On Euthanizing a Beloved Fur Baby and Self-Doubt

I apologize for not getting back here sooner. The summer got away from me. Our dear fur baby, Sienna began getting sick, losing weight and eventually we made the extremely hard decision to euthanize her. I say hard because you always wrestle with self-doubt in these situations. Could I have done more? Is it the right time? Did I wait too long? It’s tough but in the end she went downhill within a matter of days. Her quality of life was no longer there. She was our loving girl until the very end. I’m crying as I write this. But In sharing there is a catharsis, and I want to let you if you’re going through the same thing it’s not your fault.

It only compounded my feelings when our vet seemed to be more concerned with administering unnecessary tests for profit. She actually made the sarcastic remark as we were petting our old girl into her final rest, telling her how good of a friend she had been, that ‘we knew we were doing the right thing because we had done ALL of the tests she suggested’, even though we had been told by several consecutive blood tests and the other vet at the office that Sienna most likely had cancer or a type of disease that required kidney transplants (which don’t exist for dogs). It was awful to have that extra doubt spooned on top of my own, but it didn’t last long because I knew in my heart her time had come. I was the one making her special meals and carrying her to the bathroom in the end not this insensitive veterinarian. Make sure you like your vet, and that they aren’t only concerned with profit! And yea, I left a very informative review on all of their pages.

“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” ~Honore de Balzac

Self-doubt is real. Don’t do it. You know yourself. You know your babies. Trust yourself.

  • Focus on the positive, and push out the negative. 
  • Meditate, get outside or use positive affirmations.
  • Redirect yourself to something positive. Paint, write or work on something creative.
  • Take care of yourself. Choose at least one thing just for you every day.
  • Eat healthy, get enough water and try to exercise if even for just 5 minutes a day. It’ll release serotonin which gives you all the happy feels.
  • sometimes we need to check-in with others, too. Reassurance from those you trust can help you overcome your doubt.

On another note, Sienna was happiest when at a full-click, running and turning on a dime as fast as she could. On more than one occasion she took me out at the knees, but that was her way of playing. She never quite understood toys. And when we had our own babies she protected them as her own, too. I loved my girl. My jogging partner in AZ when late nights were still in the 90’s and the only time to run. She was my protector, and my goofy girl.

I wanted to capture our beloved fur baby one last time on camera before she was gone. In her frail state we decided that taking her into her own backyard, where she was most comfortable would be best. We carried her out and laid her on a blanket where we let her sniff the outdoors and bask in the sunlight and laughter of our two kiddos. She smiled. I loved her smile and her expressive eyebrows that greyed with age. I remember checking her out at the shelter and the silly man who told me, “Don’t pick that one! She has crazy eyes!” They weren’t crazy; they were anxious and scared. I called my then boyfriend from the parking lot of the shelter and told him I thought I’d found the one, and after he met her, he wouldn’t let me leave without signing the paperwork to make her ours right then and there.

Her last day was rough. She couldn’t walk. She could barely stand, but we made the best of it.

To my fur baby, Sienna: I miss and love you. I hope I see you in the next life.

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