Wednesday, April 29, 2009

too human to be humaine

It's the weirdest things that make you realize your mortality and how you treat others in this world. My parents put my dog, Zoey, down this week. She was a 15-year old Labrador/Springer Spaniel mix that was my best friend and will always be my puppy. She was suffering from arthritis in her hips for a long time, had lost most of her sight and hearing, and was just miserable.

On Friday afternoon, my mother called to let me know they were taking her to the Vet to be put down, which hence ruined any chance of me getting any further work done while at my job. They ended up getting some anti-inflamitories for her, but apparently she had a stroke or seizure overnight and was much worse over the weekend.

I went to their home on Sunday for my father's (69th) birthday celebration. They kept her in the garage overnight since she was messing inside the house, and I went to see her right away. I immediately started crying; she was on her bed covered in my dad's flannel jacket shivering. She hadn't touched her food or water and I don't know if she knew it was me or not. You had to lean right next to her so she could hear you, and I kept telling her how good she was and I loved her through my tears.

As I re-entered the house, my mother and fiance saw my face and asked if I was okay. I begged them to put her out of her misery since I couldn't stand to see her suffer like that. On Monday, my mother called again to let me know they had her put down since it was just too much. My father, who was against putting her down at all, was the one who took her to the vet and is taking her passing rather hard. I'm just glad she's not suffering anymore.

My career right now is working in the Hearing Care industry, which requires me to work with the elderly on a daily basis. I see people who are in their 80's, 90's, and more that are still youthful and living life to the fullest. I also see people in their 70's that are suffering terribly.

My question: How can we put animals down when their suffering, claiming it's the "humaine thing to do" but allow our elders, our family, to suffer for years under the cloud of medications and being in a semi-conscious state and that's okay? I know that if I were in so much pain and had a terrible quality of life, I would want someone to do the same for me as we did for my Zoey.

The terrible truth about this is who is the one who would put these elderly out of their misery? It's the same with the death penalty: people are for it, but no one wants to be the one to insert that needle. It's ok on someone's conscious to put an animal down, but if it was their mother suffering and asking for relief, they wouldn't do it.

I know I would want to do the same for my parents, but I don't know if I could do it myself. I would want the best for them regardless. I welcome your thoughts on this, as with all my writings, and appreciate everything you all have to contribute.


  1. I'm sorry about your dog, zoey. It's a shame that pets have to get old, but in turn, like you said, I wouldn't want them to suffer anymore than they have to. Your blogs always leave with me with something to think about. Your writing is profound.

  2. This is actually something I'll probably be dealing with soon as well. My dog, Bear, is a going to be 15 this year and he's had this horrible cough for the past year and can't even really bark anymore. We have him on multiple medications, and he seems happy. We can only hope he goes naturally cause I couldn't bear putting him down like that. But I can see how my views would change, if I saw him in that state that you saw your Zoey in. I'm really sorry for your loss.

    But you raise a very interesting point. Euthansia is something that's been on debate for quite a while now and EVERYONE freaked over the Terri Sharvo (sp?) situation. Although, I'd have to agree with you, in some cases. If I were in that much suffering, I would want to be let go and save myself, my family, friends, and their finances a lot of pain to watch that suffering. But you're actually making me question my own stance on the death penalty now, because I'm actually vehemently against that. But to me, the real difference is that an inmate is guilty of a crime, therefore it is not a physical ailment, but a mental one. One who is in a hospital, suffering, and not getting better is in a lot of physical AND mental pain. But then again, I don't think prisons should be for retribution and seperatism in the first place, but hey, I don't make the rules and I have no idea what goes into making prisons and dealing with inmates, so I very well have no scope of what it's really like. It's a hard question to answer, and I can see both sides, which makes my own opinion on the topic of both euthansia and the death penalty quite shaky...

  3. Sorry about you dog. We will never be able to chose the same action to our loved ones because of our legal system and religious backgrounds.
    I defend the instance that allows a person to decide her own fate. But I know that the day of free choice is very far from now. Maybe when we get old we will have some previleges. Maybe.