Two weeks ago, I had my gorgeous boy, Thumper, put down. Together, we had battled his failing kidneys for two months. He'd had 3 days of IV fluids, X-rays, shots, pills and special foods which I'd spent hours coaxing him to eat. I learned how to give him subcutaneous fluids and wrestled with him daily for those two months to try to help flush his kidneys when his own little body couldn't. Now I have his companion with me, a beautiful little girl who misses her friend. Today, as I walked through a pet chain store for supplies, I stopped to look at some cats a lady was trying to get adopted, pondering whether or not it was a good idea to get her a companion. As I started talking to the foster mom, another woman and her husband walked up. She heard me tell the foster mom that I had just had my boy put down two weeks ago and her comment was, "I lost one of my own not too long ago but I kept him until God decided to take him." I said, "You know, I didn't want to reach the point where he was throwing up constantly" and her thoughtless, confrontational response was, "So you'd be okay having your grandmother put down?" I can't begin to tell you how disgusting I found that. I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt that she thought I had him put down the moment I heard he was sick in order to avoid expense and trouble (as we all know many irresponsible pet owners have been known to do), rather than think she's truly heartless enough to believe every animal, regardless of discomfort, should be left to suffer until they die naturally. Nevertheless, perhaps she should've asked about the care I gave him as long as I perceived he still had some quality of life. I work in hospice and deal with keeping "grandmas" comfortable every day and tried to be the very best hospice mom to my little boy that I could possibly be. So although there may be a contingent of people who think putting animals down is unethical, I happen to think that allowing them to suffer and have zero quality of life is unethical. Whatever a person's personal belief on this issue, I'd be willing to bet this woman's approach has never garnered a convert fostered a conversation.
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.