Note To My Critics:

The links to the many sites that I've included contain information that I believe to be relevant, be it the graphics, the videos, the undercover investigations, etc. . Exposing & and ending the brutality and savagery inflicted on the non-human animals is what I am focused on. I strongly believe that every voice against animal abuse/exploitation is of value and -and- collectively we have the power to end it. I am here for the animals, not for anyone's approval and for that I make no apologies. ** I do not promote violence towards humans. ___________________________________________________ Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coping with the Death of Your Dog

Coping with Death of Your Dog - Helpful Dog Info - Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue

Often we think of death as something to be feared, to be put out of mind and avoided at all costs. Yet in the end it comes to all organisms. It will come to your dog and one day it will surely come to you and me.

Practical Aspects of Dealing With Death

There are certain things concerning death with which every pet owner should be acquainted. Though we do not and cannot ask our dog his preferences in these matters, we should ask ourselves what decisions are to be implemented relevant to the death of our pet when the time comes.

Hospital Care

When an animal is seriously ill and you are considering hospitalizing it, ask your veterinarian just what to expect and what the realistic chances are for recovery. Special care often can pull an animal through a serious crisis and enable it to live a few more years. However, there are some conditions, such as some forms of cancer or major heart or kidney degeneration for which there is little or no hope for recovery. Heroic but futile efforts to prolong a pet's life might involve extensive care and expense as well as drawn out suffering for the animal.

In cases where there is no real hope for a cure and death appears to be relatively close and painless, it can make sense to consider home death. If the family feels willing and able to handle the death of a pet, both in terms of time and emotional clarity the experience can be a positive one for all involved, including the dying animal. Unless the pet has been heavily treated with drugs (such as chemotherapy for cancer), death from many serious conditions can become comparatively free of excessive discomfort.

As a general guideline, if the animal seems reasonably comfortable and peaceful, you may wish to allow the process to unfold naturally. Ask your veterinarian what kind of physical care to give your dying animal should you feed him? He should receive water and some animals find chicken broth flavored water more palatable. Put him on a blanket and give him a warm, comfortable and quiet place to rest. Occasionally, you may need to help him outside to eliminate. The animal may welcome the gentle and calm presence of those it loves, but do protect your pet from to much noise, activity or disturbance. If the family feels the inclination to sit up the night with a dying dog, by all means do so. That is, do so if you are not so visibly shaken emotionally that you disturb your dog's final hour of life.

When the end is very near, the animal will grow quite weak. The body temperature will drop and breathing may become spasmodic and gasping. The pupils may dilate and the animal may stretch out or perhaps pass urine. This final dying process can last for only a few minutes and rarely for more than an hour or two. Dogs that die simply look, to the average person, as if they are asleep. Your beautiful dog does not begin to decompose before your eyes nor does he immediately discharge a repulsive odor. So you should have no fear in sharing this experience with the children if your dog dies at home.

Many older dogs die in their sleep, at night when the body is at its lowest ebb. In such cases you may just wake up in the morning and find him peacefully asleep without heartbeat or movement in his chest. His eyes may be open or closed. If you are unsure whether your dog has died, you can lift his jowls and examine his gums. If they are white and lifeless, the blood has ceased pumping vital oxygen throughout his body. Certain muscles may twitch slightly, even after death, but this is only the remnants of electrical energy reacting in his muscles and nerve complexes and, unfortunately, not a sign that he is still alive.

When animals (and humans) die, they lose control of their excretory functions. Should you come upon your dog in the morning and, having established that he is dead, notice that he urinated and defecated involuntarily during the night, don't be shocked. Clean it up as best you can and place him on a clean blanket. You are not going to keep him warm with the blanket, for his thermal sensitivity has left him.

In summary, when at all possible, a dog should remain at home for the end with the family he has loved and who will always love him. This is much more comforting in his final moments than being transported to the antiseptic ambiance of a veterinary hospital.

Euthanasia: The Painful Choice

For a pet lover, no decision is more difficult than authorizing euthanasia. Yet, too often, this painful choice is the right choice for your pet. No one can tell you when to put your animal out of his suffering. You must be guided by what your vet tells you, what your pet conveys to you through his own very distinct and meaningful language, and what your heart tells you. If you are at all in doubt as to the prognosis that your vet gives on the health status of your dog, get another professional opinion. When in doubt, don't ever proceed hastily with euthanasia. After the loss of your pet, you will be the far greater sufferer.

