By Pat Larsen
For Capital Region Independent Media
We love our fur babies with a fury that our own kids wished we had for them.
My kids have even wondered, out loud I might add, why we were stricter with them when they were growing up than we ever were with our pups.
The reason, simply put, is… they never ignore a text (just kidding).
They responded to our calls. To every look, side glance, tone in our voice, every time. They would go to their “spot,” waiting patiently, as we cleaned up a mess that required a small dumpster and a hose with their ears pinned back in acknowledgement for the deed they may or may not have committed. They knew what all the bad words meant, probably no special treat later on but they cared not.
They loved us as we loved them unconditionally… period.
Then something in their behavior shifts. The subtleties are there but we may just ignore those signs at first. Then we throw a favorite toy and they look at our excited anticipation for a response and so they unwillingly comply anyway, just to make us happy. Slower than before but still. Sometimes that action is just enough to put the worry aside and to go on as before happily together.
Such was the case for us and our beloved 15-year-old Shih Tzu, Gabbey.
My husband and I even scolded each other on occasion saying, “Did you see her romp on the walk today?” when in reality there was none.
I’m guessing you know how this ended. Sadly our Gabbey passed away.
This story, however, is about the incredible support given by such a special service that helped us to make this final moment as peaceful and private as they could.
I felt I had to share this part of the story as well.
The website www.inthecomfortofhome.com is a house call veterinary euthanasia service. Under the exceptional direction of Dr. Roger Blankfein, this one-of-a-kind service offers pet owners the help that is needed to determine how to assess their beloved pets’ situation. I’ve never worked with a staff like his before, from the first telephone contact through the entire process, they were so compassionate.
The website offers an assessment form to help the pet owner determine if their pet’s quality of life has shifted to the point of actually taking that next step to calling the counselors. There was never any pressure. I talked, they listened, we reviewed the quality of my pup’s life and how quickly things had shifted.
In truth what I always knew, we always knew, was that the time had come to make the decision we had promised our pup we’d make when we brought her into our home.
It was hard but it was inevitable that this time would come.
Being in the comfort of our home, surrounded by her toys and the playlist I made for her in the background was the best send-off I could give to this beloved pup who gave us so much love in our 15 years together.
I hope this will help someone today when that time comes for their pet.
The support doesn’t end after a pet is passed, by the way.
Dr. Roger is there to support the grieving process as well. I call him an angel on Earth. A very humble angel.
Pat Larsen lives in Greene County with her husband and the younger sibling to Gabbey, Miss Lily, just 4-years-old now. As a fitness instructor, columnist and clinical hypnotherapist, Pat serves the community in her own way, paving the way for a happier, healthier life. Contact Pat at 518-275-8686.