When one plans a move, especially a long one far away, the family pets must be considered. Being part of the family as they are, we all must decide how they will fare leaving their known environment, living in a new one, make the actual trip and separating from each other (if that needs to happen). It can be a brutal decision.
I have two dogs and two cats and my daughter has one dog. My daughter is not coming with me and is getting her own apartment. Happily she is completely thrilled about the decision, but I’m not so sure how her little pup will feel.
The little puppy is still less than a year and has become very attached to my younger dog. As we all know, dogs are pack animals. Separating them can be something that can take a big toll on them, even though they are very attached to us.
The other decision I’ve been facing is moving my very old beagle. He’s been suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction–the fancy name for doggie dementia. Anyone following my blog may remember me mentioning him jumping out of windows this summer and me trying to decide about euthanasia then. He’s since been having a myriad of other issues.
I’ve discussed this move with my vet, who happens to be a dear friend also, and she doesn’t feel he would make it. Last night I even wrote to a dog retirement place that places senior dogs. The woman sent me a wonderful letter saying it would be a ‘gift’ to put him down at this point and he really wouldn’t be a candidate for placement. But this doesn’t make the decision any easier.
It has always bothered me that people euthanize animals for their convenience, and somehow there’s this niggling thing in my brain that I’m afraid I’m doing this now. Even though my rational self knows all his issues. If a dog is in pain, the decision is obvious. But for anxiety and mental issues, not so much. And how much will his loss be felt by my younger dog?
Then there’s my kitties. Any cat people know they don’t take well to new places. Mine are both indoor cats. And driving them across country isn’t my idea of a family vacation! You can tell the one in the picture doesn’t look thrilled! My cats are older, so I hope it doesn’t stress them too much.
And then I just worry about the climate change. It’s hot and buggy where I’m going. All the time. I know people surely have pets there and they are fine. But mine will need to adjust.
So many changes for my pets. The move, the loss of pets for them all. Will they be OK? I’ve put off these kinds of changes in my life for so long partly because of them! They are my family, but I can’t tell them and explain to them that I will have more time to spend with them when I move, or that I’ll be happier. And I certainly can’t explain to my beagle my reasoning. I’m not even sure I understand it myself.
With good changes do come difficult choices. I suppose that’s partly why I can’t sleep at night. Is that why they say anything worth doing sometimes is hard? Hopefully I’m making the right decisions for them all. Because I truly believe: it’s not just about me.