We all strive to give our pets as much love, enrichment and choice as possible in their day to day lives, understanding that they are sentient beings with their own needs and wants, thoughts and feelings.
This should be no different when it comes to their passing, be that long, drawn-out & difficult, or sudden and shocking. Knowing that someone like Joanne can be there for you in these circumstances can ensure that you honour your pet's wishes, and help them leave with dignity and peace.
A few days ago I was out on a walk with my dogs, when my 7 year old Labrador Pumpkin, who had been tearing around as usual, suddenly stopped and refused to move. I rushed her into the vets and they found that an undiagnosed tumour around her kidney had ruptured and her stomach was filling with blood. They offered to try and operate, although the odds were against her, or to put her to sleep. We were in shock; only a few hours before she had been the picture of health; happy, active and enjoying life with her daughter, and with us.
With my mind so jumbled with emotions, I couldn't see the right path, so through my tears I reached out to Joanne to see if she could connect with Pumpkin and get some guidance as to her wishes.
That was a game changer, to have someone caring, compassionate, and non-judgmental on our side, allowed us to feel calmer and more in control of the situation, to think about what was best for us all as a family.
Joanne told us that Pumpkin didn't want us to be left with any doubts about whether we could have saved her, and understood that we would not be there to say goodbye if the worst were to happen.
So we asked our vets if we could be there whilst they anesthetised her, and they were amazing, letting us hold Pumpkin, and comfort her as they put in the needle and administered the anaesthetic. They stood back and gave us the space to kiss her head and whisper our love in her ear even after she was under, only leaving her when they picked her up to take her through to the operating theatre.
She was put to sleep an hour and a half later; the vets fought hard for her, but they could not save her.
Joanne was able to let us know that she was safe, her spirit was light and that she was happy she had been able to give us that reassurance, so there was no guilt about doing the right thing for her.
The unexpected sense of peace I felt afterwards was totally down to Joanne's guidance and knowing that her intervention had allowed us to be present for our girl, in a time that without Joanne our emotions would have got the better of us.
Our beautiful girl's spirit remained with us that night, and all the next day, as my husband and I took the dogs for a good romp over Salisbury Plain, with her in our hearts, and it felt like at our side too.
Losing a pet is one of the hardest things we have to face as humans, but with Joanne's support and guidance you can help them pass with understanding and compassion, and to find, under the searing pain that their loss fills our body with, a sense of peace.