Rescue Journal

the "what if's" in rescue

Carol  ·  Jun. 25, 2018

keats' arthritis is horrible and he is at the top of all of his various pain medications. however...he is still perky and bright, he still toddles out to the barn to eat poop, in fact it is the highlight of his day. the staff got him down to the pond last week which is his other very favorite place. he toddled around in the mud which he loves to do and they carried him back when he was ready to come home again. his is really enjoying his laser therapy with laurie twice a week and changes his position correctly whenever she asks him to, plus he loves her treats. we ensure he has safe, soft, warm, dry beds but he still occasionally likes laying in dirt holes best! all in all i am ok with where he is at because bottom line is..keats is actively engaging in life and he is still happy.

except... we found a massive hard tumor in his belly. and it is that tumor that is worrying me. all it has to do is grow 1 cm too big and it could press on something important or it could suddenly start to bleed and keats would be in an immediate crises.

keats absolutely hates going outside our front gate..he is terrified of car rides and terrified of the vet. he has decided that saints small world is where he is safe and happy and all other places are frightening.

so i need to make a choice...pre-arranging for a home euthanization which is not as easy as it sounds. only one of our vets are able to come here and she is now semi-retired and only works a couple of days a week with other clients, booked appointments and surgeries. or risking a midnight crises which means hauling him out to the van when he is most unwell, driving an hour to the emergency clinic with a sweet dog who is very afraid and ending his life in a traumatic and less than ideal way.

my job is to protect keats, to meet his needs, to keep him comfortable, happy and feeling safe. so i am opting for a sooner than later end of life. i think if he passes from the home that he loves with the people who care about him the most, in a familiar environment in which he feels safe...we can avoid the scary "what if's" that may come his way.
i will tell you tho that this is breaking my heart because keats is not ready yet...he could hit that crises in a day or a week or in another month, or who knows..maybe even not for another 3 months or so. i don't have that damn crystal ball so i don't know.

all i do know is i want him to pass gently and at peace, free from fear and trauma. his home euthanization is booked for July 4th. i can't risk the "what if's" with him but it is breaking my heart to set him free before he says he is ready.



Oh my gosh Carol. I feel your painful decision. I am bawling as I read this thinking about Rocky too and know that Keats trusts you totally and completely and that your head knows all the reasons this is the right thing to do, but the heart just cannot abide. Please know that there are many many animal lovers who are with you in spirit. Or at least, I will be with you in spirit. I will be thinking about you on the 4th.

Mary Kaminski

Oh Carol, what a difficult decision. But it would break your heart even more if his last hours turned into a frantic race to the vet for release. I found myself in that situation last October, when I had to have my Gracie emergently euthanized. Keats will understand. Because you do it out of love for him.

Brenda Mc

Keats has had the best time of his life at is, for him...HOME...He has enjoyed comfort, warmth, good quality food, canine and human friendship, medication to ease his pain...and the freedom and choice to eat poop at the barn whenever he wants. What more can a dog want?.
He was a boy who lived outside most of his life..and became a Saint who enjoyed the comforts of "inside" living for his later years...
Thank you to Saints and Carol for giving this old boy his best memories. ...such a special dog. ❤❤


I think you have made the best decision for Keats. Heartbreaking for you, but the very best end to life for him. In the end, that's all that matters. Bless.


A decision made with Keat’s happiness in mind. Better a week too soon, than an hour too late. 💞💞

shelagh f

I'm pretty sure, he has complete faith in you, and
all good reasons for doing it that day, outweigh the
reasons not to.
he will enjoy laying in the dirt till then lounging in the
mud till then.