Oh, if we could only treat ourselves the same way that we treat our dogs?
Let me tell you about Misty. She was (note that I say ‘was’) a wonderful Golden Retriever. We were her family for the last half of her life. Her first half she spent as a care-giver…a service dog. We took responsibility for Misty in 2008. Misty and my wife and I shared our lives with each other until 2015. Prior to 2015 Misty did what we are all still doing…she aged. Her body started to fail her. Her joints got sore. She started getting lumps on her body. She was a stoic old girl…she kept a smile on her face almost all the way to the end. But as the end approached you could tell that she knew ‘her time had come’. And my wife and I had seen it coming.
About two years earlier Cheryl began looking for a ‘solution’ to the fact that Misty was aging and that she would soon not be with us. Cheryl found Dr. Kristi Freeman, San Diego’s first exclusive Animal Home Euthanasia and Hospice Practice. We scheduled ‘Dr. Kristi’ to come and visit with Misty. We liked her…Misty liked her…the visit went well. At this point we stopped taking Misty on the stressful trips to the vet…instead when we felt the need we scheduled Dr. Kristi to come to Misty. Over the two years we all got to know each other…we got comfortable with each other…we liked each other. Misty liked Dr. Kristi. One day Cheryl and I talked and decided that tomorrow we would do Misty the honor of ‘sending her over the rainbow bridge’. We scheduled Dr. Kristi. Misty passed, in her home with her caretakers loving her, late in the morning. There were tears, of course. But to this day both Cheryl and I feel that we did (with the help of Dr. Kristi) exactly the right thing at exactly the right time.
And so returning to the thought “Oh, if we could only treat ourselves the same way that we treat our dogs?“. Our society is complicated. There have been many socially acceptable ways of leaving our bodies. At this time it seems that the correct way to leave is to let the medical institution take over end of life care…with the intent of extending life as long as possible (perhaps I exaggerate a bit).
I know that I want more choices. I know that I want to be able to say “I’m ready now”. My wife feels the same way. Will we really have a final say…only time will tell. I hope so. The stories of SS Euthanasia and Euthanasia Air have been in my mind for a decade or so. I hope that our society will steer itself toward death solutions that we have more individual control over.
Regarding Dr. Kristi…she does not know that I’ve written about her. This is not a paid commercial for her. This narrative is simply a snippet of our life…a snippet with which we are very pleased.