When The Fat Lady Sings

Posted By on 17th September 2016

Owning a pet is both a pleasure and a privilege, but whether it’s a goldfish or Great Dane, pet ownership is a serious business and comes with responsibility.

Most pet owners are responsible and in the majority of cases the day to day health, happiness and well being of the pet is a combination of love, commonsense and routine, but it does start to get less straightforward as the animal becomes aged or infirm.

Treading the fine line between kindness and cruelty towards the end when emotions are understandably running high is very, very, difficult. It requires deep thought and soul searching in order to ensure your chosen course of action is in the best interests of the pet and not the owner.

Back in 2009 Dulcie became ill and we took her to the vet. As a result she spent her final day on earth in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by strangers who insisted on poking and prodding her with tubes and needles. By the time we went to collect her at teatime she didn’t know who I was, let alone care.

We were told that there was no more to be done, so reluctantly made the decision to have her put to sleep. We brought her home and buried her in the garden next to her sister and brothers.

We vowed that, providing he wasn’t in pain, the same would not happen to Leonard. When his last day comes he will be in a place he knows and loves surrounded by people who know and love him. Not a tube or needle in sight.

Leonard has been ill on and off since July. He has several good days and then a few bad ones, but we’re pretty sure he’s not in pain. Our resolve has been sorely tested these last few weeks, because on his bad days he just refuses all food and nothing will entice him to eat, and believe me I’ve tried everything.

But his appetite does come back and given that today he’s doing things I would have thought impossible considering the state he was in exactly a week ago, we feel pretty sure we’re doing the right thing. He’s still enjoying life and getting spoiled rotten into the bargain.

I don’t expect he’ll go on indefinitely, after all he’s probably an old man, but when he does make his final visit to the vet it will be brief and I will be with him every step of the way.

I just hope that when my times comes someone will offer me the same courtesy and dignity.

So there we are. Never EVER give up hope, no matter how bad things seem it won’t always be dark at seven and remember, it’s not over until the fat lady sings.

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