By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
Pets are important family members for their owners. They provide comfort, companionship and affection to young and old family members. Cats and dogs can help decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels in their owners, reduce loneliness and even provide exercise and socialization for us. Even the U.S. Government encourages pet ownership for our health! According to the CDC, caring for a pet has many health benefits. At the same time, losing a pet can be stressful.
This Wednesday I had to put my much loved cat, Niche, down. She was a big part of our family and has been with me for over 17 years. It was a tough decision. We knew she was dying from feline renal failure and we knew it would be a matter of time before she started suffering. By Wednesday it was time. I knew I wanted to give her the best possible end of life experience I could. So I called the Compassionate Vet and he came to our home and euthanized our “baby” in familiar warm surroundings.
Dr. Shanon, aka The Compassion Vet, is a vet that makes house calls! He provides hospice care, wellness care and pet euthanasia services. He also sees pets at this clinic at 620 W. Webster. I first met Dr. Shanon years ago when he came to a friend’s home to euthanize my friend’s cat. Last year Dr. Shanon put our other cat down and each time I’ve worked with him he’s been very supportive and compassionate.
Losing our “children,” which our kitties are in some ways, was tough enough. But I would not want to have to drag my dying cat outside in this weather in a cat carrier to the vet’s office with other dogs and cats and bright lights for her last moments. For me that would have been torture for her and for me. Instead she got to sit with us on a comfy space on the familiar family coach and Dr. Shanon came in and examined her. He agreed she was suffering and it was a reasonable time to let her go. He injected a sedative to calm her down before he gave her the final injection that let her go peacefully. Then he took her sweet body with him for cremation.
Death is not easy and losing a pet is very difficult. But I am so relieved she is not suffering and we were able to give her this very peaceful last few moments. When Dr. Shanon left he gave us a folder with some wonderful handouts on grief and handling the loss of a pet.
I am sad that I lost my two cats, but I am so very grateful for the years of love and affection I received from them. I am just as grateful for the opportunity they gave me and my family to love and care for them. My blood pressure is and health has benefited as well as my mental health. And I thank Dr. Shanon for making the end of my cat’s lives easier to bear.
Link to the Compassionate Vet website here.