The service of pet home euthanasia is arelatively new offering. Most people do not even know it is available across thecountry. While the idea is unfamiliar to many, the concept is simple: Rather than take your pet to the family veterinarian’s office for his last moments, a veterinarian comes to your home for the service. It is a wonderful alternative way to approach your animal’s transition.
When my clients ask me how I can offer euthanasia as a service, I say “I get to be around love, everyday.” Putting dogs “to sleep” is emotionally hard on veterinarians and performing euthanasia takes strength on the part of any veterinarian. Many of us will shed a tear with you. Yet this is nothing compared to the courage and fortitude that my clients and patients must endure to get through the eminent separation from one another, the last loving moment when they have to say good-bye for the very last time. Being sensitive to the struggles they are facing, I go to them with reverence. I am grateful and honored to be the one chosen at that time for each person and their pet.
As a veterinarian who practices holistic medicine, I never give up on the hope of life. But that is not the position I am in when an owner calls me for euthanasia. At that point, the focus is on an animal that is clearly and irreversibly declining. An animal chaplain I know said she believes that owners pick up the phone and call me because their pet is communicating their readiness to pass over or transition.At that time, people ask me a myriad of questions: “How do I know when it isthe right time?” or “What do I say to my children?” People often experience feelings of guilt, wondering if they waited too long or not long enough. As a traditional veterinarian with a holistic, alternative philosophy, I begin by discussing the medical conditions, the prognosis or outcome of those medical conditions and then help my clients gauge the severity of their pet’s condition.Together, we total up the problems and see if the moment is close. I embellish the medical condition with spiritual, social and psychological considerations to make each situation concentrate on a more “whole” life approach. My potential clients—friends on the other end of the telephone—are grateful at the end of our initial conversation. I have helped them clearly understand where they are at this point of the decision. Every situation is true and correct for them alone. It may not be true for the next person.
To help people with the struggle of making the decision, I may recommend they get additional medical advice from the family veterinarian, who is most familiar with their dog’s situation. Their veterinarian may have performed a recent examination which may prove that the owner’s intuition is correct and it is the right time for euthanasia. I urge my clients to trust their own instincts and their own hearts. They are the designated guardians for their pets, and no one on this planet could take better care of their pets. This makes them the final and best judge, not me. I simply provide the details of the process involved with in-home euthanasia.
Euthanasia done in your home provides a more peaceful and relaxing environment for you and your pet. It allows you to take the time you and your family need for acceptance and healing.Time for saying good-bye in the home usually takes around one hour (or a little longer), from beginning to end. In addition to being in a comfortable and familiar setting, your pet will appreciate not having to take a bumpy car ride that jostles their joints and causes them pain. They get to transition at home,where they feel safe.
Dr. Michelle Morrison – Excerpt from the book Your Dog’s Golden Years www.SeniorDogBooks.com