If you are hesitant about euthanizing a pet, you may be better able to make the decision if you are familiar with the procedure and its alternatives. Technically speaking, veterinarians perform euthanasia by injecting an overdose of a barbiturate anesthetic into a vein or the heart. The intravenous drug does not cause any pain. The animal loses consciousness and the vital signs cease soon thereafter.

Should you wish to share in the final moments of your dog's life by being present, and perhaps holding him in your arms, stroking his head and speaking gently, then by all means tell the vet of your wishes. Very rarely will a vet refuse this poignant request but this issue is best decided before hand. If there are any problems with your vet obliging your request, you can make accommodations elsewhere.

As with sitting at home until the final hour with your pet, if you are much too distraught to contain yourself, then lavish final embraces upon our dog, walk out of the vet's office and don't turn back. Some people may be eternally tormented by the vision of a beloved dog lying dead in their arms. These people should embrace the dog one final time, walk out of the office and remember their pal as he was in life, not death. Some people may choose not to witness the procedure but to have a last good-bye after the procedure, to complete their separation. Whatever your choice, it is personal. Do whatever feels right in your heart and your dog will know you were with him until the very end.

The Proper Good-bye

At some point, you are going to have to make final arrangements for your pet. Most veterinarians can either handle matters themselves or explain the choices available. There are several options:

* Cemetery Burial
People have been burying their pets in a ritual fashion at least since Egyptian times. Today, there are pet cemeteries in virtually every populated area of the United States and Europe. Many are spacious, with safeguards against the land being used for other purposes and with funding to provide future grounds keeping. Standards established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries might help you guide your choice. A list of their standards is available free on request by writing to Box 1346, South Bend, Indiana 46624 or by calling (219) 277-1115. The costs for cemetery burial vary, from around $200 for a simple burial to thousands of dollars for elaborate services. Many pet cemeteries will cooperate with veterinary clinics, sending a representative to handle details.

* Communal Burial
This less costly option is offered by many pet cemeteries and private humane organizations. Your pet's dignity is in no way affected by burial with other animals. Communal burial is a common choice.

* Home Burial
It is not uncommon for pet owners to bury their pets somewhere on their own property, but you should check with your municipal government before making such arrangements. Typically, home burial is permitted in rural and suburban settings. A tight-fitting wooden box will help safeguard your pet's remains. You may want to consider the permanency of the residence before choosing this option.

* Individual Cremation
Your veterinarian probably can arrange for individual cremation. This option is more costly than communal cremation, with fees commonly ranging from $75 to $250. Often pet owners will then bury the ashes, either at a pet cemetery or on their own property.

* Communal Cremation
In areas where land is expensive, communal cremation is a sensible alternative. Some veterinary clinics even have their own crematoriums, as do many pet cemeteries and humane organizations. The fee is relatively modest, often less than $100.

Some of the pet cemeteries in our area are: Pet Memorial Park, Foxboro, MA (800) 477-5044; Balmoral Pet Cemetery, Gaylordsville, CT (203) 354-3433 and Bide-A-Wee, Wantagh, New York (516) 785-6153. (This does not represent YGRR's endorsement of these places, we're just sharing the information.)

In Memoriam

One way to soften the impact of your pet's death is to make a donation in the animal's memory to a worthy animal-related cause. Humane organizations need financial support to care for homeless pets. Many veterinary schools accept scholarship funds in the name of the donor. Sometimes veterinarians make gifts in honor of deceased "clients." If you have a favorite animal related charity, you should tell your veterinarian.

The Grieving Process

We grieve over the death of a pet. This reaction is only natural. Our feelings toward pets are so special that experts have a term for the relationship: the human-companion animal bond. When this bond is severed, the sense of loss can be overwhelming. Society does not offer a grieving pet owner a great deal of sympathy. Even a close friend may comment "It's only a dog (cat). You can always get another." Such a reaction would be heartless given the loss of a human friend or family member, and it is generally recognized such a loss needs the support of friends and relatives. Psychologists now acknowledge that we need as much support but get far less -with the loss of a companion animal.

