Pet Euthanasia - How Right Or Wrong Is It? | Amazing Animal Adventures

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pet Euthanasia - How Right Or Wrong Is It?

I spent the past 7.5 months taking care of my dog that was incapacitated until he took his last breath about two weeks ago. I suffered along with him throughout his illness and there was not a day that went by that I didn't ask myself if keeping him alive was the right thing to do. I am a Buddhist and religion forbids me to kill, though I have no qualms swatting mosquitoes since insects are not "whole souls" unlike dogs.

Religion aside, it was beyond me killing him as I had taken care of him since he was only three weeks old and had to be bottle fed. Friends were all telling me to "put him to sleep" and that he was suffering but I couldn't do it.

As the primary care giver, it was very tough on me too. Despite having done all that I have for my dog, I still felt that I haven't done enough. I could have gotten him a pet wheelchair if not for his advanced age at 14+ years when this happened and besides losing his mobility, he also lost his sense of balance. I grew a lot older these past 7.5 month but in the end, I am glad that I didn't succumb to the temptation to end it all with just one shot. Actually, religion forbids me even thinking of putting an end to life but I was thinking if that was a better option than allowing my dog to waste away in pain with his body riddled with pressure sores.

Having spent the past couple of days reading up on pet euthanasia on the web, I believe that there is no wrong or right in a pet owner's decision to opt in or out of mercy killing. I am lucky that I work from home and could stay by my dog's side 24 hours a day, so much so that I only stepped out of the house once during the entire time he was bedridden but not everyone could do that with school, work or life to live.

To me, it is wrong to put a pet to sleep because of old age but if the pet is very sick or diseased and medicine could no longer help, I really do wonder. It's every pet owner's nightmare and I hope that no pet lover has to go through what I did.


Anonymous said...

thank you for you kind and wise words. i am going through this same situation with my cat that i have had since a kitten and he is 14 yrs old with a lung tumor. i have been care taking him and some of my friends say end his suffering and some say let him die naturally.

CyberPartyGal said...

I am very sorry to hear of this situation you are in. I don't deny that I have thought of putting my dog to sleep many, many times. But I stayed strong for him, at the expense of myself.

I know that whatever decision you come to, it is for the best.

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