A few months back we had to say good-bye to our beloved friend Jaeger.
Jaeger was one of the kindest souls I have ever met. He helped us with so many foster dogs and in our dog training. But most of all, he brought so much joy and happiness into our daily lives. He was my companion for 13 years. Words cannot express what he meant to me and my husband. He will be forever missed.
Having to say good-bye is never easy, and deciding on whether or not to help your pet across the Rainbow Bridge is a hard and very difficult decision to make. I chose to share our experience with At-Home Euthanasia with you, in the hopes that it may offer some help, when the time comes for your pet to cross the Rainbow Bridge.
How do you know when it's time to say good-bye?
It was obvious that Jaeger was not feeling well. For some time he had trouble getting up and was walking slowly. There was no longer that happy tailwag and the bounce in his steps. He was eating very little and mostly just laid outside on the patio, panting heavily.
Jim and I started to talk about the possibility of having to decide on whether or not to help Jaeger to cross over. Both of us have owned dogs our entire lives and have had to say good-bye to pets several times. We've had dogs and cats die naturally of old age and also had to take several to the veterinarian to be euthanized.
I remembered one of our friends had recently used a veterinarian service that came to their house and had used in-home euthanasia. When I mentioned it in my conversation with Jim, we both felt it sounded like a more peaceful way to help our dog cross over. So we decided that we would use this kind of service when the time came.
But how do you know when it's really time? That question was heavy on our minds. However, it was Jaeger who told us that it was time. He had stopped eating and drinking and would no longer get up. The last night, he wouldn't even come off the patio to sleep inside the house. Jim and I both knew it was time to let Jaeger go.
With a heavy heart I called Pets at Peace, a veterinary service I had researched online to schedule an appointment for the following day.
Surrounded by family and other pets
When the time for the appointment came, we surrounded Jaeger with blankets and sat with him while the doctor examined him gently. She ask us several questions and then said; "Yes, it's time."
We ask her if she was ok with us bringing our other dogs out to be with Jaeger and she said that that was fine.
She explained the process to us. She would use two injections. The first would be a sedative so that Jaeger would fall asleep, while the second would stop his heart. She assured us that Jaeger would fall asleep and then when the second injection was given, not feel anything and peacefully pass.
Jim and I took turns holding Jaeger's head in our laps and kissing him on his beautiful face. His tail wagged a little and then his eyes closed and he fell asleep. Our other dogs. Heidi and Apollo, gently sniffed Jaeger's body and then both walked away. The doctor looked at us to make sure we were ready and when we nodded she gave the second injection.
We sat with Jaeger for a while and the doctor checked his vitals several times. Within a few minutes she indicated that Jaeger was gone. She then gave us all the time we needed to say our final good-byes.
Once we were ready, she brought a stretcher and we gently put Jaeger on it and his body was loaded into the back of her car. We watched as she drove away so that Jaeger's body could be cremated.
Why we recommend In-Home Euthanasia
Our experience with the In-Home Euthanasia was very positive. From the very first phone call, to making the appointment and finally having the doctor at our home, we felt lovingly cared for. It was comforting to have the doctor guide us through the process and all of it felt peaceful for Jaeger.
Paying for the service and deciding what would happen with Jaeger's body afterwards was taking care off before the appointment. I was able to do all of it online. I was glad to make these choices before hand, because I would not have wanted to deal with it during or after the appointment.
Most of all, having the veterinarian come to us, rather than having to take Jaeger to the office, was the most important part. We all know that dogs don't like to go to the vets office, and transporting Jaeger in his condition would have been uncomfortable for him, if not painful. The in-home service allowed Jaeger to be comfortable in his own home, surrounded by his family.
I also believe that having our other dogs present and see Jaeger and smell his body after he was gone, helped them with the process of losing their life-long friend. Both Heidi and Apollo came to us as puppies and Jaeger helped raise them. So I know they would have wondered why he was taken away, and not returned, had we taken him to the vet. By allowing them to see his passing, they both had closure.
We loved Jaeger and we miss him every day. I am glad he is no longer suffering, and I hope he will meet me at the gate, when my time comes.
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