How We Feel

When a person dies, family friends and relatives pay their respects at the family home or funeral parlor. There is a funeral where sorrow and tears are accepted, even expected. Afterward, during a mourning period, friends and relatives assist and comfort grieving family members until their grief subsides and new routines develop. When a pet dies, there is no such social ritual to formalize the grief. To many, a funeral for the family pet would seem eccentric and a formal period of mourning bizarre. (Pet funerals do seem to help children cope with the loss). Even the immediate family and intimate friends may not fully understand the loss. Still, the loss of a pet affects our emotions and all the more so if the pet was an integral part of the family. These feelings usually progress through several stages. Recognizing them can help us cope with the grief we feel.

The First Stage: Denial

Denial is the initial response of many pet owners when confronted with a pet's terminal condition or sudden death. This rejection seems to be the mind's buffer against a sharp emotional blow.

The Second Stage: Bargaining

This stage is well documented in the human grieving process. Many times, faced with impending death, an individual may "bargain" - offering some sacrifice if the loved one is spared. People losing a pet are less likely to bargain. Still, the hope that a pet might recover can foster reactions like, "If Rover recovers, I'll never skip his regular walk, never put him in a kennel when I go on vacation, never."

The Third Stage: Anger

Recognizing anger in the grief process is seldom a problem; dealing with it often is. Anger can be obvious, as in hostility or aggression. On the other hand, anger often turns inward, emerging as guilt.

Many veterinarians have heard the classic anger response, "What happened? I thought you had everything under control and now you've killed my dog!" Another standard: "You never really cared about Rover. He was just another fee to you, and I'm the one who has lost my pet!" Such outbursts help relieve immediate frustrations, though often at the expense of someone else. More commonly, pet owners dwell on the past. The number of "If only " regrets is endless: "If only I hadn't left the dog at my sister's house;" "If only I had taken her to the vet a week ago." Whether true or false, such recriminations and fears do little to relieve anger and are not constructive. Here your veterinarian's support can be helpful.

The Fourth Stage: Grief

This is the stage of true sadness. The pet is gone, along with the guilt and anger, and only an emptiness remains. It is now that the support of family and friends is most important and, sadly, most difficult to find. A lack of support prolongs the grief stage. Therefore the pet owner may want to seek some help from the pet's veterinarian or from a professional counselor. It is normal, and should be acceptable, to display grief when a companion animal dies. It is helpful, too, to recognize that other pet owners have experienced similar strong feelings , and that you are not alone in this feeling of grief.

Here are some helpful ideas from Patricia Gallagher, a professional bereavement counselor:

* Talk it out, share your feelings, ventilate; don't let your grief get bottled up inside and cause physical problems. The chest, stomach and back are usually the body areas most affected by the stress of emotional suffering. Physical exercise sometimes helps to relieve the stress as do relaxation and meditation exercises.

* Tears are often the best therapy for emotional strain - for both sexes and all ages. Weeping is a natural way to ease anguish and release pain. Laughter, too, can serve as an outlet for discharging pent-up emotions.

* It's important to find an understanding group or individual with whom one can share feelings on a long-term basis. In addition to talking about the grief and telling others what is needed from them, writing down experiences in a daily log or journal can be therapeutic. Writing about feelings helps us clarify them.

* Many people try to keep themselves too busy to think, as a way of avoiding the grief. But the feelings must be dealt with and accepted as part of a normal separation process. There is no "normal" grief span - the process is never the same for two people.

* Giving people support when they are experiencing a severe loss is important. Words of wisdom are not required, nor are they necessarily helpful. Rather, reaching out with a card, a phone call or a personal visit meets the need. Show your concern and sorrow in your own way, but be available to your friend and encourage others to reach out too.

The Final Stage: Resolution

All things come to an end - even grieving. As time passes, the distress dissolves as the pet owner remembers the good times, not the pet's passing. And, more often than not, the answer lies in a new pet, a new companion animal to fulfill the need for a pet in the house.

If The Burden Is Too Heavy

Veterinary colleges, in studying the human-companion animal bond, are increasing their efforts to help pet owners cope with lingering grief. The following are some which have social workers specially trained to counsel pet owners.

The Love and Loyalty of a Dog

Love and Loyalty to Death and Beyond « For the Love of the Dog
Forever Friends in Life and Death

Andrew P. Peterson, of Corner Ranch, New Mexico, was murdered by bandits in March of 1917. Here is his friend, at his grave: The grave was reportedly 3 miles from the home they shared. How the little Border Collie found it on his own remained a mystery. The dog had to be physically taken from the site by Peterson’s daughter. Days later, the dog would go missing…and could be found at the grave. He continued this behavior until his death several years later…and they found him dead…at the grave.

