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Quick guide to understanding your dog.

Learn the language of your dog 

A dog communicates through body language. The most important signals are the calming signals They tell us, if a dog feels pressed, stressed, or uncomfortable. These signals include:

  • licking their mouths
  • a smacking sound
  • winking their eyes
  • turning the head to one side
  • pulling the ears back
  • wagging with the tail lowered

If you observe your dog giving any of these signals, consider what is going on in that moment and act accordingly.

For many dogs there is too much going on in their daily lives. A grown dog should sleep around 14 hours a day. A puppy needs about 16-18 hours of daily sleep!

Read more about puppies and exercise here!

Stimulating the body and mind

The stimulation of a dog will to be different according to its  race and age. It can therefore be hard to observe general rules here. Certain activities are, however, more stressful than beneficial.

When you throw something to fetch, it increases the pulse and stresses the dog.

Do not:

  • throw a stick
  • throw a ball
  • play any kind of wild tug of war games

Certain kinds of toys also stress the dog. Dogs have a hearing ability thats is up to 4,5 times what humans do; so a little “squeak” can be really loud for them.

Watch a movie about why fetching should be avoided!

Stop playing with squeaky toys or remove the part of the toy that makes the sound.

The sniffing walk

Always use a harness and a loose leash.

Collars apply unnecessary discomfort and can lead to damage in the neck and throat. The harness should allow the dog free movement in the shoulders and front leg.

This harness is sitting in a correct maner.

If your dog pulls on the leash the constant pressure from the collar will stress the dog even more, which worsens the situation. If you need to have a tight connection with your dog, a harness provides you with a safer grip.

The dog needs a loose leash for it to choose where it wants to sniff. Flex lines are not allowed. By using a flex line your dog feels a constant pressure from a tight leash and it feels restricted throughout the whole walk. Flex lines feel like steel wire and often cause damage to both dogs and humans.

The daily exercise has to be on the dog’s terms. We humans tend to rush and let the dog follow us. Slow down, walk slowly. Give your dog choices. Let it decide, where it wants to sniffle and for how long.

Some dogs are highly sensitive. Even smaller inputs can feel very disturbing. That’s why not all dogs thrive in an environment of much activity and noise.

Not all dogs are happy greeting other dogs.

Read more about meeting other dogs here!

Calm and relaxing activities

Relaxing activities are important for the well-being of your dog.

Intensive sniffling reduces the level of stress. The dog uses its nose; let it feel free to do that as much as possible.

Let your dog search for treats during the walk: throw a fistful of treats over a large area and let your dog calmly search for them. It lowers the pulse and feels good. Searching for treats can also be done at home and is a meaningful and calming way to end the walk.

Calm chewing on a bone or a “kong” is another relaxing and joyous activity for everyone!

Watch a movie about good activities to enjoy with your dog!

The dog’s space 

Give the dog the opportunity to withdraw when you are at home. When it rests, leave it alone and do not disturb it. Family and guests should respect that the dog is not up for endless cuddling and talking to, just because WE want to pet our dog. We also need to teach our children to respect the dog’s withdrawal and its need to be free from social contact.

Little tools for communicating

Our body language says more than a thousand words. If the dog does something you disapprove of, ignore the action and keep QUIET.

The behaviour we want we reward, the behaviour we disapprove of, we ignore.

Obtain a good connection with your dog with a simple tool: use a smacking sound. When the dog looks in your direction, reward it with a treat within three seconds. Right then you give the dog a treat, you reward the correct behaviour.

Learn the hand signal: turn the palm of your hand towards the dog. That is the signal for “it’s okay”. This signal can be used in many situations, when you wish to tell your dog not to worry:

  • When you pass people, dogs and things, that seem to upset it.
  • When the doorbell rings and the dog runs towards the door.
  • When the dog begs or tries to jump up and down.

“Get in the way”: If e.g. a situation of conflict is about to occur, physically move in between your dog and the challenge. Lead your dog away from the situation.

 

Walking in a curve / curving:   When dogs meet in nature, they walk in a curve toward each other.

