bring. She also said that she would have had them dispose of any ashes that did not fit. Being a a fragile state after the process, she just lost her self control and sat on the floor of the vet office and bawled with the two containers. So it is good to ask questions and prepare for what to do with the remains before the process.

    An item 6 would help those with multiple dogs.

    6. Help Your Other Dogs Grieve - Make plans to help your other dogs and pets understand the passing of their pack mate. Dogs grieve when one of their pack mates die. If you take the dog and it just does not come back, the dog can have a hard time understanding or processing why they never come back. This sudden disappearance can also cause behavior issues and anxiety for the remaining dogs. Our vet has suggested bringing our other dog to the hospital after we put the dog down. The vet does not suggest having the other dog(s) at the hospital during the process due to their possible anxiety and associating the hospital with death. She said having the other dogs around if you do it at home, in a familiar place, is not a bad idea. The vet suggested bringing the other dog(s) back to the hospital, they would bring the deceased dog out to our vehicle and let the other dog sniff and nuzzle the body. It helps them to understand their pack mate has passed. The vet said it works better to bring the body out instead of bringing the dog in to the vet hospital. You don't want the dog to associate going in the vet hospital with dying. By seeing the body and understanding the dog has died, it lets the other dog(s) begin their grieving.

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  95. his is a great article. I would also add under preparation, decide how you are going to handle the remains. We had a friend with a large dog. She made arrangements to have the dog cremated but did not give the vessel much thought. It was very shocking to her when she arrived to pick up the dog's ashes and there were two packages. The vessel was too small for her dog's ashes. So the hospital had put the other half in a sealed plastic bag in a cardboard box. She was still very upset over the loss of her long time friend and the shock of having him in two containers freaked her out. She said that she should have asked the vet how large a vessel to bring. She also said that she would have had them dispose of any ashes that did not fit. Being a a fragile state after the process, she just lost her self control and sat on the floor of the vet office and bawled with the two containers. So it is good to ask questions and prepare for what to do with the remains before the process.

    An item 6 would help those with multiple dogs.

    6. Help Your Other Dogs Grieve - Make plans to help your other dogs and pets understand the passing of their pack mate. Dogs grieve when one of their pack mates die. If you take the dog and it just does not come back, the dog can have a hard time understanding or processing why they never come back. This sudden disappearance can also cause behavior issues and anxiety for the remaining dogs. Our vet has suggested bringing our other dog to the hospital after we put the dog down. The vet does not suggest having the other dog(s) at the hospital during the process due to their possible anxiety and associating the hospital with death. She said having the other dogs around if you do it at home, in a familiar place, is not a bad idea. The vet suggested bringing the other dog(s) back to the hospital, they would bring the deceased dog out to our vehicle and let the other dog sniff and nuzzle the body. It helps them to understand their pack mate has passed. The vet said it works better to bring the body out instead of bringing the dog in to the vet hospital. You don't want the dog to associate going in the vet hospital with dying. By seeing the body and understanding the dog has died, it lets the other dog(s) begin their grieving.

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  96. It would be nice if vets didn't charge an extra $100+ to be in the room with your dog as they are euthanized. I'm told the difference is whether a tech performs the procedure or if a vet does it because you want to be there. Makes me wonder what happens to your pet when a tech does it, and when you're not there with them...

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  98. I'm glad I was with my Mozart, as he crossed over, the vet talks me into staying with him, I have no regrets, I even talked to him till I was told he was gone, then I let it all go, the vet was very compassionate , a rare thing

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  99. This so very true. In addition to being a very proud owner of usually multiple dogs over a period of 30+ years, I am also a registered vet tech although it has been a long time (maybe 18 years) since I have worked in a clinic, so I have been on both side of the desk so to speak. Most of our dogs have been euthanized in clinic, although a few were PTS at home. Some have been buried at home, some cremated. Most of the time I am able to contain my grief until I get home and can let loose and wail. However the absolute worst experience was this: my heart dog -- you know you love all of your animals, but now and then there comes along the One who is truly your heart and soul -- at age 7 suddenly became sick. Treatment efforts did not work so we went to exploratory surgery. I had no sooner got home after leaving him at the clinic when the surgery tech called and said "you have to come back". He had a tumor in the colon the size of a grapefruit, no doubt an aggressive cancer. The merciful thing was PTS on the table without even waking him up. I spent a few minutes with him and then said "it's time". So he was put to sleep then and there. The doc left the surgery suite and then I fell apart. I have never been so close to being absolutely hysterical with grief. I will never forget the kindness of the surgery tech, who closed doors, brought me a chair, and quietly went about her business until I pulled myself together. That was 2 years ago and I remember the day as if it happened yesterday.

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  100. Thank you for posting your words. Sharing.

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  101. When I had to have my first dog put down, she had an inoperable tumor on her spine that paralyzed her, so we couldn't do a hike or day at the beach (she was only 9). But I brought her a chicken breast and her favorite toys, and lay on the floor next to her for 90 minutes in a private room while the vet waited until I was ready. Still breaks my heart. Two dogs since died on their own, both within days of my having booked their final session at the vet. Difficult for me, but better for them. Current do is just over 2 and I hope to not have to go through this again for well over a decade.

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  102. Great article. I also couldn't get through it without crying for my dogs who have passed years ago, and will be missed until I am reunited with them at the Rainbow Bridge.

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  103. I was working at an emergency clinic (evenings and weekends) A woman came in with a small dog that had apparently been under treatment else where, apparently something had gone wrong so she brought her dog to us for euthanasia. I don't know all the details, but the owner was very angry about the whole situation. As I held her dog for the vet I could feel the hatred emanating from her, I looked down at the dog, I saw nothing but fear in his eyes. Because of his tiny veins the vet had inserted a catheter and was ready to inject the dosage. I spoke up and said "wait". I turned to her and told her that no matter what she was feeling about the vet who had been treating her dog, she needed to dump that attitude and do nothing but send loving thoughts to her dog. I said I would hold her dog in my arms if she wanted to go to the waiting room and adjust her thoughts and not come back until she could do that. Personally I wanted to slap her, I really didn't care what she thought or did but I did care about her dog and wanted his last minutes filled with love.

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  104. I once worked with the vet from hell. If a pet died while under our care he called and told the owner that their pet wasn't doing well and they should come in and say good bye. Once they arrived, they were stopped at the front desk to pay their bill and upon entering the exam rooms they were told that their pet had just died, would they like to spend some time with their dog?
    When I asked why it was done this way, he said that if he called people to tell them their pet had died, they'd never pay the balance on their bill.

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  106. I had to make this decision last week. Thank you for this post!

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  108. We have made the difficult decision to have our sweet girl Mocha put to sleep. I have been reading all sorts of posts about euthanasia and the process since I scheduled the appointment. Mocha came to us through a family friend who was no longer able to care for her - she was 6 years old at the time. When we first went to pick her up I thought how fun it would be to have a family pet - by the time we drove home she was no longer a pet but, part of the family. Our baby is now 15, she is blind, she is deaf and suffers from arthritis. It breaks my heart to hear her cry in pain and not no what to do to make her pain go away.

    Your blog and all the comments have been very helpful. I have never experienced anything like this so reading through and knowing I can have my vet walk me through the process ahead of time is reassuring. Thank you for such a helpful blog - I am going to go pay for everything in advance so that the day of I don't have to think about it. We decided she will not go through this on her own with the Tech and the Vet, we will be with her (holding her in my arms if possible). She has been such a wonderful dog and just thinking about the day makes me sad but, it is not about me....it is about what is best for her.

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