There was an editorial recently in the local paper about a woman who died, leaving behind a cat. She didn’t leave any last wishes for the cat, and her family, not wanting the cat, called animal control to have it put down. People were incensed. Outraged! How could they just throw out their mother’s beloved cat?
Of course what they did was horrible. That’s why I’m with the late Donald Ellis, who before he died left explicit instructions that his beloved Yorkie be put down and buried with him.
I’m taking my dogs with me. Even if they are still healthy. Even if they still have years to live. And here’s why.
Once I’m gone, I cannot guarantee the kind of life they’ll have. Who would keep them? Even if someone did take them, I can’t guarantee them the kind of life they deserve. It’s a little hard to pick a new home for your pets when you’re dead.
It’s totally selfish, but also the kindest thing I can think of to do for them. That is a *much* kinder fate than living out their days in a shelter prison, or worse. And because they are pit bulls they are especially vulnerable to mistreatment.
While it would be lovely to know when I’m dying so that I could find them homes, of course that’s not possible. Even having a Dogfather to assume guardianship in the event of my death is not enough. Who's to say that person won’t have to give up the dogs? So you better believe these wishes will be in both my advance directive and my will.
And lest you say, “You’re insane! Would you ever put your kids down?”... Well, no, I wouldn’t euthanize children. As much as I consider my dogs to be my “kids,” the simple fact is, children grow up. They evolve, they go on to lead (mostly) healthy lives, they live independently and care for themselves. Even if they have a negative childhood, they have the freedom and chance to grow out of it. That’s not the case for dogs or cats. They will always need someone to care for them, will always remain who they are right now.
Bottom line: It’s not that I just want them with me. It’s that I refuse to condemn them to a life in prison or neglect. It’s just not going to happen. So I’m taking them with me. We’ve been through everything together, why not death?
Would you leave instruction to have your pets euthanized after your death?