How we put dogs and cats to sleep…
Some people take the time to dissect the semantics of “putting a dog to sleep“ pointing out that sleep is just a euphemism. We all know what that means. Nothing changes the feeling of separation and loss.
But there is a significant parallel between euthanasia and putting a dog or cat to sleep.
When I was in college, I will admit to you within the context of this conversation, in all honesty, that one night I was eating pizza and drinking beer. I grew more and more sleepy as the beer took hold. I went to sleep with a bite of pizza in my mouth. To be honest, the feeling of total relaxation while enjoying delicious flavors, was fantastic. Fast forward four years:
As I wrapped up my doctorate degree in veterinary school I considered the way that animals are normally put to sleep.
Typically a shot is given in the vein of the dog or cat’s front leg and they drop off the needle. The procedure is over in just a couple of seconds.
I thought, “But, wouldn’t it be neat if the animals could feel like they were eating pizza and getting sleepy from beer?“ They didn’t HAVE to struggle through an I.V. injection. No one had to put a tourniquet on their arm.
So what we started to do was give a morphine shot to induce ‘sleep’ and then give the dog delicious treats to eat. That doesn’t always work because not every dog feels like eating at that particular moment, some are terribly sick and won’t take anything to eat. But for those who do, the combination of morphine and ‘pizza’ (read: candy, bbq, cake, tuna, pizza, bread, even chocolate) has got to be amazing!
After the morphine shot, the pet falls into a deep and natural sleep. Most of them even snore. At that point, and without discomfort or anxiety, I put them on the exam table and give the second shot which sends them to heaven.
Usually, well before any of the procedure starts, my staff will have explained what your options are for the remains. Such as cremation with ashes being returned to you, or, cremation without ashes being returned.
The cemetery offers a resin paw print that they take from your beloved companion. I think those are awesome. Plus a great picture of your dog five years ago, and you can have favorable memories. I am not much into urns and ashes.
Frankly, a little container of ashes is a bummer to me.
Earlier in this discussion I made a reference to dogs going to heaven.
I want you to know what heaven looks like for dogs.
When lawyers die, they go to heaven where they are reincarnated as cats. Cats that are severely visually impaired with extremely short legs, and severe eczema. When dogs go to heaven, they find themselves in the green pastures full of fat blind cats that can’t get away
When politicians die, they go to heaven, and they are reincarnated as rats. Rats that are blind with really stubby legs. And fleas.
When cats die, they go to heaven, and find themselves in green pastures full of fat blind rats that can’t get away.
So, I don’t want you to feel bad for your pet when it passes. Somebody has to collect our pound of flesh from the lawyers and politicians!