Saying Goodbye During a Pandemic: A Letter From Our Veterinarian Team
We understand that this is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. And in these unprecedented and uncertain times, the reality is that our current situation makes this whole experience even more unexpected and stressful than it “typically” should be.
With Our Current Policy Changes, Consider These Thoughts:
Ideas for Making the Final Goodbye a Peaceful One
With the social distancing protocol that we have implemented to keep everyone safe and healthy, we developed a list of ideas to make this end-of-life transition meaningful to you and your pet.
Create a Special Spot for Your Pet
This may include a specific location in the yard. You can make any spot comforting by simply bringing your dog’s bed outside, perhaps with a bowl of cool water and their favorite toy. If your pet has significant mobility challenges, sometimes their own limitations lead us to allow them to “pick their own spot” so that we can minimize discomfort or pain by moving them to a space that we designate.
Tips to Make Your Environment More Comfortable
Bucket List Ideas Before the Appointment
Take your pet for one last ride with you in the car. For some pets, this simple act could bring them so much joy. Be mindful and use your best judgement as to whether or not this activity would truly be enjoyable for them. Note: For those furry babes who are nauseous or feel pain when their body moves, this may not be the best idea. For some, maybe just sitting in the car with you without driving anywhere would be a gentler alternative.
Set aside a specific time before the appointment where your pet can enjoy a special snack or meal with you by their side.
Create a music playlist that can be played during the appointment.
In preparation for your pet’s appointment, measure a ribbon, tie your shirts together, or find a leash that is at least 6 feet long. When you are with your pet, while they are relaxing and getting sleepy, and right before you step away, tie the ribbon to one of their paws and keep the other end with them as you step back to the 6 foot zone. Please note that our veterinarian will communicate with you throughout this process so that you have plenty of time right next to your pet as you say goodbye.
Write a letter to your beloved companion to leave with them while social distancing. You can also make your own clay hand print to leave on/with them when you are distant.
Note: It’s ok if you want to talk them through to the very end. The last senses to diminish are smell and hearing. It is OK to keep talking to them to the very end for their comfort.
Dr. Kelly Knoll and the Caring Pathways Veterinarian Team