How do you know when you let your pet go?

A couple of years ago I was walking around a local reserve with a few friends when a tiny white kitten came up to us.

He was fearless and friendly, rubbing against our legs and purring madly. Since there were houses nearby, we decided to see if anyone knew where he lived.

When we checked in with the neighbours, they told us that the reserve was a popular dumping ground. Every few months, a new puppy or kitten showed up, waiting patiently for their owners to come back for them.


That just breaks my heart. Pets are so beautifully loyal. How anyone could leave his or her little furry companion alone and abandoned is a complete mystery to me.

It’s even more confounding when you consider that the Animal Welfare League, unlike most council pounds, has a ‘no kill’ policy, so any animal that is surrendered on the Gold Coast is going to be cared for until they’re adopted.

As for the snowy kitty in question, we took him with us and he is now perfectly happy and incredibly spoilt by my friend’s Dad.

But in our own household, we are facing an entirely different kind of pet conundrum.

Our dogs are elderly; one is 13 and the other 14. They’re little mixed-breed ankle-biters who love snuggling and sleeping and we love them to bits.

But one of them has a serious heart condition. We’ve been spending a small fortune on a cocktail of medications to keep him going for more than a year, but his health is starting to deteriorate further.

He’s coughing a lot. He sleeps a lot. He’s still vital and active and races like the clappers to the front door at dinnertime, but we’re in a bit of a no-mans land when it comes to deciding his future.

On the one hand, his health is going downhill and we don’t want him to suffer.

On the other hand, he still has a relatively good quality of life and we don’t want to wrap things up for him before his time.

It’s an impossible decision but we’re going to have to make it, likely sooner rather than later.

When (and how) do you make that final decision to send your beloved pet to his final resting place? Any tips or advice much appreciated, because we have reached Procrastination Central and don’t know what to do next!