Socks is not well and it is hard to let him go. He has been in the family for over 13 years. He has spent his life at Dante’s (our family business) greeting customers, barking at suspicious individuals and fleeing the shop in search of a mid-afternoon snack from one of the friendly neighbors. He has been there for every important event in the family and has become my mom’s trusted friend over the years.
I found this story on Psychology Today that speaks about pets passing away.
“When a dog is dying: He doesn’t want to go on walks anymore. He hates getting up. His breathing is labored. The vet did a few things and made him “comfortable.”
He is deteriorating…
And so we are faced with the horrifying question so many of us with family pets do. Is this the time? How can we decide? What if we’re wrong? The vet said only we could decide. So we said how? How do we decide when we don’t know for sure? When we don’t want to know for sure.
Is our dog telling us to let go?
And it turns out there are good questions to ask. Questions like: Is he eating? Drinking water? Is he getting up to walk? Is he engaging with you? Is he breathing heavily? Does he seem to enjoy anything he usually enjoys, or anything at all?
The truth is that he is shutting down. He is letting go. He is probably in pain.
The vet said in his experience, many families feel confused and uncertain and second-guess themselves about this decision until a little while after.
“Once you get a little distance,” he said, “you’ll find comfort; you’ll see more clearly.”
- Breathing is labored (i.e. it is difficult, hard work)
- We are faced with (i.e. we are confronted with)
- Pets (i.e. domestic animals that are considered part of the family)
- To let go (i.e. to release, relinquish, to free)
- to turn out (i.e. to happen, to end, to result)
- to shut down (i.e. to die)
- to second-guess (i.e.to criticize or question actions and decisions)
I hope this helps sort out all the emotions this kind of situation can conjure.
Whatever the outcome, Socks has won over the hearts of everyone he has met.
He has as magnetic a personality as his owner’s…and then some.
Love you Socks.