If meeting other dogs is a challenge for your dog, practice to walk in a curve. You can also cross to the other side of the street.

If contact with other dogs should be practiced, walk in parallels. I.e. you and your dog walk in a parallel with another dog and human. Keep a good distance and practice moving closer gradually.

If you learn to implement these practices/habits in your daily lives, you are offering optimal conditions for your dog’s well-being.

Read the Danish version here!

Afterglow

Yesterday the vet clinic  got a phone call. Once again it was time. A little dog called Mille, was to be sent on her final journey.

I had known the owner, Mrs Green, for many years, but she had not been at the clinic for quite some time.

She lived a little distanced away in a small apartment. Outside the apartment was a small terrace, where the dog had been let out for some time as there lately had not been energy to do more – neither for Mille nor Mrs Green. Mrs Green herself was very old.

Little Mille was lying on the sofa on a skye blue blanket with twinkeling stars on it. She slept heavily, when I came in.

I talked to Mrs Green about the fact that Mille, considering her illness, looked surprisingly healthy. She has had a good, long life.

Mrs Green told me, that she felt she could no longer care for Mille, as she herself was very ill.

Like Mille, Mrs Green looked quite healthy to me, but looks can be deceiving.

Mille got a wee injection for her to fall asleep. Mrs Green and I held hands as the dog dozed off. When Mille slept heavily, I gave her the medication to stop her heart from beating, and heaven received yet another little, shining star.

“Can I please have some of that as well?” Mrs Green asked.

For Mrs. Green there was nothing left to live for, now Mille wasn’t there any more.

At that moment I really wished I could do something for Mrs Green. The way she held my hand and the look in her eyes told me that when Mille was gone, Mrs. Green has not much left to live for.

The contrast between what we can do for our beloved animals, and what we cannot do for a beloved person, when life is at its end, seems huge.

Knowing that I cannot give Mrs Green the same medicine as Mille, maybe I can do something else?

Maybe the void after Milles passing can be filled with happy memories of her? Maybe talking about what the dog meant and the happiness, she represented right to the very end would make life more bearable for Mrs. Green?

It takes a particular ‘dog-heart’ to understand what kind of loneliness that strikes, when you say goodbye to your little shadow. Not all people have the privilege to be surrounded by friends and family when they need them.

Can we start up a network that can make a difference to some of our elders who lose their pet? You help by making a phone call, go on a visit, talk to them.

An action that can help keeping the memory of the animal. Other people may not understand how your fury friend has made life so much more fulfilling – and now that it is gone – nothing can replace it.

Within the framework of this story, Artemis’ Volunteer Visitor Service has been created. Read more here!

Read the Danish of the story here!

 

Follow up on Mrs Green

At last I got in touch with Mrs Green. The first three times I called her up after we had said goodbye to Mille, she didn’t pick up her phone. Finally she answered.

It took her a minute to find out, who I was. She told me that she normally didn’t pick up her phone. You never know who is calling. I had to agree; I usually didn’t pick up my phone either, so that was quite all right.

She told me, that she was sad, and that she had no heart for anything, since Mille passed on. Now she had no reason to open the door to the terrace. No little muzzle woke her up in the morning anymore. No little shadow who followed her around, just an empty mirror.

We discussed this. She would really like to have company, but these days she wasn’t in the mood for visitors. A call would be better. We arranged that I should call her back in a couple of weeks. I told her, I had not given up hope to come and see her.

The challenge is big, but not an impossible one. The people, who need to have you call on them, are also the ones who don’t have the energy for it. 

Nobody wants their loneliness exposed. How is it possible to resolve the matter with dignity? For Mrs Green to feel that we are here for her because grief is universal for us all, when we love our pets? Both the ones we have, and the ones we have lost?

An effort has to be made to share the knowledge of this project. So that you know throughout the dog’s life, that when the time comes and you have to say goodbye, it will be followed up by a little visit and thereby the acknowledgement of your sorrow.

As powerlessness is not rational, people grieving their pet’s illness or passing can be very unreasonable. It can easily lead to the surroundings withdrawing or getting upset.