Dog and God

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Evils of Dairy Products

Rescue & Adoptions | Farm Sanctuary
He had only been in this world one day, but it was about to be his last. Billy, one of many male calves born into the dairy industry and considered worthless, was about to receive a fatal hammer blow to the head when a Truxton, New York man, Larry, impulsively intervened. Shocked by the brutality of what he saw, Larry decided to spare this tiny calf a painful death by persuading the farmer to let him take Billy home. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Repost: Encouragement For The Weary Activist

I am reposting this at the request of: Addie/Persephone.  Please check out her blog. I promise you won't be disappointed

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The Boy and the Starfish

A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.

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As the man approached even closer, he was able to
see that the boy was picking up starfish that had
been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he
was throwing them back into the water.

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The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,"I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen.

"But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."

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The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied.

"I made a huge difference to that one!"

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~Author Unknown~

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Things That Will Help You Get Over The Loss of Your Pet

Dealing With Pet Loss

Things That Will Help You Get Over The Loss of Your Pet

"Therefore to this dog will I, tenderly not scornfully, render praise and favor: with my hand upon his head, is my benediction said, therefore and forever."
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning, To Flush, My Dog

What a wonderful responsibility we take on when we bring a pet into our lives. With the help and guidance from veterinarians, we provide a loving, safe, and healthy environment for our pets who share everything with us.
Our pets see us through marriages, divorces, and the birth of children. Pets endure separation and welcome us back as if we'd been away forever. They are the best pals we have for accepting us as we are.
Pets also help bring us through the losses in our lives. For many of us, our companions are the anchors. We lose a job, we change residences, and we lose friends and relatives through death and separation.
The constant is the unwavering love and devotion of a companion animal. One day, that constant will become one of our losses. Now we will grieve because we have lost that companion. Where do we turn? When the kind face and acceptance we used to turn to is gone, where do we go for comfort?

One of the most difficult and important parts of grief and loss is seeking to understand what has happened and that what you are feeling is all right. Your sense of loss may encompass your life and that is all right. You have that right to grieve and you can take as much time as you need. In a busy and demanding world like ours, the trick is to take the time.
You will probably be faced with well-meaning people who feel you should spend a certain amount of time feeling bad and then get over it. No one is able to tell you your time frame for grieving. Only someone who has worked through grief can tell you about the time it takes to heal. Many stages of grief have been described, and none of them are absolute.
Generally, the stages are:
Bargaining (often with God)

Ideally, these stages are supposed to progress from stages one through five in predictable fashion. This just does not happen.
Be gentle with yourself. Many of us do not go through all stages and almost all of us will be thrown back into and out of these stages before the healing truly begins.
With resolution comes perhaps not so much the "getting on with it" as it does the chance to place the memories in a comfortable spot in your life.
You may find yourself very close to resolution when a memory or anniversary of your pet's passing knocks you back into the anger or denial stage. Not only is this understandable but it is also a fact of life.

Give yourself time.
If, however, you feel that time is passing too painfully for you or you want some very special and caring support, there are many sources of support available to you.
Your veterinarian
Your relationship with your veterinarian has just been very emotional and personal. Few people understand your loss like the staff who have cared for your pet and who have helped you make your decision.
If you have a relationship with a pastor or congregation, don't forget that they may be there for you. For many people, religion is a framework of life. Don't think that your church would not want to hear you lost a "dog."
Humane Societies
This is a wonderful source for reaching out to people whose hearts are like yours and whose grief is as profound as yours. There will be few places more accepting of your love for your pet than here. Call your local shelter or humane society and ask if they have a pet loss support group.
Seeking professional help is absolutely all right and very c ommon. Grief and depression are just as real over loss of a dog or cat as they are over loss of a person.
For those whose companion animals have a terminal illness, the grief process has a special consideration. You may find yourself needing help preparing for the loss. Learning to live and enjoy your best friend is extremely difficult. This is exactly what hospice work is all about. Check with your local hospitals and hospice groups for help.
Family and friends
Don't overlook this resource. Many of them have been with you in your grief from the time of decision or the receipt of terrible news. Some of them may have been in the room with you when it happened. It is difficult to ask for help-if someone offers, think about accepting it. Even if it helps move through just one of the stages of grief, you will know you are not alone.

