Saying Goodbye to Your Friend
By Jean Sutherland

     Perhaps the kindest thing you can do for an older pet that is sick or whose quality of life is so gone that they will never recover normal health, is to have your veterinarian induce its death quietly and humanely through euthanasia. Your decision to have your pet euthanatized is a serious one, seldom easy to make.
     Your relationship with your pet is special, and you are responsible for its care and welfare. Eventually, many owners are faced with making life or death decisions for their pets. Such a decision may become necessary for the welfare of the animal.
     A decision concerning euthanasia may be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make regarding your pet. Your decision is a personal one, but it need not be a solitary one. Your veterinarian and your family and friends can assist and support you. Consider not only what is best for your pet, but also what is best for you and your family. Quality of life is important for pets and people alike.
     If your pet can no longer do with you and your family the things he or she once enjoyed, if your pet cannot respond to you in the usual ways, or if there is more pain than pleasure in his or her life, you may need to consider euthanasia. Likewise, if your pet is terminally ill or critically injured, or if the financial or emotional cost of treatment is beyond your means, euthanasia may be a valid option.
     Your veterinarian understands attachment to pets, and can examine and evaluate your pet’s condition, estimate its chances for recovery, and discuss potential disabilities and long-term problems. He or she can explain the medical options and possible outcomes. Because your veterinarian cannot make the euthanasia decision for you, it is important that you fully understand your pet’s condition. If there is any part of the diagnosis or the implications for your pet’s future that you don’t understand, ask to have it explained again. Rarely will the situation require an immediate decision. Usually, you will have time to review the facts before making up your mind.
     As you make your decision, you may wish to discuss the care of the remains of your pet’s body with your family and veterinarian. You have several options, and your veterinarian can provide information about burial, cremation, or other alternatives.
     Recently, Anita’s Animal Shelter was featured on Channel 4 in Guadalajara. Although it was wonderful to have the exposure, it also made the people in Guadalajara aware of a place to bring unwanted puppies and kittens. We had few donations. In order to give all these puppies and kittens a good start we need medicine for them. Our snow-birds have gone home, our books sales are every other week now and we need some help from the community. We need your help. We need donations of food for puppies or kittens. Monetary gifts would be much appreciated in order to buy medicine. If you can, please help. You can call me at 766-2695 after 7 p.m. or Jill at 765-4551 or drop off donations at the market on Wednesday. If you would like to adopt a puppy or an older dog, our shelter is on the road to the Racquet Club, 100 yards below the Guard’s gate, number 31 and there is a dirt road on the west side. Go down till you hear the dogs barking. Anytime I have asked for help I have always been amazed at the community response. We are also still looking for someone to help with fund raising.