End of Life Decision Making: When is it time to say good bye to your pet?

Rama by . When is the right time to let go and choose to end the life of a dear companion? I believe that getting the timing right requires recognizing when having their life “end later” is no longer compatible with having their life “end well”. Then it is time to ensure that their life ends well.

Living is about so much more than just being alive. Your pet’s quality of life is about how they feel about their life. It is about the sum total of their physical, emotional, and social experiences, and about how these experiences impact their ability to engage in, and enjoy, living. It is about what matters to them. And although our pets may not have words to express how they feel about the quality of their life, or the value in a day, if we pay attention they can still tell us.

Read More»

Veterinary Aid-in-Dying

Veterinary aid-in-dying is the term I use to describe what we are doing when we offer a dying pet the gift of a gentle, supported death. Most people are familiar with the term “euthanasia” which does refer to providing a “good death”, however there is a distinction that I believe is worthy of note. “Euthanasia” is a broad term. It can equally apply to circumstances where a humane death is provided for animals who no one wants to care for, animals who otherwise would be healthy enough to live well. They receive a humane and gentle death, often with great care, but the death is not always in that individual animal’s best interests.

Read More»

The Circle

Life in the Circle is my take on sharing our lives and our love with animals.

I think of the expanding circle of human moral concern where animals are increasingly being recognized for the sentient beings they are, deserving of certain inalienable rights, starting with the Five Freedoms.

I think of an evocative phrase from poet Irving Townsend describing how those of us who choose to live with animals, knowing that their lives are all too short, “live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached”.

And I think of  “the circle of life“, and how there is comfort there for anyone who has loved and lost a dear friend.

Read More»