14 thoughts on “On Being Human”

  1. There are two thing blogs have shown us. One is the ability to draw a scene and let the reader add the tones and the colour. The second is how much humanity there is inside us. There is hope as long as we can feel for our fellow beings.

  2. Likewise, however one of my bugbears is that animal charities find it easier to get funds than humanitarian ones. Even the children's ones.

  3. Thanks for pointing to these stories Tom. They brought back the time when I was a teenager that I took out family labrador to the vet to be put down. I held her on the table and as he administered the injection she looked up at me. To this day I am convinced from the look in here eyes that she knew what was happening and I am also sure she was trying to make it easier for me.

  4. I work in a veterinary practice (as well as in a care home). I often assist in putting animals to sleep. I have had several of mine go that route in the past. More recently, I insist on raising the vein and then releasing it. All I can say is that I know it is the best thing I can ever do for any of my animals no matter how much it hurts me. For each of them (apart from one – who was agressive and that was the hardest decision I ever made in my life – I was releasing them from their suffering) and they each had my individual attention at the end and a very special last cuddle from me. They all went in my arms. I miss them all but know that it is me that is suffering and not them and that is what is important. To anyone in the same position, past, present or future, it really is the best favour you can do for an animal who is suffering. I am not an advocate of euthanasia for humans (that is a different issue) but often do think that we are kinder to our animals than we are to ourselves. Working were I do, for each of them I have the courage to raise and release that vein myself as well as make the decision – that is how sure I am that the decision is the right one. Please can I convey to anyone in a similar position – you may not have the experience or knowledge to do the same yourself. But you can be there for your pet and make that final, most important decision. Yes, it will hurt you, but it will release your pet from his/her suffering. The end will be the same no matter what your decision.

  5. I'd just already read both of these and cried then, now I'm in tears again, I suppose it's just a good job I haven't put my make up on yet, we've had several pets put down I was first too young to go with them, then at uni. I always know it's the best thing to do, easing their suffering, but this never makes it any easier for me, I sigh thinking “Well, you know they had a good life it ended well” then burst into tears again thinking “I want them back now, I love them!” And despite how much I love having pets it's why I'm so dubious about getting any myself, I have to weigh up giving a loving home to an abandoned animal (we always get rescue beasties) and the sorrow it's going to cause me when they die. Which is a very selfish way of thinking about it I know, but for now the decisions out of my hands as I'm a student too poor to afford a pet and I don't think my landlord would be too keen either.

  6. I couldn't have put it better myself Karen. I also work in a veterinary practice (training to be a VN) and it really is the kindest thing you can do if your animal's in pain. It's so so hard at the time and god knows I've been there myself with my own pets giving that one last cuddle as they pass over.

  7. Yeah, I read them both as well. And admit I went watery-eyed as well. I regard many animals higher than some humans, and I know about losing a “pet”. Wonderful comment from the person who wrote it.

  8. I was present when a business acquaintance's horse was put down. It was a Shire, the largest breed of horse in the world – this one stood six feet six at the shoulder. Her hooves were the size of frying pans. My friend was in his fifties, a successful businessman who drove a pair of Shire horses as a hobby (and for advertising purposes). We watched as that huge, powerful, affectionate and gentle soul folded to the floor. The businessman knelt by her body, put his hands in her mane, and cried. I didn't know the horse at all, but it was terrible.

  9. I have spent 56 of my 60 years terribly afraid of dogs. So afraid that I would cross the street to avoid one, seemingly well behaved and on a leash.So when my daughter said she wanted a dog, I said “No way!” and kept right on saying it even as the front gate opened and this sheep-sized thing she'd picked up at the Jerusalem SPCA dragged her in. A year-old Samoyed that some family had brought in, probably because he was too big for their apartment. For two days he lay with his head in my daughter's lap, too scared to even come up to us to be petted, and at that point I realized how deeply traumatic losing his family had been to him. Even now, a year on, he doesn't wander far when let out, but wants to keep us in sight. He is a real “gentle giant”, and he's totally hopeless as a guard dog: he'd lick any potential burglar to death.

    I agree that children should be preferred to dogs, but you can tell what kind of person someone is by the way they treat animals. Nowadays, I split my donations.

  10. Animals are always innocent of any complicity in their own suffering though, which is not always true of humans.And their suffering is usually many times worse – for every war torn village there are half-starved cattle and donkeys kept working by the constant use of violence, for every underprivileged estate there will be animals needing vets for whom no money is left after buying fags and booze, and for every human self-induced illness there are millions of animals tortured to death, for no meaningful reason, in labs trying to find things like a “cure” for obesity.

  11. “To anyone in the same position, past, present or future, it really is the best favour you can do for an animal who is suffering. I am not an advocate of euthanasia for humans (that is a different issue)…”With you on both.

    One difference is that in the absence of the ability to do large amounts of abstract thought – or even read a book, watch a movie or listen to music – the point at which an animal's life becomes not worth living for them is far lower than that of a human.

    I know there are exceptions – Alzheimers being one horrible one – it's a tricky topic, all in all, but leaving an animal to suffer is never right.

  12. My 19 year old Border Terrier, Baldrick, was blind, deaf, and wont to crap everywhere. We were exhauseted, the house was smelly, and the bad weather meant we could no longer keep him in the garden in the day (it had been a lovely summer and he happily slept under the buddleia). We couldn't make the inevitable decision until we realised we were keeping him out of the fear of being without him rather than because he was a happy, fulfilled doggie.Four years later his ashes are in a little box by the side of the fireplace. There is a small yellow biscuit in between the inner container and the box. Sometimes we check if it's gone yet…

  13. Now YOU'VE made me cry AGAIN! Had my old boy's ashes scattered in the woods. Sometimes wonder if I should have kept them – but I figure he's happier in the woods.

  14. REALLY shouldn't have read those – my three year old wants to know why I am crying and is trying to cuddle me better (getting spaghetti hoop tomato sauce on me and the laptop in the process…..)

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