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Letter: Why isn’t there a drug to humanely end human life?

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Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 12:00 am

A few weeks ago I faced a very tough decision. I had watched cancer slowly eat away at my best friend. We had tried to cut it out, but it came back with a vengeance. I knew the time was close, but I tried not to think about it and just enjoy every moment I could with him.

One day I came home and knew it was time, but what made it hard was I had to make the same decision just six months earlier with my other best friend. She was 15 years old, and age had taken its toll on her. This time, as before, I had tears in my eyes as the vet did what was needed. Within 60 seconds, he was peacefully asleep in my arms.

I have had ridgebacks for 38 years, and I have had to make that decision eight times now. One time I let nature take its course, and it was as traumatic for me as it was for my Sandi. I often prayed that my following babies would have a natural death while sleeping, but it always worked out that I had to make the decision.

For 38 years we have had a way to humanely and peacefully put our animals to sleep. Why haven’t we been able to do this with humans? Evidently there’s only one medicine that will do this, and it’s not being made anymore. Really? Most of the drugs that I see advertised on TV now warn that sudden cases of fatality may happen. If so, many drugs can accidentally take your life. Why can’t we find one that will make it happen quickly and humanely? Just asking.

Jim Sugden


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  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 6:05 pm on Wed, May 21, 2014.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Mr. Walters - It truly is an interesting phenomenon the process we go through with our pets - and especially those of us who understand the real value of canines. However we acquire them - through rescue, donation, breeding - the idea that one day usually within 12 years or so we will go through the absolute torture of saying goodbye again never enters into that process. And yet we do it over and over again just for the love of it.

    I learned that the Dachshund would be my breed after having one literally forced on me by my youngest daughter and her mother 16 years ago when I had insisted there should be no dogs in our home as our relatively fast-paced lifestyle wouldn't be conducive to giving them a happy life. Three Doxies later and here I am with two without whom my life would be very empty. Living in an empty nest would be sheer misery if not for the happy dance that welcomes me each time I return even if my absence has only been a few minutes.

    But now as I look at Romeo as his coat is turning gray along with his eyes becoming cloudy I know that he's entered into the final season of his life. Nevertheless he's still quite active and happy although he needs assistance getting up on the ottoman alongside his Summertime buddy Snickerdoodle who has no problem whatsoever jumping from chair to chair. How sad it will be when Romeo will fail to return from the vet after he and I make that final trip. But I already know that my next Doxie will be female; she'll be brown (instead of black or even dapple) and her name will be Genevieve - named after my favorite third-grade teacher from nearly 50 years ago.

    But it's still too soon to think about that at length - the love they give me and I to them will continue to make life so much better for all three of us. Yeah, dogs are very special indeed.

  • Ed Walters posted at 11:48 am on Wed, May 21, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 638

    Jim, I have been in your situation many times over the course of 50+ years, it is never easy to say good-buy to an old friend. I keep telling myself that I won`t go through this again, however I always seem to get an offer I can`t refuse. Now my Labs are going on 8 years old, still run and swim, but sooner or later I will notice that they will be slowing down, knowing that the last page in their book of life will soon close. Going to the Vet`s knowing that only one will be come back is heart breaking, though I know it must be done. The solution she gives the dogs puts him or her to eternal sleep in seconds, their eyes are fixed and dilated, she listens for a heart beat only to tell me, he`s gone. Let the humans stay in an 6x8' cage until they rot away. To use this solution on them would be disrespectful to the dogs. I am getting on in years, however a life without a couple of dogs is a life not worth living. [sad]


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