The Final Decision

Yesterday afternoon, we had to euthanize our elderly dog, Squeaky, who's been living with kidney failure for about a month. I've been giving her subQ fluids since she returned from the ER, but this Monday, my husband and I realized that we'd been keeping her alive for us, not for her.

As a friend mentioned, it was a tough realization. I scheduled a home #euthanasia service. I feel very grateful we could afford the service since it's much less stressful on the animal -- not having to go to a scary clinic for the last few minutes or hour of life -- and being in a safe, familiar space with all family members present.

Squeaky was feeling pretty good yesterday, which made it paradoxically difficult, because I wondered if I should've waited, and easier, because she was able to roll in the grass (one of her fave hobbies) one last time. She settled easily between my husband and me on the grass, relaxed. Her brothers, Ted and Chip, were there, too. The #CaringPathways vet was gentle and respectful. The process was quick and painless for her, but my heart, oh my heart!

Today, I grieve, but also ponder: who am I to decide it's time for another being to die? I don't feel worthy to make such a monumental decision, yet I did because it was my responsibility.

Further, I wonder, if it's OK to euthanize pets, why don't humans accept and perform it for each other? Wouldn't it be a more humane approach than watching a loved one disintegrate from dementia or waste away from cancer? Aren't very ill people who do decide on euthanasia for themselves the truly enlightened among us? 

I think it's time for me to write a living will so in case I'm unconscious or unable to state my wishes, my humans will know them. Part of it will state:

Love me enough to let me go. Don't allow me to linger in sickness or injury when my quality of life has diminished substantially or disappeared altogether. Thank you for being strong enough to make the final decision for me.

Run free, Squeaky! I love you and will keep you in my heart always until I see you again on the #RainbowBridge. ❤️🌈🐾

(Thank you to Dr. Mindy of Caring Pathways of Denver. I sincerely appreciate your compassion for our girl.)