Pet Loss Support Hotlines:
University of California-Davis
Weekdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. PST
Cornell University
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 6-9 p.m. EST
University of Florida-Gainesville 904/392-4700
Weekdays, 7-9 p.m. EST
Michigan State University
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. EST
The Ohio State University
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6:30-9:30 p.m. CST
Chicago Veterinary Medical Association 708/603-3994
Leave a voice mail anytime. Calls returned collect between 7-9 p.m. CST weekdays.
Be sure to ask your veterinarian for more information on these or any other grief support information.

Do Pets Go to Heaven?
We asked that question of our readers and here's their replies:

We believe that our pets often come back to us as angels. Angels to protect us and help care for us.
We also firmly believe that we will someday be re-united with our favorite pets who have crossed over.
It is a law of the universe that love will never pass away.
Our pets give us un-conditional love. That love is always alive.

A physical body may pass from our presence, but the love is eternal. God set it up that way.
Just as our physical bodies go back to dust, our eternal souls live forever. It is no different with the pets God gave us to enjoy.
If you've recently experienced the loss of a precious loved one, please rest assured that your friend is still alive. He or she is just in another realm, another dimension we have yet to experience.
It's like when ships are sent out to sea.
Some ships return back to their ports. Other ships sail on to other, unknown ports. We may not physically see them again, but the passengers are alive and living in a different part of the world.
Someday we too will sail off to ports unknown presently to us. We will leave behind friends and loved ones, but we will also experience new ports and lands and gain new friends and experiences. And also re-unite with old friends that are already there.
Your friend is waiting for you. He or she is well taken care of in the meantime.

See also:

The Rainbow Bridge Poem

Back to our Free Library of Pet Care Tips

Lucy: April 2003 - March 18 2010 (Grieving the Loss of Your Dog)

This afternoon the world is will never be as sweet as it was this morning:  My Sweet Precious Lucy has passed away. Leaving me totally heartbroken.

 Three weeks ago  I noticed that Lucy's  lymph nodes under her chin were very swollen. In my mind I'm thinking she must have an infection so  I take her to be examined by her Vet at West Penn Animal Hospital.    Turns out  that all of Lucy's lymph node were swollen.  Long-story-short  she was diagnosed with Lymphoma, devastating news.  At that time she still had a good appetite and was still enjoying life so I thought we had a few months left to be together however that was not to be.  Three days ago she started to exhibit signs of physical decline. By this morning the 'spark' had faded from her eyes. She had lost interest in food ( Lucy lived for two things, me and food)  plus she started throwing up.  I phoned my sister to see if she would come with me to the Vet's office,  she then phoned her veterinarian's office to make the arrangements for me because her vet was closer than Lucy's.  Lucy suffered from a sever case of  Motion Sickness and I didn't want her last ride in a car to make her feel even sicker.   

I wanted to speak with the vet to make sure I making the right decision, maybe it was too soon?  Oh how one hopes against hope at times like this.  If  there was any way possible to keep Lucy with me longer I wanted to do just that.   After the examination  it was the veterinarian's opinion that I should let her go.   I loved her so much so  I  had to do what was best for her.

 I sat on the floor with her on my lap and held her in my arms while the Vet started the IV. I did all of the things that was familiar to Lucy, I kissed her face, her eye lids,  I kissed her head and ears all the while telling her how much I love her, these were all words that were familiar to her. Every day for seven years I told her that I loved her and I kissed her face every day too.  I told her how much joy, comfort and happiness she brought into my life, told her that she is a wonderful friend and how I wish could be with her to take her were ever it is that one goes when one dies. I know this is silly but I hated the thought of her having to take that journey. Lucy was such a needy, baby-like dog.  I called her my 'Velcro Dog'  because she was always  wanted to be smack up against me and she hated to be alone.

I've worked in health care all of my adult life, since  the age of 18.  I have seen death many, many times. I've  washed, shrouded and escorted to the morgue many people who've passed away,  yet I still find death  to be so very mysterious and so lonely.  

The vet flushed Lucy's IV with saline, then gave her a sedative  I feel  her body relax in my arms. I continued to stroke her silky smooth fur while continuing to talk to her as the vet administered the 'euthanasia'. I then felt the 'life' leave her body. The vet listened to Lucy's heart with the stethoscope until her heart stopped beating.

There are no words which antiquity describe that awful, lonely, empty  feeling of  profound loss, words fail miserably.

