Today we put both of our pets to sleep.  It’s been a sad week and a very sad day.  We feel relief and are confident we made the right decision at the right time, but it’s still immensely sad.


Molly was dwindling for months.  I’m fairly sure she was diabetic or had another renal problem.  She lost most of her muscle mass and had little interest in her food or play.  Her toileting has never been stellar, but it’s become a real problem the last few months.

Jem got sick with diarrhea before Thanksgiving, then added a cough and vomiting.  We ran bloodwork and got her on antibiotics.  She would seem to be getting better, then it would come back just as strong.  She spent most of her days laying around, obviously in pain.  More medication, no improvement.  When the vet said that the next steps would be more imaging studies, looking for masses or other causes that would need drastic interventions, we decided it was time to be done.

We have a trip coming up and then at least a month of major house work.  That’s not WHY we made our decision.  Rather,  as Ben put it, those events put up a mirror to view the pets through.  We realized we were uncomfortable putting either pet through either situation, and if we didn’t think they could handle another week without us, that meant it was time to put them to rest.

We took Jem to the vet this morning and she had a very easy, very peaceful passing.  It was good to be with her and feel her finally relax and feel good before slipping away.

A little later today a home-visiting vet came to do Molly at home.  I was uncomfortable with taking her anywhere because she hates travel so very much.  The home vet was kind, efficient, and soothing.  An expensive option, but a nice way to go.  Molly had ice cream and ham and then cuddled until she drifted off.

The kids are taking it well.  Ben and I had a lot of guilt and the decision was hard to make.  Andy called me and talked yesterday and it was really good to be validated.

Ben found some old photos of the animals today and it was shocking to see how much they had changed because it happened so gradually.  Our robust, happy animals were already gone.

We are relieved and looking forward to enjoying Christmas and travel and house remodeling without stressing about the pets.  We miss them, we cried a lot.  But we also let the kids have a movie-picnic in the living room for the first time ever.  I think I scrubbed my last daily-fecal mess.  I won’t have pet hair on everything.  We have good memories and are confident we did our best for them.