Euthanasia and Saying Good-Bye To A Beloved Pet During the Pandemic
Guest blog post by the amazing Coleen Ellis from Two Hearts Pet Loss Center - originally posted 5/13/20.
My heart breaks when I hear people talk about saying good-bye to their precious pet loves during this time of social distancing.
After euthanizing three beautiful loves in our own family in a span of eighteen months, to not hold their heads in my hand and telling them over and over and over and over again how much I love them would have been awful. For all of you going through this now, my heart breaks with you.
I took some time when all of this started to record ideas for both loving pet parents and veterinary professionals on how to still create a beautiful experience in saying a final good-bye to a beloved pet. You can see them here on my learning site: https://twoheartspetlosscenter.thinkific.com/collections as well as some beautiful downloadable guides and readings. Please use all of the information there!
Even with all of this, there’s still an open wound, one that eats away at a pet lover’s heart with guilt to not be with the pet for their final breath. However, as I’ve said in all of the articles and helpful videos, there’s always a “can” in the prescribed “cants” with the revised protocols for veterinary professionals and social distancing. There’s always a can.
Here’s what you CAN do. And, I share this with you from MY experience and what’s been helpful and healing for us. If your appointment for euthanasia was at your veterinary clinic, then take your beautiful love home for your own version of a wake or visitation.
Take. Them. Home.
If your final appointment to say good-bye was in the comfort of your own home, then keep your fur-baby home with you.
Keep. Them. Home.
I’m telling you, from my heart to yours, this is one of the most beautiful memories we have with our precious loves. This is OUR time, to slow down and say good-bye. To share memories. To laugh. To cry. To toast a life shared. This is OUR time.
Possibly you want to know “what do you do with them? How do you hold their bodies? Is there any issue with their deceased body?” We keep our pets in their own little beds, where they liked to sleep. For Ellie and Harry, we left them in our bedroom, where they were comfortable in their bed and we moved around them. We ate dinner in our bedroom, we shared our memories there, and we did our wine toasts there. We took breaks, knowing we could go back to our bedroom when we needed to say another “I love you” or spend a bit of quiet reflection time.
For Crisco, our little guy, he was in his bed. We took him wherever we went throughout the house and had him with us. I remember our last morning with him. It was a gorgeous, peaceful Dallas morning, and we had our coffee and final good-byes on our back veranda. The sun was out, and it was just spectacular. We felt like the sky had opened up to welcome him Home, with the sun rays as his guide.
We keep them home for 2 days, with no issues with their bodies. Most certainly, there might be a slight smell after time, but as a pet lover who isn’t used to smells, right?! And, then when WE are ready, we take them ourselves to the crematory. It’s all on OUR time.
It’s also time for our other pets to say their good-bye. And, in their classic way, even if they didn’t get along, they still pay their respects. Classic, beautiful animals.
There is a “can” in all of this. And, I can also share with you that for the countless families I’ve suggested this to, everyone of them has said to me “thank you! I didn’t even know I could do that, and it was the best ever. Thank you.”
I share my heart with you, and my suggestions. As there is a way to still do everything you can in saying good-bye to a precious love.