 I couldn't bring myself let Lucy go so the staff  let me stay in  that empty cold room with my Lucy. I sat on the cold floor with her still in my arms.  For a while I tried to pretend that she was just asleep.   I hugged and rocked her with my face buried in her neck, smelling in her scent trying to imprint her scent into my memory I rocked like she was baby...she was my baby. I finally left when her body started to lose it's warmth.

 Lucy helped me get through a long series  losses.  I needed her so much more than she needed me.   She was a sweet, funny, babish  scaredy-cat girl.  She always had to sleep smack up against me and Lucy loved to sleep burrowed under the covers, she would get under then turn around three times thereby bunching up and hogging the covers. I always referred to her as my 'Velcro' dog.  Lucy 'loved' with total abandon, she held nothing back. I believe we could learn a lot from dogs, Like how to live 'in the moment', how to truly love, how to forgive.  Losing her is devastating.   I have Girl, my son's Boxer to help me through this. She's more reserved and 'Lady-like than Lucy was but she is a kind, loyal and gentle soul and I love her too.  Even so, there's that place in my heart that belongs to Lucy and will always remain empty. I hope she not alone, I hope she's not scared and lonely or cold and hungry.    I will get Lucy's ashes  in a ceder box with her named engraved on a plaque in a week or so . I will keep her ashes on her pillow, on my bed where she slept in life.

Lucy her warm brown eyes that always expressed so much  love.

      2/1/2003 - 4/18/2010


By Kathy Diamond Davis
Author and Trainer

Grieving the Loss of Your Dog

Whenever we experience grief, past losses come back to our minds and hearts. Grief is like an illness or injury, with an acute stage that heals but still leaves us forever changed. Proper care during the acute stage can lead to better healing and perhaps even a strengthened ability to heal from future grief.

When for some reason healing doesn’t go well, people can be left more vulnerable to serious emotional problems at times of future losses and at emotional times such as holidays. Because of this vulnerability, it’s important to take every opportunity with any loss to come through it to peace of mind and intact good memories. This is true whether the loss is a human loved one, a job, a disability, a disaster that destroys your home, or the loss of a beloved dog.

One fact about life on earth is that it will bring losses. We need to stand by each other at these times, both for the sake of the grieving person and for our own sakes. You may be one who has trouble accepting help from others, but please make an exception at times of grief. You may need some time alone, but you also need support from other humans who can relate to your experience.

Even a little bit of this support coming at the right moment can make a huge difference in a person’s future ability to cope with grief. It’s easier to accept the help when you have taken your turn providing it for others. Sometimes the person in place when we need a moment of understanding from another human being is a close friend. Plenty of times, though, it’s someone you encounter online, at your job, or when out doing errands.

Most of us have opportunities from time to time to lighten other people’s burdens, and this is a vital one. Other humans throw plenty of stress at us, so when you have a chance to give or receive positive support from another person, act on it. You will be stronger for the experience and so will the other person.

You can help yourself cope with grief at the loss of a dog better by doing certain things. You may also be able to help someone else by passing on the information. Exactly how each person decides to do things is up to him or her. What’s important is to make decisions that will aid your peace of mind and healing.

Get the facts. Don’t hide from a diagnosis. At this point in time, it is still the dog owner’s choice about whether to authorize a particular treatment. Laws may change that, if “guardian” replaces “owner.” Some people want to see government take over medical choices for our dogs, but for now in the United States you can confidently take your dog to the veterinarian for an assessment of the dog’s condition without fear that anything will be done against your wishes.

Sometimes people don’t understand this and fear taking their suffering dog to the veterinarian for help. In the process, the people suffer, too—potentially for the rest of their lives, knowing they failed to help their dogs.

You will be glad you got accurate information so that your veterinarian can help you make the dog as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. With a diagnosis, your decisions will be based on reasonable knowledge of the expected outcome.

Write down your questions before talking with the veterinarian, and take notes as you get the answers. This works a lot better than relying on memory later to make sense of things you heard while feeling stressed about your dog. Your notes will also help you explain the veterinarian’s diagnosis to other family members.

Take the time to do things in an orderly way. Feelings of grief are easier to endure before the loss than after, if the dog can be comfortable. It also gives you time to have a loving good-bye that will become a good memory.

