Euthanasia and Our Animal Families
Robyn M Fritz
Animal Euthanasia, It is the truth that most of us will have to face the end of a beloved animal’s life. Here’s how to look at their body, mind, and spirit needs.
It’s the worst thing we face as a multi-species family: the death of a beloved animal. How do we decide between Euthanasia and allowing them to die naturally?
While we should turn to the veterinary community and the growing pet hospice movement for advice, we should be wary. These professionals don’t always recognize that animals have souls. That means they can fail to give our animals a voice in their own care.
We who live with animals as family members and intelligent equals can change that dynamic. When the body is impossibly broken from disease, injury, or old age, we can support the dying process by allowing our loving hearts and animal communication to listen to our animals—and to ourselves.
Body, Mind, and Spirit and Animal Euthanasia
All multi-species families need good veterinary partners who share their beliefs on quality of life and care. Unfortunately, technology has moved beyond us, often pushing intervention without the insight to say “enough.” Without choice and compassion, we can end up pushing the body beyond what is physically possible, emotionally endurable, and spiritually useful. Body Needs. As your animal declines, do your own research, listen to your team, and monitor specific bodily needs, including diagnosis and prognosis. A quality of life tool commonly called the HHHHHMM scale allows the practitioner (and you) to objectively score a list based on how much pain the animal is in, whether they are eating and properly hydrated, if they are hygienic, how happy and interested they are, how mobile they are (including whether you can help them move), and the quality of their days. Use it as a baseline; add your intuition and observation and your animal’s insights into the mix.
Mind Needs. What else do you noticing, including your animal’s “tells”? You know how they express emotion, from uncertainty to worry, depression, and joy. You’ll also notice the gradual declines that your professional support team doesn’t because you’re there 24/7—and you’re family. Discuss everything you know and notice with your animal. Explain how you feel, what’s going on, what’s coming, and options. Like us, our animals worry and get confused, so if possible, give them time to prepare. Ask what they need, want, and feel. Sure, you can seek out a professional animal communicator as an objective intermediary. But never doubt that your animal already hears you—and that you know.
When the Time is Right
You can see the end of your animal’s life by looking in their eyes. That look is unmistakable: it’s knowing, resigned, waiting, contemplative. When you see it, you may have days or weeks, but the end is near. Look for it. React compassionately.
Ministry Earth is a collective Awareness-Raising, Perception-Building Initiative from Humanity Healing International, Cathedral of the Soul Educational outreaches created to introduce the perspective of Ethical Consciousness and Nonhuman Personhood to its Animal & Eco Ministries. Ministry Earth is a Service-Oriented Initiative and its Magazine is a Copyrighted Publication of OMTimes Media, Inc. Broadcasting and Publishing House.