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If this is your first time, you will be full of doubt. You will have a lot of questions.  It is normal to not want to talk to others for fear they will not understand, or sadly not care, what you are going through.  They will either not understand why you even hesitate, or on the flip-side they may be furious that you would even consider putting down a life... This is  a  articles written for you.


Each of our Boston guests, in their own way, were great teachers, who taught me so much I will  always treasure these lessons on life and death.

I would like to share some of these teachings, with you, wishing that their teachings to me, might also help you as you go forward.

I have had several rescued Bostons that blessed me with allowing me to walked with them on their last steps towards the rainbow bridge... It is so hard to know how long they would be with us when I agreed to foster them until their time was fulfilled. Joyfully, they lived usually for much longer, before their health became so degraded and the decision was made to help them cross. Some just without warning, decided on their own to leave us without notice...I will always feel like I never said goodbye.


00492It is never, never easy, but I kept in mind what they showed me. This is a normal part of life. We are born, we grow old, and we die, of something. unfortunately,  so do our beloved companion pets. .. We humans can only help provide love, and sometimes medications to provide comfort. I have learned to understand that when the quality of life fails, and you cannot stabilize, when there is not going to be any improvement, it may just be time to help them cross into the arms of their creator.


I must not let my fears, and uncertainty about death, get in the way of what is best for the Boston. I try to think of this time as having the honor and privilege of them sharing, their final experiences of unconditional love with me.  Separating the two is so difficult, but to be fair to a Boston you must. Of course there were times when I would become very unsure, and start doubting what I observed. The vet would, when I ask, reassure me it was time, they were in too much pain, or we would not be able to stabilize them.


I could choose to continue to watch them fade and pump in more medicine to continue to reduce the pain.  But I would not improve the faithful ftiendquality of life, and they would die, no matter what the vet could do or I could wish.  The thought of filling them with more pain reducing medication, where they would be numb to the pain, just so I could watch them die.  Or I could hug them, love them and let them cross the rainbow in my arms, as the vet suggested might be the most humane way.   What kind of choice was this. So hard. What is the right decision? How can you ever be sure which decision is the right one?  Is there a right decision?
But amidst the saddens, even now, several years later, a fleeting memory of love, a delight and joy, will float in front of my pain and sadness of making those decisions.  Like a butterfly that gently floats into sight, and as I remember another joyful event will drift in then another. I am lost in the experience of sharing a very special moment in time of a very special teacher.  When I look at the many photos taken in the last days with the distance of time I know the right decisions were made. The passing of life spirit from them is so obvious, the pain in their eyes, makes me feel sad, maybe we should not have not waited as long as we did.


So hard and I will never know what was the right decision, to help them cross and not suffer or let them remain and suffer, unable to help. How do you ever feel like the decision made was the "real" right one?  I do get some comfort when I see how others handle this struggle, from a distance, sometimes the decision seems like it is so much easier. I know I am not the only one that has faced this, I am not alone.

But when you are there holding, feeding, cleaning up after, watching their breathing, panting, and looking into their eyes... so much harder... Despite all my doubts, something (I want to believe it was the dogs spirit), told me I’d done the right thing.

 leftlife notmyheartEach time it is different, each time I learn something new, They are not afraid to cross, I wish I will be as unafraid of the end as they who live in the moment seem to be. All you can do is ask your vet to help decide when all than can be done is done. and it is out of our hands and let the Boston tell us. It’s the strangest thing, but sometimes I thought the dogs were more concerned, that I was accepting their leaving. If you listen and watch you will know.  Our precious dogs are not afraid of death... But we are..

The relief of pain and suffering is probably the most common reason owners have for euthanasing a beloved pet. Because animals are now living long enough (just like people) to die slowly by degrees from chronic, incurable, sometimes-painful illnesses like cancer, renal disease and heart failure, it is becoming very common for owners to have to make this choice about what is kindest for their terminally ill pets.
Not every animal that develops or is diagnosed with a terminal illness needs to be put down right away. Many of our Bostons with the right medications and diet have a good quality of life and do not need to be put down right away. 
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 As long as these animals are not suffering; are not in unmanageable pain and are performing all of their normal functions adequately (eating, drinking and toileting normally and not losing excessive amounts of weight), then it is generally fine to keep them going.¹


This next part is graphic so you may not want to read it but others may rather learn here what occurs when you bring your dieing Boston to the veterinarian to let your dog cross the rainbow.. For others you may want to know so below this saying is for those ready to learn what will happen once you ask your veterinarian to  help you say good bye.


Just remember it is YOUR friend, YOUR Boston, that is passing away and you can do anything you wish to ease your transition into the time of separation from that friend.