If the dog is suffering, provide relief for that suffering. Realize that dogs have a survival instinct to hide their pain, so you have to be alert for subtle things. When a dog who normally eats well stops eating, that is a big deal. Panting or other restlessness at night, housetraining accidents in a dog who hasn’t had them for years, and signs of separation anxiety are other things to watch for. Many things that cause dogs to suffer can be relieved at least temporarily and give the dog a bit more time of feeling comfortable.

When suffering is no longer being relieved, don’t fall into the common trap of just hoping your dog will die quietly and spare you from making a decision. In many of those cases, it means the owner has made the dog suffer unnecessarily. Ask your veterinarian to help you end your dog’s life at the appropriate time.

When the time comes, some dogs would find it more comforting for the owner to be present and others would not. If you are a skilled handler and can help your dog stay calm, you might forever be glad you did this last loving thing for your dog.

On the other hand, if you are not comfortable being there or your dog is more fractious toward veterinary staff in your presence, it is better for you to step out of the room for the brief moments of the procedure. Veterinarians are accustomed to this sad duty and will perform it kindly.

Think now of the arrangements you want for your dog’s remains, so that when the time comes you will have already decided. Different people have different needs in this aspect of grief. Some want ashes to keep at home, scatter, or bury. Some want nice caskets. Some want headstones and permanent-care pet-cemetery plots. Some want to have the dog’s body preserved. Some want a minister or other person to conduct a funeral or memorial service for the dog.

We all need to just respect each other’s feelings about how the dog’s remains are handled. Support someone else’s decision even if it’s wildly different from yours. How this is handled can greatly help people heal from the grief.

There may be other people who love your dog. Keep your friends and extended family members informed about what is happening. Talk to those who are close to the dog about what each of you feels and wants in the dog’s care, being present at euthanasia, and the remains.

The costs of a dog’s last illness can be high, and we need to prepare for that much earlier in the dog’s life. Things can happen at any time. An ideal option is to have money in a savings account available for the dog’s expenses. Another way is to keep a credit card open enough to cover the dog’s medical needs.

You’ll want to discuss finances in advance with others in your life who share that responsibility. But don’t try to anticipate a dollar amount or to make your decisions—especially early in the illness—based on money. Instead, carefully listen to all the information (taking notes), and make your decision based on what you think your dog would want if your dog could know what you know about the whole situation.

The financial aspects become much clearer when you put the dog’s welfare first. Others involved in paying the costs may be more supportive if they are consulted in advance rather than having it “sprung” on them at the last minute. They are also more supportive if they have been included in decisions about the dog from the beginning of your lives together. Too often, people do too much or too little for the dying dog, and regret it ever afterward. Talking things over as a family can help you avoid this.

Watch for the right moment when both parties feel like talking. Emotionally, a good way to approach it may be in several brief conversations rather than one intense session that doesn’t give people time to think about what they want and to process their feelings before talking again.

Time really does help. So don’t wait until the last minute. Don’t assume you know how the other person feels or what the other person wants. You can be stronger as a family from handling this situation well together. Communication is a skill, and communicating well about something as hard as the death of your dog will give you increased confidence that you can count on each other.

If you are not the dog’s primary human, but that person is your loved one and needs your emotional and financial support to deal with this situation, think carefully about everything you decide and say. This is not the time to make any kind of power play or penalize the person in some way. This is the time to be there for those you love. If you are not quite as close to the dog, you may have valuable observations that the dog’s closest human is just too upset to see, such as behavior changes indicating the dog is in pain.


When a dog is dying, the dog probably doesn’t know that. A dog lives until he or she dies. We humans do well when we do the same and make the best use of the time we are given. Time is always limited. It’s wise to think about your dog’s whole life and how you are going to care for that time when you first decide to get a dog.

The pain of grief and the costs in money and energy make up the price we pay for the love of our dogs. It is a bargain, but it is a high price. Planning well ahead can help us avoid letting our dogs down just when they will need us most.

When a person has had to make the agonizing choice to put a dog to sleep, the most healing words you could say are “You did the right thing.” Don’t say it if you don’t believe it. But if you do believe it, those words will help.

Our dogs love us with their whole selves. One who loves us wants the best for us, and your dog would want you to heal from grief and be able to fully love again. In a mysterious way, you can even love more deeply for knowing the cost—and the value—of love. People often find their love for the departed one continues to grow.

Love is infinite and powerful. You don’t run out of love like a bucket becoming empty. The more you love, the better you get at loving—it’s like a muscle that grows stronger with good use. Your relationship with your next dog can be even better, if you will let it. Everything you learned from loving the dog who has left you can bless your next dog.