Don’t lose touch with your pet!

These days an add is running for a glove, that’s meant for grooming your pet.

The glove has spikes that help effectively to remove the hair, and the add says: ”your pet loves it”.

I don’t like the use of gloves like these, neither does your pet.

Yes, a dog needs grooming. How much and how often depends on the breed and it’s need for grooming.

The grooming amount shouldn’t be designed after how much humans are annoyed by the shedding, but after what’s right for the animal.

If you use a glove, you LOSE the sensation with the animal.

A calm grooming ritual is a very nice thing to share with your animal.

It gives you a unique opportunity to feel the animal.  You can hereby notice, if something is not right when you calmly go through your pet with a brush and your hands.

You definitely don’t have the same sensation using a glove with spikes.

If you look closely to the video you see a large dog in the beginning being brushed with the glove.

The dog has his ears back and the dog is in pain, not relaxed and enjoying. All calming signals, showing the animal is NOT comfortable with the situation.

Knowing a video sometimes just shows a wee moment in a larger content, I believe animals prefer a human contact with a calm hand and brush.

Stay in touch with your pets, don’t get lost in fancy tricks and “quick fixes”.

 

 

Link for the video add!

 

Cluck – the hen

Last weekend a message popped up, which made me rush to the vet clinic faster than the speed of sound. The sweetest hen, Cluck was  in trouble. A fox had been so cheeky to catch it, but thanks to a observant owner, the fox was caught in the moment of the crime and the poor hen was safe for now.

The hen was a highly valued member of the family along with its 3 comrades, so if the hen was not too seriously injured, then it should have the chance – assuming it should not undergo unnecessary suffering.

The hen was safely brought to the clinic in a large cardboard box, where we started by taking a glance at the damages.

A hen is undeniably covered with feathers. If we were to inspect the hen probably, some of the feathers had to go. A significant amount had fallen in the heat of the battle, but blood made it difficult to assess the severity of the damage.

The feathers were gently removed and the blood wiped off.

The grim jaws of the fox had been around the neck of the hen and had left several open wounds. Fortunately, they were not particularly deep into the muscles. The hen proudly kept her beak up and had great movement of the neck and head.

We assessed for now that the hen would make it.

Everyone was concerned that the great ravages of the fox had been so severe that we had to kill the hen right away.

Surgery!

Some of the wounds were so deep, they had to be closed with a few stitches. Little local anesthetic was laid and with the owner’s safe hand as loving support for the hen, the bird was sewn together in 3 places and groomed for recovery at home.

The next few days Cluck must have peace, tranquility and warmth. She must have medications that are given with a small pipette in the mouth. In the event of loss of appetite, which is naturally taken into account, she must be fed with “Powerfood” with a small syringe.

No one can predict the outcome. But for now we are cheering on Cluck and believe she is gonna make it.

 The bigger picture!

If we look at the whole situation from above:  Most of us associate chickens with the chicken fillets from the refrigerated counter. More families today, however, keep hens in the garden for the enjoyment of all. The hens live as members of the family a lovely free life with space, care and good food.

Unfortunately, such a life is not the reality of the country’s many slaughter chickens that end their lives for human consumption.

There is no doubt that the hen is not given enough credit for being a living creature with intelligence and emotion. Cluck was clearly conscious throughout the séance. Feelings like fear, pain and security are part of the hen’s reality.

When I think about the conditions which the chickens are living under , it hurts all the way into my soul.

The meeting with Cluck at the clinic gives the reflection: When we recognise the soul and consciousness of animals, we must do better for the animals all the way around!

Tuesday the 20th. February!

This afternoon, a long-awaited message came:

The announcement that Cluck is doing well!

Our hen has overcome the brutal attack of the fox!

The large open wounds that were sewn together a Saturday morning, heals!

Cluck thrives!

It’s a nice reminder: Yes, it’s good to fight for life!

Some may have thought it would have ended with another chicken filet?

I’m glad we followed our intuition and gave Cluck a chance.