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 Typical humane euthanasia procedure:

This is where the term "put to sleep" comes from. The animal peacefully and instantly falls asleep (undergoes anaesthesia) and then passes through into death without experiencing any pain.¹

In order to administer the euthanasia solution, your veterinarian must gain entry into a vein. The euthanasia solution is specially made to act quickly and painlessly but it must be administered intravenously. This requires that your Boston be calm and confident. If the veterinarian requests your permission to sedate your dog, please understand that the request is made in order to humanely and peacefully accomplish the task at hand. If your Boston is uncooperative, defensive, afraid or even fractious, your veterinarian and you will not be able to properly carry out the euthanasia procedure.When the veterinarian is ready to administer the euthanasia solution the assistant will help hold your dog and put a slight amount of pressure on a vein, usually in the foreleg. This allows the veterinarian to see the vein better and aids in passing a fine needle into the vein. When it is certain that the needle is within the vein the veterinarian slowly injects the euthanasia solution.²



Some important things you need to also make decisions on if you ask your veterinarian to help your Boston cross the bridge. These only you the dogs owner can answer...

Do you stay with your Boston while it crosses over?

 Keep in mind, then, how YOU will act at your pet's final moments is to remember that euthanasia is a completely personal experience.

You have to decide what is best for you and your pet. Your pet has been a huge part of your life for a long time and this is not an easy thing for you to do."²


 The decision to euthanasia is indicated when the animal is starting to suffer as a result of its incurable disease and drugs are no longer available or enough to help relieve this suffering.


Animals that are constantly in pain due to an enlarging tumor; animals that are constantly in agony from lesions in the bones or joints (e.g. bone cancer, severe arthritis); animals that are always vomiting, diarrhea and suffering from intestinal pain and upset as a consequence of severe intestinal disease or ulceration caused by chronic renal or liver failure. In these kinds of cases, it is often much kinder to put the animal out of its misery using veterinary drugs than it is to force the animal to go on until it eventually dies in agony from its disorder. Sometimes the pain and suffering involved in the care and attempted cure of an animal patient is simply not worth the very small chance there will be of a good outcome. This is a valid reason for an animal to be put out of its misery.¹

The idea of what constitutes a "quality of life" for an animal and what importance "dignity" plays to an animal differs from owner to owner and pet to pet. Many humans would consider it a fate worse than death to be left blind and/or deaf and yet a dog or cat may cope just fine.¹

You certainly have a right to know what will be done with your dog or cat if you choose to leave it with the veterinarian.

It is your personal choice whether or not to be present in the exam or surgery room when the veterinarian administers the euthanasia solution. Some people choose to stay in the waiting room during the euthanasia procedure and then briefly view their pet after it has passed away, maybe then spending a few moments in private with their pet. No one is comfortable with death, especially your veterinarian and animal hospital staff who face death every day.

 It is your personal choice whether or not to be present in the exam or surgery room when the veterinarian administers the euthanasia solution.

It is perfectly normal and acceptable to cry.  This can be a very sad time and even though the animal hospital staff might have to go through this all too often, there really is no getting used to euthanizing a dog or cat. The animal hospital staff has often formed a strong connection with many of the pets in their care and often join in the crying; so you really have no need to pretend that you can handle it when inside you feel terrible.²
If you think your pet would be more comfortable and less apprehensive (not all pets relish coming to the animal hospital!) you may ask the veterinarian to provide your pet with some sedation prior to your visit.

Many pet owners choose to help hold their pet and if possible even have the pet in their arms at the time of euthanasia.
Usually within six to twelve seconds after the solution is injected the pet will take a slightly deeper breath, then grow weak and finally lapse into what looks like a deep sleep. (This state gives rise to the questionable euphemism "to put to sleep".)

If the client chooses to take the pet home, by pre-arrangement a container is at the ready to receive the pet. The veterinarian usually will place the pet into the container and carry the deceased pet out to the car for the owner.


If the pet owner chooses to have the pet cremated the veterinarian generally will make the arrangements through a cremation service and notify you when you can expect to have the ashes returned.

It is not unusual nor unreasonable for pet owners to save a bit of their pet's fur as a physical remembrance of their special friend.

Some people want their pet to be buried or cremated with a few photos, or a rose or even a personal letter or poem from the pet owner to their pet.

Here's another suggestion: You may want someone to be with you after the euthanasia appointment to drive you home. You may be surprised how difficult it can be to concentrate on driving after such an emotional event as what you just experienced.



 Related articles to read:

Grieving Our Pets Part 1 of 2
Grieving Our Pets Part 2 of 2
Making the Decision to Euthanize a Beloved Pet
RAINBOW BRIDGE, a great comfort for those suffering from a loss

Am I crazy to hurt so much?
Memorializing a Pet


¹ is euthanasia

² euthanasia what to expect