Some people are ready for another dog right after a loss, but many need some time to grieve. For various reasons, you may decide to refrain from getting another dog. This is a decision to think about and discuss with the family long in advance of grieving for your dog. Picking a dog you can be responsible for over the next 10 to 15 years is a huge decision. Grieving people should avoid big decisions whenever possible.

It saves a lot of pitfalls to decide as much as possible about your next dog long in advance of your dog having any terminal illness. That doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind when the time comes. But it can greatly help you through the loss, and we should never underestimate the impact of grief. It can bring on many problems. It is important to handle it carefully.

Be good to yourself during grief and do the same for anyone around you who is going through it. Don’t say “I know how you feel”—you can never know just how someone else feels. You might say something like “I can only imagine how you must feel.”

Most of all, just be there and let the person express feelings, including tears. Tears are the work of grieving. Take time to do that work for your own grief. You can come through grief with a greater joy in life and a greater appreciation of love. That is a gift your dog would want to give you.

Date Published: 12/17/2006 11:50:00 AM

Monday, March 15, 2010

Documentaries About Animal Abuse

:: Watch Animal Abuse Documentaries Online. Download Animal Abuse Documentaries Documentary & Trailer. Watch Free movies Find dvds, torrents & documentary feature films. ::
Animal Abuse Documentaries

Highlighted Movie
Earthlings | 95 minutes
Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, "Earthlings" chronicles the cruelty of the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely on animals for profit.
McLibel | 82 minutes
What happens when two people spend years in court fighting a huge corporation for what they believe is their right to tell the truth about McDonalds.
Meet Your Meat | 13 minutes
Narrated by Alec Baldwin, this short documentary covers each stage of life of animals raised for food.
What price are we paying for the homogenized, cheap and convenient food that supermarkets specialize in? You may gain an understanding of the rational behind Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic, and grass-root eating practices.
What price are we paying for the homogenized, cheap and convenient food that supermarkets specialize in? You may gain an understanding of the rational behind Vegetarian, Vegan, Organic, and grass-root eating practices.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Right now, pregnant wolves are among the targets in the escalating wolf hunt in the northern Rockies

Reposted with thanks to:
Kindness of Strangers

Stand Up To Cruelty
Targeting pregnant wolves....this is beyond sick.

Hunters are now targeting pregnant animals to drive them into extinction sooner...

What is happening in this country?

Why is this being allowed to continue by the Obama Administration?

Marla Stormwolf

Will You Help Run This Wolf Saving TV Ad?

Right now, pregnant wolves are among the targets in the escalating wolf hunt in the northern Rockies.
The Obama administration’s elimination of life-saving protections for these magnificent animals has already resulted in the shooting deaths of hundreds of wolves.
Help persuade President Obama to immediately stop this terrible killing.
Please donate now to run our new television ad on CNN and MSNBC in Washington, DC next week and help us fight to save these wolves.
We need to bring the message home to the president and his political advisors in the White House.

With your help, we’ll begin running our powerful new television ad in Washington while we keep fighting in the courts and on the ground.
We need to raise at least $120,000 by Monday to run this television ad narrated by actress and activist Ashley Judd and to expand our campaign. That means we need at least 70 caring people from California to donate right now. Will you help?Here’s what your donation will buy:$25 donation will help buy one part of an ad...$100 will pay for 20% a thirty-second spot.$500 will pay the full cost of a thirty-second spot.
Any donation will help support our work to save wolves and other wildlife.
With your help, we will air it over the next week on CNN and MSNBC in Washington, DC — two channels that will get the White House’s attention.
Please send whatever you can afford so we can buy the airtime today and keep fighting to save these and other imperiled animals.
For the Wild Ones,

Rodger Schlickeisen
Defenders of Wildlife

P.S. Help us run the ad to persuade President Obama to restore protections. Anti-wolf groups in Idaho want more “predator derbies” targeting wolves. Legislators in the West want to open the door to aerial wolf-killing programs like those championed by former Governor Sarah Palin. We can’t let more wolves die.
Make a secure online donation now or call 1-800-385-9712 to help us convince President Obama to restore protections for wolves and fight in court and on the ground to save the lives of these and other imperiled animals.
To view the ad and donate, here is the link to the action page:

Free Veg Starter Kit Chained Dogs

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