Monday, March 18, 2019

The Quality of Life Scale: Your Guide to Knowing When to Say Goodbye to Your Pet

Even though my time with my Teacher's Pet Sitting Service friends is far less than they have with their families their loss stabs me in the heart in more ways than you can imagine. Knowing in advance that a pet is suffering from a serious illness, knowing the due date for his or her euthanasia, having the chance to say goodbye days before THE appointment, and having a wonderful time with the pet prior to a sudden loss doesn't ease the pain of no longer being able to see a dear friend on the next walk and/or cuddle. Whether these clients/friends have been with me for a few months or numerous years, there were memories that will not soon be forgotten.

As soon as my pet sitting friends were diagnosed with a serious illness I've been asked how long they should wait until they let their pet go. My first response was to ask if their pet has quality of life; in other words, I want to know if that pet has been showing an interest in eating, drinking, playing, having treats, and going for walks. If the interest is not as it should be I suggest that they keep a log of his or her activity or lack thereof and consult their veterinarian for further counsel.

I've always said that every pet, every family, and every situation is different with unique considerations for those involved but ultimately I've found that every pet gives certain cues that they are ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge. 
Henry in his better days acting as my co-pilot!

In my situation with my dear tabby cat, Henry, (whose box holding his fur is pictured above) he let me know that he wanted to go on a car ride to see the vet but within minutes of the drive he reached up to take a final look out the window (a favorite activity of his since he was a kitten) and then made a strange noise and passed away. I still shudder when I think of that moment but I am comforted knowing he passed away doing what he loved: riding in my lap in the car.

If you're reading this you are in deep distress while trying to determine if it is time to say goodbye to your beloved pet so I did some research and found a test that will help you reach your decision called the Quality of Life Scale.

Please feel free to reach out with words of wisdom or to share your story of loss.

I hope this post is of some comfort to you.

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