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Old 12-29-2008, 12:33 PM   #1
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Unhappy Passing of a Pet

Hello all..

I am in need of some advice. My very dear friend had to put his 10-yr-old cat Snickers to sleep today and is quite distraught. She refused to eat earlier this week, and as of last night came quite close to death. He stayed up with her all night, and today he had the choice of giving her fluids for 2 days or putting her to sleep. Not being able to afford her fluids, as well as the vet's opinion that it wouldn't help much, he had to put her to sleep. I think he feels very guilty, and feels like he lost a baby since he raised her all alone.

He has been pretty down in the dumps as of late. His stepfather has MS and was laid off and so his family can barely afford his medication. His car which he needs for school and his two jobs constantly breaks down and needs very expensive repairs. He has two other dogs, one of whom is very old and sickly herself. Over the summer his house at school was robbed and they took pretty much everything he owned. On top of all this, this Christmas he saved up what little he could to buy his nephew a Christmas gift (some very adorable stuffed animals). His stepmother (with whom he has a very strained relationship with, as well as his father) remarked that he got his nephew a very "poopie" gift (she used a worse word but I've cleaned it up for here) and was dumb for thinking his nephew or sister would want the toys. I know this hurt him a lot after he worked so hard just to buy them. This poor cat's death was the last thing he needed right now.

I offered to pay for the cat's treatments with my Disney spending money, but he said no since she likely wouldn't make it anyways. My only pet passed when I was 9, and I don't know really how to comfort him. I keep telling him she had a good life and he took good care of her, and it's good she isn't in pain anymore, but I don't know what else to do. I know mourning is very personal, but I would like to help him as much as I can. Being college students neither of us have very much money, but I just wish there was some way I could help him.

Has anyone ever dealt with the loss of a pet, and could help me to help him? I've offered to buy her little gravemarker. Should I send him flowers? I just wish there was something more I could do. Any advice at all is greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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I think you are doing all the right things.. he might just have to work through the loss...

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Old 12-30-2008, 07:15 PM   #3
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I think the most important thing is to let him know that he can talk to you at any time and that you will listen. Also, let him know that in my opinion, he did the humane thing in not making the kitty suffer.

I'm guessing he would have photographs of the kitty. Maybe you can get a few pictures from him and make a nice collage of the kitty or if you are a scrapper, make a small scrapbook for him. On my wall I have all my childhood and current kitties in a big collage frame and it keeps me close to the ones that have passed on.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:50 PM   #4
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For a lot of people putting a pet to sleep is extra painful because no one wants to be in the position of choosing a beloved pet's death. It is an awful position to be in. I've been there twice. Both times were very hopeless cases but even if it was "doing the humane thing" it was very traumatic for me. It helped me when dh understood how terrible I felt and was "there" for me.

Your friend is lucky to have you. Let him grieve but be in touch. Invite him over for a shoulder lean on or just a little company. It sounds like he'll need your support. When everything else in life seems to be falling apart, something like this can be too much. It will mean a lot just to have a compassionate friend.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:49 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the advice. I promised him when I come home from Florida we will go out for dinner, etc to take his mind off things, and I check in on him every so often to make sure he's okay. He knows he did the right, humane, kind thing by letting her go instead of keeping her here and making her suffer. I really love the scrapbooking idea, and I'm going to see if I can get his mom to give me some copies of pictures so I can surprise him. Again, thank you all!
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