Pets Teach Us to Not Be Selfish
If you have ever had a pet, you are familiar with the painful discussion of having to let go of your beloved family member.
It is not an easy decision.
However, it is our responsibility to make that tough call.
Our pets need us to do for them what they can’t do for themselves.
When I was younger, I had a little green and yellow parakeet named Sprite. He was the first pet that was mine. We had cats, but those were family pets.
I was so excited that I was trusted with this little feathered being.
Sprite was my buddy. I trained him to step up and we enjoyed just being in the same room.
Then one day, he started to act strangely. He was holding up his foot constantly and seemed to be having trouble moving around.
So, my parents and I decided to take him in for a check up.
It turns out that Sprite had developed gout on his leg. Gout is very painful, and common in smaller birds, like parakeets.
Unfortunately, it turns out that my feathered friend hid his pain and discomfort a little too well. I also may not have noticed his changes in behavior right away.
There was damage done that couldn’t be fixed.
The vet explained to us that Sprite would eventually lose the ability to use his leg. He would need to be taken out of his cage and kept in a carrier to help him relax since he wouldn’t have both feet to perch. He would spend the rest of his life laying down most of the time, unable to move much.
The vet also explained that Sprite would be in pain.
I remember telling my parents that I didn’t want Sprite to suffer, and I thought that we should have the vet put him to sleep.
I didn’t want to lose my friend, but if keeping him around meant he would be in pain and have a decreased quality of life, I couldn’t do that to him.
Even when I was a kid, I knew that the pets needs always come before our feelings.
The thing about being a pet owner, is that when you decide to bring one into your life, you are their advocate.
They can’t tell you that it’s time for them to go. Sometimes we have to make that call based on the situation.
I have had pets my entire life, and the decision to put them to sleep is never an easy one.
It’s difficult to wake up in the morning and they aren’t there beside you. Coming home after work isn’t the same without their excited barking, meowing, or chirping.
You wonder if you made the right decision. You lay awake at night wondering if you did enough to help them. You question if you gave them enough treats or fed them the best food. If you played with them enough.
You have to make the best decision you can based on the information you have. Sometimes, you have to trust your gut.
To keep an animal alive because you are sad to let go is selfish.
That may sound harsh but it’s true.
If you truly love your pet, the best thing you can do for them, is to let them go when its time.
As a pet owner, you have to not be selfish and always put the animal first. You owe them that much.