It is interesting to note, dear reader, how often people turn to me for advice or even just to share a concern or complaint. Now I don’t pretend to have any sort of expertise or training in this field but I do have a body of life experience, albeit from a dog’s perspective. In that vein, today I will respond to a query I often receive from readers, which is the age old question of “How will I know if and when it is time to end my dog’s suffering?” It is a valid question and one that I am honored to tackle.
First, there is no hard and fast rule for this, but as humans you must know that you have given yourselves an incredible license…choosing your pet’s ultimate fate is certainly a great privilege and not something to take lightly. You hold the power to end your beloved pet’s suffering when there is no hope for a future and no quality of life remaining. But with all power comes a grave responsibility (pardon my choice of adjective), and that responsibility weighs heavily on every pet owner’s mind. On this you must trust me…we will tell you when it is time. We will tell you because we know of your concern and we are grateful that you can do this last act of extreme love for us. There will be no doubt about the time, and even if you cling to us for an hour or a day past that time, we know you will ultimately do the right thing, which brings us peace of mind.
So, while our lives are brief in comparison to yours, we know with absolute faith that you will see us through our journey with love and compassion. If we could, we would do the same for you. Remember, it is not the length of the life lived, but rather its quality. You give us the ultimate gift of love by ending our suffering when it is time.
I apologize for the rather grim subject, dear reader, but it is one that every pet owner must face from the moment we enter your life to the day we leave it. Shakespeare said it best in The Merchant of Venice…
“The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”
11 responses to “Ask Mason”
Mason…you are such a wise pug! Thank you for talking about this as i know it is a very touchy subject and not something we like to think about…we want you guys to live forever! But then again, when the time does come, you guys will forever live in our hearts. i had to make that decision for my lab of 14 years, the hardest thing to do. And you are right, you will know when it’s time, it is the final gift we give to years of love and devotion, time to think of the beloved pet instead of ourselves. Anyway, this is making me teary and I must give Rosie and Mikey a hug…hugs to you and Lizzie…now go and chew your bone:)
Carol along with Rosie and Mikey
Thank you for your thoughtful response. I appreciate it since I know it is a sensitive subject, but one which all of you owners face.
As always, you speak wisdom for us Mason. Having just recently lost our senior Pug, MsBJ, wherein we spent a tortured hour helping her reach the Rainbow Bridge, we understand how difficult it can be to let our Pug friends go. As for me, I will stay with my Mom as long as possible and will trust her to know how it is best for me to move on.
Ah, Buster Brown, you are the wise pug…good words for all of us to hear. I should have reassured my mom and dad that I too will stay as long as possible.
Thanks always for writing.
Mason I agree with you I feel all of our fur babies let us know when it is time not a subject I like to think about or talk about but it is all a part of loving them hope you and Lizzie enjoyed your bone in the park
Thank you, Sue…and we did enjoy our bones in the park! Life is good.
Your words, as usual, are eloquent, Mason, and right on the mark. A few years ago we had to let our beloved Pugsly go to the Rainbow Bridge, and needless to say, we were devastated. Luckily we had our Lex to help us through, but it was a very difficult time. I know people who would rather avoid that pain by never having dogs, but as painful as it is when we lose you guys, we could never live our lives without you. We accept it as the price we must pay to have dog children fill our lives and our hearts.
Thank you for your wise words, my friend, even though they made me a little teary! Iwish I could give you and Lizzie a big hug right now. But since I can’t, please accept this cyber one:
Thank you once again for writing. Your words will resonate with every pug and pug owner. I know this is a painful blog but one I had to write for all of us. I am a firm believer in living life purposely…so L’chaim!
Oh, Mason, that was very wise and thoughtful of you. Our Molly is now 14, on several life sustaining medications, and has slowed down a great deal. In the evenings she still finds a bit of energy to play which fills our hearts with joy. It is not yet her time, but you are so right, when the time comes we will know. Bless you, little guy. ((((scratches behind the ears))))
Thanks for writing and sharing your story. I, too, am on more meds than I care to count but each day is filled with excitement and possibilities…Greetings to Molly…
Oh Mason – this is absolutely beautiful.
Hoping your happy and well days are more numerable than not.
Thank you, darlin.