Maggee Mae, a very active terrier mix, loved to race around and chase squirrels. Sadly, at seven years old she was diagnosed with cancer. The news was shocking! How could such a young energetic dog have cancer? Her family, Steve and Stacee were devastated.
They visited CSU, home to one of the greatest Cancer teams in the world. Chemotherapy was started but Maggee continued to decline. Steve and Stacee felt deep in their hearts Maggee wasn’t ready to die, so they agreed to radiation therapy. That was even worse. Maggee slipped into a deep sleep. All hope seemed lost. They took her home and asked me to perform her euthanasia in the morning.
I awoke to a world of chaos. Nothing seemed to be going right. I called and told Magee’s’ family I was delayed. They said they were sitting in the back yard with her and to come to the back when I arrive. Once in the car, now an hour late, I hit every red light and got behind every slow driver. As if I was in sludge, I felt like I could hardly go forward. I was almost to their house when I wondered if all these interruptions were Maggee’s way of telling me she was not ready to go!
I pulled in front of their house but left my medical kit in the car. I entered the back gate and found Steve and Stacee holding Maggee limp in their arms with tears in their eyes. Suddenly, Maggie flung up her head! She looked completely alert and smiled at me. Steve and Stacee were in disbelief! For two days she hardly moved yet she was looking at me like I came to play, (although she still could not walk). With Maggee’s confirmation I was more certain she was not ready to go.
We talked for a while. Steve and Stacee were not in agreement about what to do. This issue is super important! Through many years of doing hospice work, I have found clearly that passing is peaceful when everyone is ready and all are in a place of love. Also, I can tell you with 100% certainty that pets do not want their human companions to get a divorce over the decision to euthanize. Dying is natural to animals. They understand and do not have anxiety over dying. Dying is as normal as living. They feel sadness, and their body will fight to survive, but their spirit is at peace with life and death. When there is dissention over making the decision to euthanize, the animals feel the conflict and feel the emotional struggle. Pets are here to love us and may not die peacefully when experiencing human turmoil.