Remembering Niko

Remembering the journey

To Stay or Not To Stay

with 3 comments

I strongly believe in staying with your baby  until they are fully gone – however – I know not everyone is able to do this, and I understand that. This letter was written by Teressa Sisemore  to her friends and family and it really touched me. Teressa works at a vet’s office in Texas. I met her on the LyhmphomaHeartDog list and asked her if I could share this story on Niko’s site. It might help you be strong enough to stay with  your friend though death.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008, 4:29 PM

This morning a woman brought her old Pomeranian (named Angel),  in to us be euthanized.  She said she could not bear to stay with her, and she left fighting back tears.  Dr. J was in her last appointment of the morning, so I knew it would be about 20 minutes before she could euthanize Angel.  I could not let Angel spend the last 20 or 30 minutes of her life alone, in a cage, in a strange place, so I held her, and walked around with her while talking to her, so she wouldn’t be afraid.  When Dr. J finished her appointment and came back to do Angels euthanasia, she asked me if I wanted to hold her or let one of the technicians hold her.  I just didn’t feel like it would be fair to Angel to hand her off to someone else, so I held her and talked softly to her as she recieved her injection.  As she slowly slipped away, tears streamed down my face.  Please don’t think I am being judgmental of people who just can’t bear to watch their pets be euthanized.  I so understand how hard it is, but this lady will never know, that what she missed was the gift of being the last comforting voice her pet heard as she fell asleep for the last time.  I was the one holding her dog and wispering in her ear as she took her last breath.  She will never know how hard it was for me to do that for her dog, who I didn’t even know untill 30 minutes before her life ended.  Angels owner has no idea that even now, hours later I’m in tears over her Angel..

Written by rememberingniko

June 25, 2010 at 2:55 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I, too, believe in being there at the end and am haunted by the one time one of my pets died without me there, although she was getting great care from wonderful people, including people she knew, in a place she knew. I do know people who think they can’t be there…I do wonder how they would feel if the person they loved the most intentionally left them shortly before death, but really I’m commenting to let people know that there is an in-between way of handling the end. Here in Fairfax County, and I hope in most places, there are many talented and compassionate vets who can/would administer a pre-anesthetic before the actual euthanasia that can give you a few minutes to say goodbye and leave with your precious animal seeing you there when they close their eyes, but allowing you to leave before your pet is actually euthanized. I know a vet at SouthPaws who did that for someone I knew. She was so happy she could be there, but not be there…Something to consider! If possible, it would be good to find a vet who will do this for you in advance, for peace of mind. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but I just want to put that third option out there because I think a lot of people haven’t thought of this option.

    monique anthis-hunt

    September 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

  2. Thanks for your POV Monique. I too cannot imagine purposely leaving my beloved animal to die alone, when it was within my control to be with them. We owe it to them. We can do hard things, and we should do hard things for them. Your idea of the ‘in between’ is probably one that is good for more people to know. We have always had our animals anesthetized prior to the euthanasia. It can greatly reduce how traumatic a death can be fore everyone. I had a friend that went the route of saying goodbye after being anesthetized, but before euthanasia. For her, it was the perfect solution.

    rememberingniko

    September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

  3. I only missed one of my babies’ deaths, and I’ll never do it again. I’ve been with all the others, and even stood in for my sister because she couldn’t bear it and I couldn’t bear to leave him alone! I know that not everyone can, not even the anesthetic part of the process (which our vet also does). I would sit with anyone’s pet rather than that they were left completely alone.

    Ladysmama

    June 29, 2013 at 11:04 pm


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