The animals want you to know... about assisted transition (euthanasia), how to know when it's 'time’, feeling guilty, and forgiveness (yep, a biggie)...
I've supported many families around the question of assisted transition for their animal companions. People hope for the best. A natural, peaceful passing for their animal in the comfort of their home. It often doesn't always work out that way.
People are understandably concerned about the animal's quality of life. People feel burdened, having to make the decision about assisted transition for their animal ('not wanting to play God'). Not wanting to do it too early (and 'cut a life short'). Not wanting to do it too late ('being selfish and prolong the pain'). I speak to so many people who've been carrying around a heavy mantle of guilty and pain for how things ended. The animals want to relieve you of this suffering.
There is another way. Animal communication allows you to have a conversation with your animal. Ask them how they are feeling, what they need, and how you can help them feel more comfortable at this time.
Animal communication helps end-of-life care become a process of honouring your animal's wishes and it’s no longer a guessing game. While it doesn't make saying goodbye any easier, you know the actions you take are both respectful and supportive of your animal.
You can also ask your animal, if they have preferences about their passing, including if they want help to transition, and how and where this might take place (at home euthanasia or vet clinic euthanasia).
People need support too. Support for themselves moving through this process and so they can be present to support their animal.
I'm often asked, "how do I know when it's time?" Again, and again, the animals relay that they will make this clear, beyond any doubt, to their person.
I had an end-of-life communication booked on a Monday at a client's request. The client felt concerned the medical approach being taken (and yes, I believe in veterinarian care) wasn't a fit, not recognizing the severity of animal's condition. That weekend her worst fears were realized. My client contacted me to change the end-of-life communication to animal in-spirit communication. She shared the moment she knew, just knew, beyond any doubt, that her animal was asking for her help to leave.
There are times when animals tell their person, “it's not time yet.” And some animals ask their person to book the euthanasia appointment for a specified time (such as 48 hours to several days). I encourage people (if possible) to clear their schedules and be with their animal. This is precious time spent together that you will not regret.
Knowing circumstances can change quickly you may also want to ask your animal about their preferences if things deteriorate quickly. You can also ask them about favourite foods, people they may want to see and say goodbye to, places they may want to visit, and how they want to spend the time that remains.
Animals have an incredible ability to hang on when their person is not ready to let them go. One of the greatest gifts we can give our animals is to let them know "it's ok to go". Yes, we may be a mess and we will grieve deeply (so deeply), yet we will (somehow) manage and get the support we need.
If you’re reading this and your animal has already passed, whether days, weeks, months or even years ago, it's never too late to talk with them. Especially if you are still suffering, sometimes with unanswered questions. Humans have a tendency, to see everything through their own perspective. People are often surprised to hear how different (loving and freeing) the animal's point of view is.
So, so, so many people question whether their animal understood the decision to euthanize. Animals have so much love and gratitude for their people, and their help with assisted transition. The animals are at peace. They want their people to be at peace too. People seek their animal’s forgiveness. Animals say there is no need for forgiveness.
Animals are grateful for your love, your care and your help with assisted transition. They are reliant on you to help them. They know it's not easy for you and they appreciate your role. Animals do not fear death in the way many people do. Transition is a powerful and sacred time, before, during and after.