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When It's Time To Say Goodbye


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Hello,

How does everyone feel about that horrible time when you have to make a decision about putting your furry family member to sleep? I had to face that decision in 2009, when I put my Jackson to sleep. He was my 15 yr old cocker spaniel mix. He lived a great life with me and he certainly enriched my life in many ways. I feel that we were especially close because I do not have any children, so he truly was my 'furry son'.

It was obvious that it was time for me to put Jackson down when his health declined due to a combination of illness and age. He was still eating and drinking and fairly active considering his age. I had to take him to the local animal shelter because I did not have the funds to have the vet put him down and creamate him. I did not have a yard for burial, since I had an apt at the time, so I had to find another way to put him to rest. I took him to the animal shelter and the employee there questioned me about why he was being taken in. She asked what was wrong with him because she could see the problem with his teeth. I explained that, obviously, I was there to put him to sleep because of his health and age. He could not be treated any further. She made a condescending remark while I completed the necessary paperwork and then said goodbye to Jackson.

As anyone knows, this was a heartbreaking decision. I gave a loving home to Jackson for 13 years. A few weeks later, I was accused of animal cruelty because the shelter apparently thought I had neglected him before I put him down. It is unbelievable! Has anyone had such a horrible experience as I did??? I could not believe it and am still dealing with it!!!!!!

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I am sooooo sorry for your loss. Words cannot ease the empty spot you have now

Please know that it is the ignorance and pain of the poeple who work in what is the second largest animal control in the US. SO MANY amials have to die alone and in pain because their owners cant face what you did and just drop them off somewhere so they dont have to see them die. Last year MCACC took in about 98,000 animals and half were put down. They are trying hard this heard to find other ways but the grief and pain the humans feel that work there must be mind numbing.

I had a dog that I helped birth - Thunder! When I made the decision to put him down, it was probably a week more or less when it would of had to be done. I had to go back to work. Worse then the euthanizing, which seared my soul to this day, I could not bear to think of him alone,, suffering while I was gone long hours. On the rainbow bridge, there is no pain and suffering, time is nothing, and we will be joined again - and I am counting the SECONDs!

I have said before that I hate life here, but well, here it is another morning, I guess I have more work to do, doing what I can for dogs and pets (I am now the president of Empty Bowl Pet Food Pantry, among other things). So Thunder's memories are put along side of Foxie, Junebug and all the other dogs I have assissted to the other side ~

but the BIG issue - the really important thing I ONLY allow my self to thing about, is that each one was loved with all my heart and they knew it!

THATS what counts! No One can take that away from you because YOU know the truth!

Dont waste anytime thinking about the others - or if you do, then send them a prayer for the hard things they have to do and in your heart, thank them for doing a job morst of the rest of us are not strong enough to do!

You are welcomed here!

Hugs

CJ

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CJ, Thank you for your kind, comforting words!! You would not believe what I went through & still dealing with. I had called the 2-1-1 people in my city to ask if they could pick up Jackson since I had a transportation issue. They said they would not, bcs they only picked up 'stray' dogs. They explained that I could 'drop him off' at the shelter anytime 24/7, and leave a note with him, if it was too painful to go in and do it face to face. I said no, I can't just dump him there. I will at least walk in and do it the civil, responsible way. So, I went in to ask them to have him put to sleep, and because I did the responsible thing by filling out the paperwork, they accused me of animal cruelty! Me, of all people?! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my dogs and treat them like children. If i had done the cowardly, disrespectful thing and just dumped Jackson there and drove away, I guess they would have never accused me. Instead, I did the kind, responsible thing and walked in and filled out a form and now have had to pay the consequences of a ludicrous charge...animal cruelty?! why? because I had to put my 15 yr old cocker spaniel to sleep, why? because I didn't put him to sleep as 'soon's as they thought I should have? All of these judgments made by strangers who have nothing to do with me or jackson or know anything about us?!!

I could not afford a lawyer, nor could I understand why I had to even go to court and defend myself against a ridiculous charge. It was a waste of mine and the court's time. I had to go back to court every 2 weeks to say that I could not afford a lawyer. The Judge kept giving me an addl two weeks to try and hire one. I finally got a fair attorney who charged a much more reasonable fee and she represented me. She was able to get the case 'dismissed conditionally' if i agreed to pet loss counseling. If I comply with that and send them proof that I did comply, they will dismiss the case. That one year period is up soon, the 13th of April. I have to prove that I sought pet loss counseling or support. This is disgraceful and humiliating, all because I loved Jackson so much that I properly took him to be put to sleep when he was too old to be cared for. Humans amaze me. Laws amaze me.

CJ, tell me about the empty bowl pantry you represent? I would love to make a donation : )))

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dls, I am so sorry you had to go through that horrible experience on TOP of your already very difficult loss. Unbelievable! Yet a woman here in our state DRUG her grown child's little dog with her car and got away with it! I don't understand the disparity with which they charge people. You did the right thing, even if it had unwanted consequences. It is hard for us to let go of our dogs when it's their time, and I don't see how anyone can judge you for how you handled it when you did the best you could.

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Kay C, thank you for that!! I totally agree! Some people really skew the lines drawn between caring for your pet and having to let them go and what real animal cruelty means! It's just unbelievable. If I had been someone who owned a gun and found some property out in the country to put Jackson out of his misery, then no one would've known either way. Likewise, if I had been cold-hearted enough to dump him at the shelter and drive off, like he was unwanted furniture or something, no one would've known the difference. But, b/cs I loved him so much I wanted to walk in and let him go the respectful way and attach my name to him bcs I owned him and loved him for 13 years, then they have the nerve to judge me?! ...to the point that they think I commited a crime and should be charged with a crime? I still can't get over it, it's like a horrible dream that is real.

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I'm so sorry this happened to you, and you have my deepest sympathy for your loss of Jackson. I hope, for your sake, that one day you'll be able to channel your anger and focus your time and energy on a cause that will honor your beloved canine companion ~ and maybe lead to some changes in policy at your local animal shelter.

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I am curious, was there any media coverage about this situation and if so, how did it go?

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MartyT - thanks for the support. Fortunately, I am not losing faith in our justice system and certainly not changing my love of animals, in particular dogs. I'm more shocked and even humiliated, than angry. It has cost a lot of time and energy and money to get through this...but overall I'm so proud of my relationship w/ my Jackson. We were a great pair. These strangers that accused me do not know me, didn't know my heart, and certainly did not know Jackson.

Kayc, Nothing was brought to media's attention. I'm afraid if it was, it may have not favorable considering that i was assumed guilty and misjudged from the start. I lost, in that I had to agree to a 'conditional' dismissal only if i met certain conditions... It was a humiliating experience.

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What you experienced was very wrong but you have a wonderful attitude and that will aid you mightily in getting past all of this.

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