Rescue Journal

house guest

Carol  ·  Dec. 16, 2008

..correction MP room guest...trev is spending the night with cleo tonight, his mom is moving so trev is here out of the way of moving men. he brought his ball, couldn't risk packing it in a box. i forgot what a really nice boy he is....welcome (briefly) trev!

kai is hanging out in the kitchen tonight, he likes it in there. bridgette is waiting for her new wheelchair...did we actually order it yet nicole?

pat the cat is awesome...he is laying in his bed, all alone, purring, drooling and kneeding in happiness. i wonder if he has an imaginery friend?

a friend of mine who used to volunteer at a different shelter that i used to run...met me for lunch today and then came up to saints for a tour. she really liked it here, she said saints had a wonderful feeling...she said even tho our animals are old and sick and one seemed stressed or were suffering....this would be because...they are all freaking spoiled ROTTEN (and get very good drugs!)

i cannot stress enough that old, sick and even dying does not necessarily equate into unhappiness and suffering...or at least not if you are doing your job fairly well. the whole point of hospice and palliative care is to provide whatever noninvasive care is needed for quality of life for as long as you possibly can. it always surprises me when people are surprised at the level of health that exists in disease here...a well managed illness means feeling quite is really simple.

but this is where the ignorance comes in when i hear the odd rumour of folks outside judging the work that we do...they are under the misconception that life illness means an end to life least for animals.

chris sent me an interesting article a while back on the timing of end of life euthanizations. the vet made a broad statement that in her opinion, a few weeks early was better than risking one day late. this did not sit well with me and i have been pondering why because on the surface i agree.

i think it comes down to this...i don't think you can make broad reaching statements on when is the right time to die. it is too individual. sometimes you euth because an animal is suffering, sometimes you euth because you the caregiver is suffering. sometimes you euth because some one tells you to because you are not sure what to do.

i think in end of life discussions, the whole timing thing needs to be played down. i think you need to euth when you feel the time is now...for whatever reason... and trust yourself in this. my advice to everyone who asks who is facing this difficult decision is this...they will tell you when they want to go, you will know when you have reached the end of the caregiving road...all you have to do is look and listen and agree.



Thank you Carol for this.
Dave and I are really struggling with this very situation right now...altho our boy doesn't have cancer or something identifiably wrong with him(just many things) it is obvious that for the most part he is not really happy..hard to get up, panting, stressing, in and out all night long, many meds, still wants to go for a walk and still wants to eat but the day to day thing seems to be such a drudge for him..and last night we did have a good discussion about are we doing any favors now for him?? I appreciate that remark about a few weeks early is better then a day late. We will definitely be really talking again to-night much to our sadness.


OMG Carol you absolutley have to read the book " The story of Edgar Sawtelle" I am almost finished & I can hardly put it down . I will bring it out this week-end.

I won't tell you anything about it, but I know you will enjoy it.


And thanks again for this. It's that last decision I fear. What if I'm wrong? What if I read the signs wrong? What if I misunderstand her?
It's nice to think that as long as I'm trying hard and paying close attention, I have a chance of doing it well.


Well said! My family and I still miss "Our Pudd" (Puddy) but we do not doubt the message that she was ready. She was a lung cancer survivor - 1 surgery, no chemo, and a prognosis of 6 to 9 months; we had a wonderful year and a half - she showed the doctors. She made it through Christmas and New Year of the following year. We had her appt. booked for when our regular vet would be back. Pudd let us know different. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge with my husband and I holding and loving her.

My husband says Puddy was the best hidden treasure ever - she came to us after I lost my parents.

My daughter once said that she didn't like cats. "But you like Pudd" I said. She replied "Pudd isn't a cat she's a person" and as funny as it sounds, I knew what she meant.

Thanks for letting me ramble on . . . may Murphy be your "person" Carol.