I knew I would be writing this post and that it would be difficult, for some time now. That’s my Mina girl up above. We rescued her from a shelter in Philly was she was 6 years old. That was 8 years ago. She was physically hardy, as mutts tend to be, and was really still full of energy and enthusiasm up until the very end. Which is what made the decision to put her to sleep almost impossible for me. The problem was, her mind had gone. She had doggy dementia for some time now and was no longer herself. She was incontinent more and more, arthritis more apparent, twitching in her sleep, getting caught in places she couldn’t get herself out of (but really could). You get the picture. She barely let us touch her to clean the poo and pee off her paws, so I had to keep her confined in the laundry room. She no longer received the same love and affection we once lavished on her. Plus, she was not without her risk to us. She bit my husband months ago when her back leg got caught in the wooden slats of a bench and did some good damage. She wasn’t even aware she was doing it. I know this because, she got stuck in our picket fence a few weeks ago, attempting to fit through it. When her paw got wedged, she latched onto it like it wasn’t even her own.
I had to finally accept that her quality of life had degraded enough to let her go. I read many articles titled like the one below, but I like this one the best because it takes into account situations like Mina’s where no terminal illness is present and no terrible pain condition (only moderate in her case). It came down to quality of life, and like my friend put it, letting her die with dignity.
We said goodbye to Mina yesterday. If you’ve ever been in that position you know how your heart does more than just break. Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows the pain of losing it at some point, but the worst is being in a position of not knowing whether you’re doing the right thing or now. For many folks, the answer is much more obvious: When your animal can’t eat or drink or walk, or is clearly suffering….Most will agree this is a time to say goodbye. But cases like my Mina’s aren’t always too clear. I have heard others wonder if it was time for their pup or kitty who had a terminal illness but was still functioning well, yet the expense was just too great of a burden. In any case, I hope this article helps you just a little bit with this difficult moment like it did for me: