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shadowsmama

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Posts: 67
 #1 
This is an honest and innocent question...not intended to start any kind of debate/ argument or anything....Why do we put animals down? Obviously we don't put people down....what is the difference? Is it because people get hospice and morhine and all that and animals don't. Is it that much more drawn out and horrible for them (and us) when they are allowed to go naturally? I only ask because I haven't yet had to go through all that and don't know what it's like....and I was just sitting here wondering....FYI I'm not against it or anything
..and I even remember thinking when my husband's gramma was dieing in hospice, she's not really even here anymore and it would be so much easier for her and everyone else if she would just go now...everyone seemed so prepared and they were all there waiting and she was completely uncontious for days though she didn't seem like she was in any pain...I remember thinking "let her go now while were all here rather than having to get a call in the middle of the night that she went alone"
I guess what I'm wondering is....Would it be better and more guilt free just to give a much loved pet pain medicine and let them go when their body is ready???Or would that just be harder on everyone involved??? Would that relieve the guilt or just cause more?

mollyboltsmom

Registered:
Posts: 991
 #2 
Well. I'll jump in here.
I've had animals die at home. And I had to put my sweet schnauzer Molly to sleep last October. It was the first time I ever had to make that decision for a furbaby. And I would do it again. She was only 10, and malignant oral melanoma was taking over her mouth. We looked at surgery; we couldn't in good conscience do that to her. It would have meant taking her entire lower jaw.
The cancer spread to the lymph nodes, and the vet told us on the day we helped her to the Bridge, that it would spread to her lungs next. When cancer takes over the lungs, the animal cannot breathe; he panics as he suffocates. Would anyone choose that end for a beloved furbaby?
During those last 6 weeks, she was on prednisone for the pain, and on antibiotics to slow down the progress of the poisoning of the tumor. So she was on medication to "make her comfortable." But there were no heroics. We couldn't do it to her.
When we took Moll in that day, she was having trouble eating and drinking because the tumor in her mouth was the size of half a tennis ball. But..she made friends at the fence with a puppy running loose in the neighborhood, she ran the fence with her fence mates, the Labs, she went for a walk in a cow pasture, she ate chocolate for the first and only time. The vet said that by the end of the week she would be struggling; the blood supply to the tumor had shut down, turning the color from bright red to a gangrenous color. It would slowly poison her. Would anyone choose that end for a beloved furbaby?
It was my husband's desire that Molly would just pass in her sleep peacefully and save us having to follow through on a terrible decision. We would not, could not, let her suffer. She gave us too much in those short ten years.
That is my answer to your question.
Have a peaceful day.
Molly's Mom
WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #3 
Dear Shadow's Mom,

I have seen my beloved pets go both naturally and by being put to sleep.  And, I can tell you without a single doubt, I prefer (as someone who works in human medicine and as a lover of animals) that my pets be put to sleep.  When I was a child my family had very little money, so our animals got little care from the vet aside from their vaccinations.  I remember some of their deaths and the memories are awful. 

In human medicine, we call end of life medication and care "comfort care".  Comfort care can help people gently and painlessly transition to the afterlife.  They are not going simply because their body "is ready".  They are terminal, and in process of dying, and are being helped along a bit by a combination of medication and choices in level of care.   I remember how awful it was before we began implementing this concept.  Natural death is not comfortable for many people.  I have witnessed it many, many times.

As far as your question about why we don't do "comfort care" for animals...Well, probably because we don't want them to have to linger.  We don't want to watch them go into agonal breathing and wait for that last breath to stop.  Euthanasia literally means "good death" and I believe it is.  It is quick and painless if done correctly.  Forgive me for being so frank.  I don't mean to offend anyone here.  I just believe animals in our society often have a better chance at a humane death than we humans do.  This is just my opinion. 

Hugs,
Melissa
Christy

Registered:
Posts: 166
 #4 
Dear shadowsmama -

As a nurse, I often wonder why veterinary medicine is not as advanced as it is for humans.  You would think that as much as we love our furkids that we could find the type of help for them when they are very, very ill as we do with people.  There are some things that just can't be fixed in our beloved furbabies because they do not yet have the technology or rural clinics do not have the equipment to do so.   I think that is why we have that option. 

For some it may be the cost of caring for a pet that needs to have medical care that may run into the thousands.  I know I personally would make some sort of arrangements to do all that I could possibly do, but there may be elderly people on fixed incomes and others who have fallen on hard times, or even young families with children.   The expense could cause terrible hardships for some.

I would hope that no vet would ever put an animal down because it was not wanted but I know that has happened even in my town.  And the shelters that are full with many waiting to be adopted - in an ideal world we would have spay/neuter clinics that are free and available to everyone.  I know in the area where I live, they do not have such places yet.

It is always an individual choice for those considering this.  I am sure that most vets would be willing to give pain meds for the suffering so that they could pass away in their own time.  For some to see the suffering, it is too much.  And for those who believe as I do that we are all going on to a Rainbow Bridge (and I am sure each person has their own interpretation of the Bridge), I know that there is something better than sickness and suffering waiting for us and our beloved pets there.

I think there are certainly cases in which either could be done (PTS or pain meds and support for the dying), and thankfully we can decide which route to take.  Neither is an easy decision and can be made in haste.  Speaking only for myself, I have been able to interpret the needs of my furkids by their eyes.  I believe that each of them have told me through their eyes, their wishes.  We hold their fate and their heartbeats in our hands from the time they come into our lives.  As we get to know and love and understand them, we are better able to decide on one versus the other. 

I am glad that we have both options.  There are times when I have used the pain meds and the support over the PTS choice.  Each and every case is so very personal that we are lucky to be able to chose what we think is best for our loving furbabies and for us.

Christy
Kassidys' mom (still fighting cancer) 
Katie's mom (one year at the Bridge on July 6th)


JasminesMom

Registered:
Posts: 440
 #5 
Dear shadowsmama:

I know as you said in your post you were just curious about this topic but I can tell you having to end my Jasmine's life was the single hardest thing I've ever had to do but like most have said here already I'd choose that over a painful possibly drawn out death anytime.  I'd want no less for any loved one of mine to be honest.  In my situation I just didn't feel like I had any other choice as my decisions had to be made quickly and Jasmine had been in violent tremors for hours without explanation and very ominous predictions and my worst fear of all was she'd pass in pain, without warning and alone in a dark vet's office.  I'll always question that decision I guess because I'm human and I would have given my own life to save her if that would have helped.  I miss her every day and my heart was ripped in two the day she left us.  But again I think if I had the same set of circumstances again be it for a loved one or furbaby, I'd choose whatever would lessen the pain for them and I'd try to do what I felt they needed the most from me.

Such a tough subject for me now and always will be but again, please know if I had felt any other choice was the right thing for Jasmine, I would have chosen it.  Both of our vets at the time supported the decision as well so I know too I didn't make the decision lightly.  My husband also didn't hesitate here either.

I'll always wonder what if, could I have waited for nature??? But again I think I did the best I could as I always did for Jas.  I hope she knows that.

                           JasminesMom (kathy)

kburchfield

Registered:
Posts: 36
 #6 

Let me share my story about putting down my kitten.I found three kittens that barley had their eyes opened.I brought them home and washed their faces to get their eyes opened, wash their bottoms so they could do their duty and bottle feed them.When they were big enoughI gave two of them away(which I foundout they didn't make it).We keep the orange one and named him George because he was the first one to poke his head out of the box alway ready to get into something.Even after he started eating food real good and around 4 months old I could get his bottle and he would jump in my lap and lay down like a baby and eat.He love to be outside as he got bigger so I decieded to get him fixed.We got him fixed and ten days later we had to put him down.He went outside that night and the next morning he came in and looked like his whole mouth had been tore-up by something.We rushed him to the vet she said she had seen cats with broken jaws before but never like our George's was.There was nothing no surgery no nothing that she could do to fix it.It was broke in 3 places, he would never be able to grab his food.I knew I couldn't bring him home and let him starve.I had no choice but to put him down.It broke my heart and still does.He was the first pet I have ever had to put down.He was only 8months old.He passed June 9th 2008.I love him and miss him so much.Kburchfield

HerbiesMom

Registered:
Posts: 196
 #7 

As hard as it has been to have my cats PTS, I never regretted that I did it that way.  You see, when I first had this feral colony and then Belle and then Herbie adopted me, the big daddy cat, Charles got sick after I'd been feeding him (and trap/nueter) and had him for about 6 or 7 years.  I later found out he had been in another neighborhood before that for 6 or more years, so old Charles had had a busy and good life.  I tried catching him when it was obvious he was sick, but he got away.  Finally, because he was so weak, I was later able to get him.  The vet said he was going recommended euthanasia so he wouldn't suffer.  I had no experience with that, so instead, I took him home, put him in a cage and tried meds (which terrified him) and he died on his own.  I now realize that was the wrong thing to do.  I've had one feral PTS and two that became pets, and in each case -- especially with Belle -- I waited too long.  But when I did, it struck me in an instant that it is too bad we don't do it with people!  But I think with humans, firstly, we can say where it hurts, we understand what is happening to us, and humans can tolerate and understand hospice care.  Our pets cannot, and they simply suffer.  Just because Charles died "peacefully" in appearances, it was not peaceful for him -- and so I learned from that experience.  I also know that for some vets, it breaks their hearts to see animals suffer because the owners can't let go and I know that they also understand completely.  Most vets take great care with pet owners because they know how hard it is for us to make that final, but loving, decision.  So I don't feel guilty about having my cats PTS, except for waiting too long.  I simply miss them and grieve constantly for them. 

basil

Registered:
Posts: 1,205
 #8 
I just had to reply to this post, because it is something I feel very strongly about.   I have adored all of my animals, and apart from two, I have had them all pts because they had reached the end of their lives.

My last Bridge baby was pts last December.  He was very old, about 19 or 20.  He had heart trouble for 5 years.  He was deaf, had hardly any teeth, and could hardly see because of cataracts.  Until the last day, he still wanted his little walk, and I always take that as a sign.  I asked the vet to call, as he had collapsed twice.  She said if I left him, he would be gone within 3 days as his heart had got so bad..  I asked her to release him then.  I have seen animals die without medical intervention, with the same problems as my Bas, and it is not a pretty sight.

In contrast, both of my parents had Alzheimers.  My Dad passed very peacefully, when it was obviously his time, though I will admit to wishing that he could have been euthanised before, to save all of the suffering he went through.  My Mum became very ill with a chest infection, and our Dr asked us if we wanted him to give her antibiotics, bearing in mind she was in the advanced stages of Alzheimers, both my sister and myself said no.  Mum fought the infection and lived for another 2 years, she obviously didnt want to leave just then.

I know the pain and the misery and the helplessness that I went through, with my parents and my babies, and all I can say is, that I wish my parents had been pets, because it would have saved them so much suffering.

I want to write a living will, so my son can in all consciense, have me pts, if it is legal by then.  Di xxx
plainjane

Registered:
Posts: 76
 #9 

shadows mom, I had my dog Bo pts when he was 14 years old. I had him since he was 6 weeks old and I had just gotten married and moved out of my parents house. Bo was a boxer and was a very strong and proud dog. He was very protective of me and my kids. When he was around 10 or 11 he got arthritis in his hips and even though medication helped him for a while it was appearent that eventually he wouldnt be able to get around. He also ended up with breathing problems on top of that. When he was 2 months shy of his 14th birthday he wasnt able to get up anymore. I remember one night I was in the basement getting clothes out of the dryer and I heard a lound thud on the floor upstairs. I ran up to find Bo on his side by the front door. He had to go outside but fell over and peed on the floor. He looked at me as I picked him up and put him back on the couch. He knew he had lived his best years, I could see it in his eyes, I knew I had to let him go. He has been at the bridge since Feb. 3rd 2001. I have only ever spoke of him once on this messege board but he was my knight in shining armor. Always my prorector. I STILL miss you Bo and I will always love you  Gizmo and Bos mom

sweetpepe

Registered:
Posts: 143
 #10 
This is a question that I have also pondered.

It is one that is fresh in my mind now as very recently a good friend lost her husband to colon cancer.  He fought it for years.  We were all amazed by his tremendous spirit and will to live.  He lived longer than was expected.

The last month of his life, however, was nearly unbearable for his wife and children.  He was in pain, he could not keep anything down, he lost his dignity as he could no longer control his bowels.  At the end he was on morphine and basically waiting to die.  The last week of his life was spent in Palliative Care in the hospital with his family spelling each other off and spending days and nights by his bedside.  

When he died it was  a great relief.  His suffering was over and so was that of his family.

Many of his friends have spoken to one another and we have all said "We would never let a dog suffer that way".   Why do we let people suffer that much?

The main difference, in my opinion, is that with pets we are allowed to PTS.  With humans we are not.  In some countries, such as the Netherlands, euthanasia is allowed.  I know this is a controversial topic and I just thought I'd weigh in with my thoughts.
Benniesmom

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #11 
Ooooooh Mollyboltsmom,  I know what you went through with the tumor invasion. As I read your post I cried because that is what we went through with our beloved Bennie. How it hurts to watch them suffer. 

With that in mind, I would like to address the question of why? I too asked the very same question. Why not let them go naturally? Because there is too much pain and suffering on both parts, theirs and ours.  I watched my Bennie suffer on his last days with a huge tumor in his lung. It was so big that his poor little chest bulged with the size of it.  We stayed up all night with him. He would walk up to me and sit and just stare at me with those big, beautiful brown eyes of his and I just knew he was suffering and asking me to help him, and OOOOOOOOOOh how I suffered along with him because I could not help him.  It makes me cry just to think and write about it.  Believe me the last thing I wanted to do was to let him go. I still can't let him go he was so precious to me.  That is why we eventually did IT and it was the most painful thing we have ever had to do.  But we could not take the pain of watching him slowly suffocate to death. That would have been too much to bear. So I guess we do it as much for  them as for us.

Hope this helps to answer your question.

Loudpurring

Registered:
Posts: 774
 #12 
We don't always put  animals to sleep. Where I work we rarely do. And they do use morphine for pain control in Pets.
 
I wish we could put people down. After my Mom being a vegtable for years, I wish we could  have put her down.
 
Some of the reasons is that pets don't understand what is happening so it is very frightening and confuseing to them. I think it is the same for people. It is just that animals do not have the same rights as people. Yet people don't have the right to die so, I don't know.
bdpringle

Registered:
Posts: 190
 #13 
Shadowsmom,
When Jade was a mere 6 months old we saved her from going to the pound because the family that had her just couldn't get her to potty train.  This family kept her chained to their front porch all day and all night, and just couldn't understand why this dog couldn't figure out that it wasn't OK to potty in the house.  I was 17 when I adopted her, and I had her potty trained in a week.  Then 2 years later I went to college, and my parents took care of her for several years until I had a house where she could live.  One fateful Sunday night my dad left for stormwatch/fireman duty and didn't pen her in the kitchen (she had the entire dinning room to herself).  She was so frightened by the storm she destroyed his entire bed.  So my husband and I picked up everything, and made whirlwind trip from Colorado to Iowa to go get her.  I had been waiting years to have her back.  Well, she was 9 at this point and we knew if he had taken her to a pound she would not have been adopted and instead of would have been put to sleep. 

Jade has had fatty tumors most of her life, and they never bothered her so they were never taken out.  My the time she was 9 she was no longer considered a good candidate for sugery, and I wasn't going to risk it since she wasn't bothered.  Her only change was instead of squatting to pee, she popped her leg up like a boy.  Eventually the tumors spread to her chest cavity and lungs. She couldn't breathe, she wouldn't play, she wouldn't eat...her eyes gave it all away.  She was just plain miserable.  We bribed her for a week to eat with peanut butter alone.  It's all she would take.  Despite the fact she was so miserable she still followed me around the house the best she could.  We took her to the vet for the consultation regarding euthansia, as we had spoke many times during that week.  Our options were to put her to sleep or spend a fortune fighting a losing battle against what had already silently ravaged her body.  While she would have never made it through surgery to have the tumors removed, we could forced her through chemo and radiation which would have only made her more miserable.  Indeed, we put her to sleep.  I wasn't going to force my dog to go through chemo and radiation.  It would have seemed I would made the decision to spend more time with her.  I would have much preferred to her pass at home, and I told her several times it was ok to go.  She just ddn't want to leave her family.

Daun
Becky57

Registered:
Posts: 657
 #14 

There was a time when I believed that you should fight for the right to stay alive no matter what--animals and people.  This was when I was younger and knew everything.  Then my mom died from renal failure.  Yes, they had her on morphine and all kinds of pain medicine.  Still I know she was suffering because I was with her.  I remember praying for the end to come.  So I believe that it all depends on what you have seen.  No living creature should have prolonged suffering.  It is just that the laws are more complicated with humans.

Nancee

Registered:
Posts: 1,328
 #15 
I think euthanasia is probably 100% kinder than a drawn out death that just causes suffering for the animal and people caring for him/her.
I guess the trick is to now when there is or isn't still hope for some type of recovery or quality of life. I think "quality of life" is subjective, too, which complicates things. It's individual what I might think is quality of life versus someone elses definition of it. Some pets are in terrible conditions, yet they still have love and some comfort. Some pets are healthy, but they are lonely and maybe not as happy as they should be. It's complicated and subjective.
Stormie

Registered:
Posts: 36
 #16 
Shadow,

First let me say I'm so sorry for your loss and your question is quite an emotional one.

Nature takes care of animals that are sick and suffering and no longer able to get around.  They do not linger for months or years suffering in pain.  However, our babies have the benefits of medicines that are not available to those in the wild usually and for that reason they are able to be with us longer.  I believe it is then our responsibility to make sure they do not suffer and let them go when the time is right.  It is never an easy decision nor one we take lightly, but one we make out of love for our babies.

As for humans, there are countries that offer humans the same options.  Here in the US Oregon has had the death with dignity law for more then ten years now.  It is not widely excepted for mainly religious reasons but as our population gets older I'm sure this topic will become more in the for front.

To answer your question as with everything it is a personal choice.  For me, when you love someone (animal or human) you don't want to watch them suffer or lose their quality of life.  When the body no longer gives the independence and freedom that is such an important part of life and pain and suffering are part of every hour of the day.............it is time to let them go.

We let them go out of love.......it is the hardest thing we ever have to do in life, but so is watching them suffer needlessly.

Take care.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Shadows}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Stormie



aurichwolf

Registered:
Posts: 555
 #17 
In response to your post I know it seems cruel at times that we can't help humans we love to cross over but we live in a society with laws and we must abide by those laws.
They are in place for good reasons and also humans have a choice to make a living will or a directive about their health care so they can choose to not have heroic measures or artificial life support used if they wish.

This issue however is not for this site as we deal with the loss of our loved pets here and there are many sites on whhich we can voice our opinions about human beings rights and laws governing them.

 Pets don't have choices or a way to communicate them except by letting their owners know with their behavior near the end of an illness or with the look in their eyes.
When we look deep into their eyes they tell us when they have had enough and it's up to us to be able to know when it's time to let them go with dignity and end their pain.
We must look at this decision as the most loving unselfish gift we could ever give because they are much more aware then we are that ending their pain only serves to send them on a journey to a new adventure which will last for eternity.
This a path we too will walk one day and at the end of that journey we will be reunited with all we love.

In answer to your last point I offer the following observation for thought.
When someone comes to the board having put to sleep a loved pet they often feel guilty because they feel they have ended their pets life and maybe that was a power they should not have.
Some feel they had no right.
Others feel maybe they did so to soon and question if there was more they could have done.
Still others feel awful because they simply could not afford the tremendous expense of the on going care.

When someone comes to the board having had a pet who suffered and died having much pain they feel guilty because they think they should have not let the suffering go on so long.
Some feel guilty that they were not with their pet at the time of their passing.
Many feel their pets hung on just for them and that too makes them feel as though they should have let them go by helping them cross to Rainbow Bridge.

The bottom line is every one of these feelings are perfectly normal though none justified because in the end we all do what our hearts and minds tell us is best and with the advise of a caring Vet we choose.
We and our personal vet know our pet best and there is no one here on this board or anywhere else who can offer advise as to weather or not we made the right choices or how those choices will effect our lives.
All we can do here is offer love and support and a caring heart to share.
Most of all we let each other know every day that no one walks alone down this path of grief.
We hold on to eachother's hand and cry together.
One day the sun will shine again and the memories will comfort us till we see our loved ones again.
May we all find that peace we so long for.

Love and Peace,
AurichWolf
Kathy
DrewTenderHeartWolf

Registered:
Posts: 1,493
 #18 

shadowsmama, I have had to have three furbabies pts over the years I have been a furmom.  The first time was a total surprise to me and I made a horrible decision as when the vet told me my Cody was just very old and was dying, I did not have time to make an informed decision.  I left Cody for a group cremation and was not with him when he was pts.  This is something that I think about now and totally regret.  I don't regret having him pts mind you, but I wish I had brought him home.  I blame this on the vet (whom I no longer go to) for not talking with me at a time when I was obviously very distressed (crying my eyes out and sobbing uncontrollably).  He simply walked out of the room and sent a staffer in to have me sign the paper work and pay for it. 

 

When I had Drew pts, there was absolutely no hope of her recovering.  She was shot, had spent a week at the hospital and as each day went by, she lost more and more feeling in the back portion of her little body.  There was simply too much nerve damage for her to recover from.  The first day or two we actually thought about amputating her leg and her tail, but she was too hurt and I just couldn't put her through anymore.  So, when the vet called me that Monday morning to tell me this and to ask what I wanted to do, I told her to end the suffering.  It ripped my heart out for she was less than two years old.  I was not with her when she was pts, but I did bring her home and she is layed to rest in our pet cemetery in the woods behind our house.

 

My Kahn contracted a horrible, horrible illness.  As with Drew, there was simply no hope of recovery.  The decision to have him pts was immediate for I could not put him through the suffering that Drew had gone through.  I was with him when he was pts and was amazed at how peaceful it was.  I had him cremated and he too is layed to rest in our pet cemetery.  I carry some of his ashes in an urn locket I wear on a chain around my neck.  The chain also has a locket with Drew's photo and some of her fur, a picture of Maddy, and some of Precious's fur.

 

Maddy, an abandonded mama kitty I took in, disappeared September 2006.  Precious died seven weeks after I Kahn.  Precious left on her own terms.  I believe she died of a broken heart, missing her friend Kahn so much.  All of my other furkids over the last thirty years, have gone peacefully on their own.

 

I believe the decision to have a furbaby pts is one that we make out of the deep love we have for them.  We do not want them to suffer.

 

My dog Issi, whom I adopted at the age of six, seven weeks after losing Precious, was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphosarcoma less than a year after I adopted her.  She goes every three weeks for chemotherapy.  The last two times have made her extremely sick to her stomach.  She has also become incontinent, something for which I give her meds.  She also takes meds for her cancer.  I have asked the vet how long will the chemo go on.  The answer was indefinitely.  As long as it's working, we will keep doing it.  I would hate to stop doing it and then have the cancer come back.  At this point however, I am becoming increasingly more concerned about the nausea and the fact that she is sick for two or three days after the chemo.  When I take her in for her bloodwork tomorrow, it is something I will be talking with her vet about.  What I know is that when the time comes and the medicine and chemo no longer take care of the cancer, I will not let her suffer.  I know that God sent Issi to me for a reason.  I know that even if she was only with me for two years, but hopefully  more than that, I will let her go peacefully and before the suffering is too much for her.  She's a beautiful girl and she deserves to make her journey to the Bridge with dignity. 

 

Having watched several family and friends suffer with cancer over the years, I wish only that it could be so easy for us.

 

Take care.

 

Your friend,

 

DrewTenderHeartWolf

 

http://www.catster.com/cats/311365

WooWooWoo

Registered:
Posts: 5,100
 #19 
Thank you so much for your thoughtful post, DrewTenderHeartWolf.  All of us have struggled (and some are STILL struggling) with the decisions we have made, whether our animals have died naturally or been put to sleep, so I do understand why this topic was raised.  As Betsy's dementia progressed I literally agonized over whether I should put her to sleep.  I couldn't bear the thought of signing a paper that would allow a vet to stop her precious beating heart.   I prayed that God would take her in her sleep.  But, it was not to be.  I talked with a lot of people who had come to the same point with their pets.  I listened to all of their stories (the peaceful and not so peaceful).  I talked to my vet.  By gathering lots of information, I felt stronger.  So, for me, discussion/debate with my family and friends was helpful.  Then, I made my decision.  

I don't believe any single one of us should feel guilt over our choices, as I believe we all follow our hearts and heads as best we can.  The most important thing to remember is that our babies have been liberated from their suffering and we WILL be reunited with them one glorious day.   

I also agree with AurichWolf when she says there are other forums for discussing human end of life care and/or euthanasia.  

I am just so very, very grateful we all have each other as we travel our own individual paths of grief.   The one thing we ALL have in common is our profound losses.  

Thank you to EdW, in particular, for starting this board.  It is a GODSEND.

Melissa
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