Allow pet owners to say goodbye in the last moments
Allow pet owners to say goodbye in the last moments
I had to have my beautiful dog of almost 13yrs put to sleep yesterday. Now for anyone, that would be traumatic enough. Now what if i said, i had to say my goodbyes, hand him over in the veterinary practice carpark and not allowed to be with him in those final moments and instead have to watch him being carried off, wide awake strapped to a stretcher, with him not knowing that THAT'S the very last time he saw me? You'd think I'd done something wrong or my dog had done something wrong for him to be destroyed wouldn't you? Nope, not at all!
Bruno (a german shepherd) had been my baby for almost 13yrs. Apart from my kids, he was my everything. I suffer quite badly with anxiety and depression, so he was almost like my assistance dog in a way. When my anxiety would rise up, the first thing I'd do was grab the lead and off we'd go, on our wanders. We'd go everywhere together, everyone knew us and knew how much i loved him. A few months after i had him i caught for my son, so he went through my pregnancy with me, he'd put his head on my bump and get kicked then grunt but he secretly loved it. Then i had my son and he went into protective mode and they were as thick as thieves all their life. Where one was, there was the other and it stayed that way for years. All the while, he was with me through all my bad times too....broken relationships, miscarriages, my mam dying and being cut off from my dad by my sister �. He was also there for the good times....my son learning to walk, ride his bike, walking to primary and junior school with us for the first and last time, all the kids at school knew him and would always give him a hug or pet him as they passed and everyone we passed would say what a gorgeous, good natured dog he was. He also went through the pregnancy and birth of my grandson ❤ he's been right by our side through everything. That same protectiveness also applied the other way, I was right by his side through everything with him....tumours, sickness and old age. Everything except death!
On sunday morning, i woke to find my handsome baby had taken a turn for the worse overnight and his back end had completely collapsed. He'd wet himself, soiled himself and couldn't get up � I felt like my world had just fallen apart in that very moment. Because of his age and this being something that had been happening for a while, i knew what needed to be done. Now for anyone who thinks i made this decision lightly, let me assure you, this was not done at the click of my fingers. I was physically sick at what i was about to do to the only real best friend I had (I mean that as no offense to my friends at all, if they're my friends, they'll know what I mean). So i rang the vets and explained that financially (being a sunday) i couldn't afford the fees (it was over £500 on the sunday and £300 the next day. I'm not working and already had to borrow the £300 from a good friend of mine) so would make him as comfortable as i possibly could, then bring him in the next day for him to cross the rainbow bridge. And that's where it went very wrong.....
I made the appointment and I assumed that, due to the nature of the visit (COVID19 aware) i would be allowed to be with my baby in his final moments. How wrong was I! No, i had to say my final goodbyes in the practice carpark, with people arriving and leaving with their pets, while I'm sobbing on the grass, saying my goodbyes to my dog! Bare in mind, my dog was lame too, so its not as if he could do much either bless him. Then when I'd said my final goodbyes, i couldn't even carry him inside myself (i had a covid mask and was even willing to scrub up and wear scrubs if i had to). I had to watch my baby getting put on a stretcher and carried inside for the last time, knowing that he didn't know it would the last time he ever saw me. He was probably terrified. I was given the option of paying an extra £60 so they could sedate him so he wasn't aware that he was being carried away from me to his death, an option that was financially out of my reach. To me that felt like emotional blackmail.....pay £60 so he doesn't know what you're about to do to him when we take him away or he'll be awake. I absolutely broke my heart! I will never get that image out of my head...EVER!!
OK, so here's what I'm hoping to achieve. I want all pet owners to be allowed to be with their pets, or for some provision to be put in place so that when a pet has to be put to sleep, the owner can be with them in their final moment. I never want what happened to me to happen to someone else. I know some practices allow for long line leads so the injection can be given at an acceptable social distance. However this is still only SOME practices, that's not enough, it should be all practices when it comes to final goodbyes. So i want a provision in place, that during this time where we have to social distance because of COVID19, owners should be allowed with their pets during those final moments when they're crossing the rainbow bridge. These animals may be just an income to a vet, but to us their family. So please, sign and share this as far as you can so nobody has to go through what i did when i said my final goodbyes.
RIP Bruno, you'll never be forgotten ❤❤