The time has come. Our beautiful, happy-go-lucky, bushy-tailed little spaniel has reached the end of his life on this earth.
At the age of 15 or 16 – we’re not 100% certain as he was a rescue dog – his faculties are failing him.
He wets and soils himself every other day; he’s going blind and walks into walls; his arthritis is making it difficult for him to move his back legs towards the door.
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And so we’ve had to make the gut-wrenching decision to have our beautiful Cavalier King Charles spaniel Redmond ‘put to sleep’.
It happened last week; our lovely vet, Kyra, came to our home and I gave my little buddy a meal of his favourite cheese treat. Then I cuddled him as he was sedated, and cried buckets as I patted him and he drifted off to the next world.
It was the hardest decision to make, to end his life. But it’s the right one. He had no ‘quality of life’ left and daily habits were becoming a struggle.
But what a privilege it was. Allowing him to pass away peacefully in his own home, while he was surrounded by his loving family, was the best possible way for him to go.
We’re so lucky to be able to do this for our pets.
So why can’t we do it for our humans?
It’s heartbreaking to read stories like this, from journalist Kate Webber, who helplessly watched on as her mother limped painfully through her final moments.
“It baffles me that in a country where we put so much effort into stamping out animal cruelty, where we put our animals to sleep if they’re suffering, that we don’t spend more time trying to come up with better options for dealing with our dying loved ones,” she rants.
I can’t imagine how painful it would be to see your loved ones reach the end stage of their life in a painful manner, and then watch them deteriorate for weeks or months longer, unable to ease their suffering.
According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, the majority of Australians are in favour of euthanasia, with polls showing support is around 75 to 85 per cent.
It’s time for our political decision makers to put this back on the agenda.
We need to stamp out this cruel practice of extending life without life, so we can do for our loved ones what we can already do for our pets.
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