It is hard to say good bye to a loved one, the hardest thing to do in life, is to stand by and watch the one you love begin to fail. I have to do this five times with my own pets, and it never gets easier. I was thinking today about euthanization, it’s not for everyone. Watching your friend grow old is not always graceful, it’s hard to watch your once spry dog, wince as it tries to go up the stairs or stand by the car, tail wagging, but unable to jump in without assistance. It is hard to find them laying in a puddle of their own pee or realize that the dog that once loved to eat, no longer has an interest in food. As humans, we don’t have someone making the decisions whether to extend our life, no, as we age and become a shadow of our former self, we are cared for and tended to. Having an aging pet in the household is not unlike reverting to the puppy stage. Accidents may begin to become a reality, leaving your pet alone and unattended for longer periods may no longer work, they may no longer sleep through the night and instead begin to pace. What you do , as their caregiver is a personal choice. Some people aren’t cut out to watch their best friend fall apart or the cost of keeping them alive is no longer viable. Whatever the reason, if you have to euthanize your four legged friend I urge you to remember, they were there for you when you were sad, they cheered you up when you needed a mood booster and they laid on the end of the bed when you were sick. When it is their time to go, do them the courtesy of being with them when they take their final breath. Yes it is hard, yes it is sad, yes, you will feel like a piece of you is being ripped away. Every time I have had to say good bye I have been racked with grief and feel blue, but I have never regretted being by their side as they slip away. When you make a commitment to a pet to bring it into your home I think you accept that their is going to be good times and hard times, letting go is never easy, finding the courage to be by their side is the bravest thing you will ever do.