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Saying goodbye

Euthanasia was something I dreaded in vet school. Luckily, the first experience I had was a good one. 


It was a moment from vet school that will always stick with me: a very sick cat Smokey with her elderly owner Mary who loved her very much. Smokey had been her trusted companion through many lonely years. Eventually it became clear that Smokey's condition was only worsening and the medical care that had been provided only prolonged her suffering. Mary, the elderly lady I had come to know over a few intense days of helping treat her cat, agreed that the most humane thing to do was to provide Smokey with a peaceful end. 


How, you might ask, can a euthanasia be "good"? In that moment, as I witnessed preparations for Smokey's euthanasia, it was just painful for everyone involved. I worried about Mary and how lonely she would be now that her cat was gone. But as Smokey slipped away, and as all of us in the room were in tears, Mary genuinely thanked us not only for taking care of her cat, but for helping Smokey depart from this world in a dignified, peaceful, painless way. 


As the years have passed since that event and as I have had the opportunity to help hundreds of other owners and their pets in a similar way, I have come to realize that euthanasia is a gift that we give to our pets. They have spent their whole lives in our service as companions and friends, and when the time comes that their suffering requires it, we are able to give them a dignified, peaceful departure. 


"Euthanasia" literally means "good death" and I have come to believe that, although it is always difficult and painful to say goodbye, we can give our pets the one last, meaningful and loving gift of a good death. 


My goal is to provide a comfortable and peaceful euthanasia for your pet when the time is right. 


Deciding to euthanize a pet may be one of the hardest decisions you will have to make. As a veterinarian who understands the progression of disease, I will be able to consult with you about your pet's quality of life. In some cases, there may still be other things that we can try to ease suffering and improve quality of life. I have come to value empathy, nonjudgementalness, and compassion in these sensitive conversations and will do my best to counsel with you and provide the information you need to make your decision. 


If the time has come that euthanasia is the best option for your pet, I will provide a peaceful, painless passing for your pet. If you wish, I will take care of the remains. 



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