For Pet Lovers, a Heads Up: Euthanasia and Your Dog/Cat/Pet

TL;DR

Our 4-legged 🐶son🐶 was beyond the reach of curative drugs and surgery. The vet quoted a $400 price for the final act. Despite the background heartache, common sense prevailed. Research. Result: $0.

Estimated Reading Time: 3:10 minutes

Meet our 4-legged son, Jag

Soulful little dude, from day one

Soulful little dude, from day one

Jag—short for Jaguar, cuz he was THE fastest lil chew-em-up munstah as a kid, entered our lives May of 2005. Half Chow—complete with blotchy purple tongue—and half German Sheperd, he killed my ooo ahh! then-new Treo within the first two weeks of arrival. Bit right through the dang screen. But I gave my word when I adopted him, so he remained, ultimately blossoming into pure joy.

As he matured, he learned to signal an unscheduled “need” for a walk. 12 solid years with no inside accidents, until last month. Yet another sign the end was near, one among many clues hubs and I mentally buried, profoundly reluctant to face Nature’s truth.

Jag lived for the words Let’s go bye bye in da car!. The SoooulTrain tail wagging always boogied him to the living room door. I’m tellin’ ya, you could actually see the dude smiling!

Like all genuine best friends, he could feel surrounding pain. Cliff Notes version: at the end of my 5-year run as Mom’s 24/7 caregiver, Jag kept a watchful eye on his mommie, shadowing my every move. I’m blessed with family, true friends, and a supremely attentive loving husband, but truth be told, Jag provided the lion’s share of comfort. Because he couldn’t speak words, he doubled up on touch, leaning against me, pawing me, at every opportunity. He didn’t know where his Grammie was, but he knew she was missing, as was a large part of his mommie. So he leashed my spirit, pulling me from the abyss.

There will be no year 13, courtesy of cancerous tumors too plentiful to arrest. Hubs and I took turns holding Jag through the last few nights of his life. Our little buddy’s pain pushed him to one lap or the other, his safe place. But this go ’round, neither mommie nor daddy could conjure a remedy, despite our best efforts. We called the vet, firm in our resolve to elevate Jag’s needs above our selfish desire for continuity. And that is what pushes me to write this post, my alert to those confronted with the same horrendous task.

Handling the Coerced Goodbye

I understand capitalism. I also comprehend gouging. The quoted fee, $400 for euthanasia, struck me as a last ditch dig into the wallet, a last land grab so to speak. Grief dulled long enough to realize: euthanasia of a beloved pet should not trigger the wholesale rape of a household’s wallet. Read: I researched.

After Google bombed, I found the number to our local government animal control facility, thinking those folks might have a list of referrals. The woman who answered the phone, an obvious animal lover from her tone throughout, proved both compassionate and informative. Bottom-line: that facility offers the needed service, at no cost, without need for a formal appointment. Hubs and I rollercoastered between relief and numbness, the latter flowing from the loss of our last procrastination rationale. We met each other’s eyes, then Jag’s. Soon, Jag was in the truck, for his last ride. No frenetic tail wagging that day; tumors robbed Jag, and us, of that simple thrill.

Now, as I sit in my not-so-easy chair knowing a very special someone will not be joining me—will not gently place his lower jaw across my feet, will not wag his tail in delight at the mere sight of me—I reach out to you, trying to convert some segment of my pain into your gain. Forgive me for a moment, as I feed Google:

  • dog cat pet euthanasia put down vet hospital office nonprofit service price fee cost weight hours North Carolina nc anywhere compassion end of life decision free

Folks should know they can provide their last loving gift to their trusted furry friend withOUT the necessity of a jar of Vaseline within immediate reach.

Call to Action

Nature’s forced or coerced goodbye butchers the heart. Those seeking to bastardize that very human fact can NOT succeed withOUT your permission. The permanently closed eyes of a one beloved slams the door to “proving” your love. Bluntly, the send-off to glory ain’t about how much you spend … Do what must be done, for the sake of your beloved furry BFF—but with intelligence and, yes, self-compassion.

If you are not now confronting this debacle, my gentle suggestion: research your local facilities now, before grief threatens to thwart common sense.

 

Til later 😞