Why can’t our pets live forever?

We know we have posted similar articles on the blog, but we believe it can’t hurt to repeat the message.
This is a question we are asked frequently. A friend of mine gave me an article by Ellen Ehrlich and I will be using it as a basis to this article: (http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com/)

Our pets are not “ just a …..” They are members of our family and losing them is devastating. However, it is also something every pet owner must face.

When our cat was diagnosed with early stage kidney failure in 2010 we knew that she would get worse and that we would have to decide when the time to end her suffering was near. She was put on a special food and did quite well. In 2012 she had a reaction to the immunizations and we decided that we would not immunize her again and took the wait and see approach. In early 2014 we noticed that things were changing. She couldn’t safely jump or down from her favorite chair. Her hearing was diminishing and slowly but surely she stopped purring. She still loved to go outside and was eating well. She was very thin and our Vet told us that the kidney failure had entered the final stage and if we wanted to prolong her life we would have to consider subcutaneous fluids. We decided to keep her happy as long as possible and take it day by day. In August of 2014 we found blood in the litter box and knew it was decision time. We had her euthanized a few days later. Losing her broke our hearts, but we didn’t want to keep her alive because we were not ready to let her go. Her well-being had to come first.

We now own 2 dogs and the thought of losing them is almost too much to bear. We hope that we will make the right decision at the right time. Pets change our lives in so many ways. They give us companionship, comfort and foremost unconditional love. For some pet owners it is sometimes worse losing their companion than losing a family member.
The sad fact is we outlive our pets. It doesn’t matter how long they have been part of the family and our lives, love and bonding does not have a timeframe.

Many pet owners find it comforting to know the aftercare options available in their area before they have to make a decision. The option for Home Euthanasia appeals to a lot of pet owners and we get many inquiries in regards to contact information for Veterinarians who provide this service and also to see how we would proceed once the pet has been euthanized.
Not all pets live to a ripe old age. Some die unexpectedly be it in an accident or sudden health crisis. No matter what we are never really ready, but eventually there comes a time when we have to put our pets’ well – being ahead of our own.
Grieving the loss of our pet is normal and depends on the role the pet played in our life. If it was a working dog the owner not only grieves the loss of their friend, but also the loss of independence. For many living alone their pet is the only source of companionship and comfort. When our pets pass away our whole routine changes..no more walks, no more feedings, no more cuddle time, no one to great us at the door.

Here are some suggestions if you have lost your pet:
Try to find new meaning and joy in your life
Stay connected with friends
Don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel
Reach out to others who have lost pets
Take care of yourself physically and emotionally
Maintain a normal routine especially if you have other pets
Create a legacy
Seek professional help if you need it (Ian Henderson; info@griefsupportottawa.ca  or 613-858- 3113)
Remember : You are not alone

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