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I lost 3 Yorkies to pancreatitis within about 4 years of each other. Each one took a little piece of me with them. I get very attached to my dogs. In the midst of my chaotic childhood, the family dog is what I held on to to get myself through it. I've always had a dog in my life since then and they have helped me through many a bad time.

Losing Emily was the hardest of all. She was so smart and so loving. She seemed to know I am fragile emotionally and was always near, always sleeping beside me. I loved her so. I had to take her to be put to sleep myself, not realizing this would happen. I did not have a compassionate vet and it was a horrible experience. I arrived just before closing and they were not happy. Seems they were all excited about a big party and I was taking time away from them getting ready for it. It was her heart and the exasperated vet hurriedly told me she wanted me to take her to a place that did experimental surgery. I tearfully told her I did not want her "experimented" on and it was time to put her to sleep. They were exasperated and the process of doing this was done with so little compassion. As she died, they carried on conversations, laughed, walked back and forth to show what they were going to wear to the party.....it seemed surreal. As she passed. I laid her on her side. A vet tech said, "She's gone" then asked the vet what she was going to wear. I completely lost it, crying so hard I could hardly breathe. I saw rolled eyes then I was taken to a door and someone" helped" me out the door. I heard this person yell "Party time" after she shut the door. I sat in my car and cried for an hour before I could drive but had composed myself by the time I got home.

Our sweet son came running out and put his arms around me. It felt so good to have someone care.

I guess vets see this so much maybe they get immune to it. The next day, they did have someone call me to see if I was ok and I lost it again. I told her what happened and she was appalled telling me this would be handled. I got a signed sympathy card signed by all of them and I just threw it away knowing they had been made to do that.

Emily was cremated and I have her little urn. I did not have Monty and Bunnie cremated as I could not afford it. People come in and see Emily's little urn and again, no compassion. I get, "Oh, get OVER it" and "I can't believe you did that". But this is the reason I have a pet. They don't judge me. We now have a rescue Chihuahua named Gizmo. We didn't even know he was a Chihuahua he was in such bad shape. We thought he was just a little dog that needed a home.

He's sweet and loving and s funny and really misses Bunnie. They were together a year before Bunnie died. My husband wanted to get him a friend but because of my heath problems and age (65), I didn't think we should. So, he plays with the 2 cats and they are a little pack.

I refuse to put Emily's urn away even though there are many negative comments and smirks among people when they see it.

They could never understand.

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I am so sorry you lost Emily, and all the more so for what you went through. That should not have happened! There is no excuse for what you went through. It seems there should be some place you could report them to (Veterinary board?) for what they did was atrocious. I've never had a vet's office behave so badly and inappropriately.

I would definitely keep her urn next to you and to heck with what anyone else says or thinks! My dog is the most important thing in my life, and is my constant companion.

65 doesn't seem very old to me...as long as you have someone who would care for your dogs if something happened to you (I have two in line for mine should that happen), I don't see why you can't own a dog the rest of your life, as long as you can take care of them. I'm nearly 62 and I intend to have a dog the rest of my life, as long as I don't have to go into assisted living someday or something.

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Dear Hoping, I am shocked and dismayed to read your story ~ and I agree with Kay: If you are so inclined, you might consider reporting this veterinarian to your state's Veterinary Medicine board. (See, for example, Filing a Board Complaint Against a Veterinarian.)

At the very least, if and when you feel ready and able to do so, you could write a letter to the owner of this vet clinic describing what happened and how it has affected you. If nothing else, that might help you to feel better, and who knows? Maybe the clinic staff would learn a very valuable lesson ~ and it could prevent something like this from happening again to another distraught pet parent.

Since you have other animals in your household, it is likely that at some point you will be faced once again with an emergency like this one, or with a pet who's reached the end of his or her life span. You might consider that the time to think about your options for end-of-life care for your other animals is now, before you find yourself in yet another desperate situation with no time to think. You might even consider finding a vet who offers at-home hospice care and euthanasia.

Nowadays there is simply no excuse for a veterinary clinic to treat anyone the way you and your precious Emily were treated. Today there are many alternative and more enlightened approaches to providing end-of-life care for companion animals and those who love them. See, for example, some of the listings you'll find on this page: Animal Hospice

As for those folks who simply cannot understand your attachment to animals and the grief you feel when you lose them, you can choose either to enlighten them (e.g., with some carefully chosen articles about pet loss), or you can ignore them ~ and instead surround yourself with animal lovers who do understand, and who require no explanation at all.

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