"The problem here is a totalitarian uniformity, a cult-like mentality such that even allies are enemies if they fail to follow the Exact Party Line. " - Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saying Goodby To A Beloved Pet

No I am not doing that right now thank g-d! But I have had to and it was hands-down the hardest thing I ever had to do.

January 2007 I had to put Emily to sleep. I loved that little girl like nothing I can describe. We had a bond that there are no words for. Her traits were more dog than cat, running to greet me at the door and always being obedient. I miss her but I know her spirit is around me.

Recently I received email from a friend who is going to be with one of her friends to help her through putting her cat to sleep. She emailed me for advice, since "I have been through this."

When it was my time to put Emily down I knew I had to do it but I could NOT be in the room. I will forever regret that. She needed me and I wasn't strong enough. I had the Vet and one of the techs that Emily loved, come to my home and I asked the tech to please hold Emily and let her know she wasn't alone. I know Emily hear me sobbing in the other room. It wasn't a good thing for her or for me and I won't continue with the details.

I will tell you what I learned from this. I learned that I had regrets and that I would not be a coward for Olivia when it was her time. I prayed that whenever that day came it would be a quick illness and a quick passing and for the most part that was how it was for Olivia.

I remembered how Emily suffered at the end but held on because she didn't want to leave me and sensed I didn't want to lose her. That's not fair to a sick and dying animal. Olivia had kidney failure and I saw her go from living to half living in a blink of an eye. She was uncomfortable and her organs were shutting down. Within less than a week she was gone.

I called my pet sitter who is also a tech and asked her to be the one to come and help Olivia pass, here in my home. She works with my Vet and I knew she was kind and more warm than my Vet. I think my Vet is super as a doctor but not warm when needed.

This time I wanted them to come and I didn't want to wait. I knew I didn't want to lose Olivia only 14 months after Emily passed but watching her suffer this way was excrutiating and out of the most love I have ever realized I had in me I wanted her to pass. She probably would have died that day on her own but it would have been so painful for her. She deserved better.

I had a holistic healer come and be with me and say prayers for Olivia. He talked so sweetly to her. He told her how she could have any food she liked in heaven. I got her droplets of water so she would not feel parched and suffering more than she already was. I pet her and I told her I loved her and that Emily would be with her and to tell Emily hello. I told her she would not be in pain soon. I sent her love.

And then the pet sitter showed up. She was kind to Olivia. She was kind to me. She gave me some of her hair to keep. She asked me if I was ready and I nodded. And then it was over.

We talked about Olivia for a little bit and how funny she was and how strong her personality was. She was a great girl. Smart and strong. Sweet and loving. And oh so clean.

She deserved that peaceful end to her 17 years with me. I promised Emily that I would do better for Olivia than I did for her. I kept my promise.

I told my friend to just help her friend send only love to her cat. That's all you can do in the end.


Ronda's Rants said...

My Hubby and I have had to make these God-awful decisions three times in our lives wiht three beloved pets...each time I was the coward and my much loved Hubby stayed with them. He says he can't do it again...we have two cats and two dogs now who we adore and love very much...it will be my turn up at bat! I will do it but I know it will be one of the hardest times in my life! These animals are so much more than many people know...I love them in a way that probably only makes sense to another animal lover. Your friend's friend will be in my prayers!

LadyBanana said...

Hmmmm not a thought a dare to even think...

Da Old Man said...

I had to put my dog down over 10 years ago. I still feel terrible about it.

Productive Slacker said...

Oh wow, this post made me cry. I had to put my sweet dog Howie down a couple of years ago. Thank God my husband was willing to stay in the room, because I couldn't. I spent all day crying the day I knew we had to do it. And I was sick for 3 days after that. I still miss that dog. Wow, putting a pet down SUCKS. Really.

Lauren said...

Rhonda, Diana, D.O.M., Productive, I cried writing this piece. I cried re-reading this piece. I still cry when I think about both of them. BUT I knew in my heart that Olivia deserved me to be there with her. As I don't have a partner right now and I was her only mommy, she deserved the comfort of me...something I couldn't bring myself to do for Emily. Watching her suffer made me want the tech there earlier than originally scheduled. I couldn't bear to watch her body lose ability, turn cold part by part. When you have to step in you'll realize how much love you have for that pet at that moment and you won't regret being there. I promise.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

This made me tear up. I'm glad you could be there for Olivia. My niece and sister just went through this with their cat. It was so hard.

Gypsy said...

What a touching post Lauren. I had to put my little dog Lucy down when she was only 2 years old. No-one knew what was wrong with her but she was suffering and I knew she'd had enough of the pain.

My husband and I took her to the vet and we both stayed in the room. I actually cuddled her and crooned in her ear as the injection was given. It broke my heart but I was glad mine was the last voice she heard and the last touch she felt. I think that would have made her happy.

Jessica said...

Aw, Lauren great post.
The death of a pet is so hard.

Lauren said...

Jess, thanks. Easy when it comes from the heart.

Please do the survey anyway because it will help me out. I will still do other posts but it's helpful to get an idea of what is resonating with my readers.

Chat Blanc said...

I empathize and cry for your loss. I'm so glad you don't have any regrets with Olivia's passing. It's soooo hard. I'm really grateful I was there when I had to put my previous cat Shasta down a few years ago. She was my sweet angel cat and it was truly one of the hardest things I've ever done to say goodbye and end her suffering. I'm incredibly happy she's in a better place and look forward to seeing her again one day. {{hugs}}

leezee52 said...

That is so sad. My Emme is two so hopefully I will have her well into my senior years!