Undoubtably the hardest part about being a pet parent is saying goodbye. We all hope our four legged family member dies peacefully in their sleep at the end of a long and happy life.
Our Ridgeback Tega was diagnosed with a very aggressive sarcoma on her spine in May of 2015, at the same time we were told she had a stage 4 heart murmur which took surgery off the table. She was 11 at the time, very healthy otherwise and in no pain. We decided we'd do whatever we could to support her immune system and slow the cancer down naturally. Her quality of life was what was most important and we wanted to make the best of the rest of her days.
Last week the weight of the tumour became too much for Tega and we knew it was time to let her go. It was super important to us that Tega be at home, on her bed, with her family when she passed. We called a few places, not a lot of vets offer this service, and we decided on Beaches Animal Hospital.
Dr. Dilworth and his assistant came to our home, spent some time with Tega making sure she was comfortable and relaxed before he began. The injections were quick, painless and Tega left us peacefully. We had an emotional goodbye ceremony in our backyard where Joseph and I, along with our children celebrated Tega's life, talked about all the things we loved about her and expressed our gratitude for the 12 joyful years we had with her in our lives.
As painful as the loss of a pet is, having them pass at home surrounded by family, in my experience, makes it just a little bit easier. I feel it eliminates a lot of stress for both the pet and the family.
Yesterday in the mail we received a letter from University of Guelph Veterinary College. The first paragraph is as follows: "We are truly sorry to learn of the passing of your beloved dog, Tega. In recognition of your loving relationship with Tega, Beaches Animal Hospital has given a monetary donation to the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) Pet Trust."
Beaches Animal Hospital was not Tega's vet. We had been there only once before. This letter was such a surprise. What a kind and thoughtful gesture!
We are so grateful for Dr. Dilworth's caring, respectful nature during this incredibly emotional time. Thank you to Beaches Animal Hospital for their thoughtfulness and generosity.