Check list for your ’pet pharmacy’ at home

Most pet owners do once in a while experience that their animal gets unwell or hurt. Naturally you should ALWAYS see your veterinarian if you suspect illness.

Some things are good to have ready in your ‘pet pharmacy’. It is good to be prepared, in case the damage is done and you can take immediate action – preferably after consulting the veterinarian.

Check list for your ’pet pharmacy’ at home

  • Thermometer for checking your pet’s temperature. The temperature is taken in the pet’s behind
  • Cotton sock to e.g. protect a paw that has had a cut. Use sport tape to keep the sock in place
  • Salt water solution from the pharmacy to rinse eyes. The same kind that you would use for your own eyes
  • Ear rinse for cleaning the ears. Do a daily smell check of your pet’s ears. Do they smell – or are they dirty? Clean with ear rinse on a cotton pad or a soft gauze tampon
  • Mild soap to clean paws and scars
  • A cone to prevent the snout from coming in touch with the body. This way you can prevent your pet from worsening the injury. You can buy a so-called ‘swim ring’ or a funnel shaped plastic collar
  • Psyllium seed  can be bought in most supermarkets. A little ‘seed’ in the food can help your pet if it has a light diarrhoea
  • Frozen light fish, canned cod roe, and rice can provide your pet with a special diet in case of vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Special diet you can buy at the veterinarian’s office – as dry or wet food
  • Disposable syringe to spurt a little food mixed with water in your pet’s mouth, if it does not want to eat
  • Active coal if a poisoning is suspected
  • Zinc ointment for smaller cuts and irritated skin
  • Chlorhexidine wound cleansing for cleansing small wounds
  • Chlorhexidine powder for smaller cuts
  • Canned asparagus is given to the pet if it has swallowed a pointed object such as a bone or a shard of glass. The asparagus wraps itself around the object and helps it out through the alimentary canal
  • Bag put in the freezer can be used as a cold compress (skal der noget I posen?)
  • Tick remover to safely remove ticks from the animal
  • Small scissors with blunt ends for cutting fur safely
  • Prokolin/Zoolac/Diapaste can be bought over the counter and at the veterinarian’s office. A paste with lactic acid bacteria, which help overcoming stomach trouble
  • Fluid nutritious food you can buy at the veterinarian’s office, useful if your pet has a small appetite
  • Common sense when in doubt: bring your pet to the veterinarian. Common sense cannot be required online but is a result of real thoughts and objectivity. If you daily look and feel your animal you will know when it’s not well and if are not sure? Ask the vet, not google!

 

If you have one or more of these items at home, you are well prepared, if an accident occurs!

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Raising for Rada!

This is a joyous day despite a little sadness because Rada has left. She has gone to the most loving, best family that from now on will provide her with a good home.

This afternoon Rada was handed over after a long introduction to her physical needs and a talk about her nature.

The life on three legs calls for a lot of love, care, and a special attention to her needs.

Rada is a radiant light in sharp contrast to the dark shadows of the Russian shelter. She got out and has enriched everybody she has met in so many ways.

Taking her past into consideration she has more guts than most… I will definitely follow her closely in the future! I can say the same for Thomas Rathsack.

Rada will in the future be the symbol for the raising money for the shelter in Russia.

“Raising for Rada” will monthly support the shelter in Russia where Rada came from.

 

 

From Russia to Denmark!

Through the organisation “Fra snude til snude”, three-legged Rada has moved to Denmark!

“Snude til snude i a charity project, read more here!

We have raised money for a shelter in Russia. Through the shelter we have adopted a three-legged dog Rada to Denmark!

Monday January 15th 9 pm!

How does it feel to sleep on a soft blanket in a warm room for the first time, after having slept on the hard floor of a shed for years? 

What do you think when your food is served nicely diced in a bowl, when you used to eat old meat directly from the pot? 

What feelings flow through your body when loving strokes in endless amounts replace the fight for attention in the pack?

 Whether three-legged Rada has those kinds of thoughts, we have no idea.

 

Arrival in Denmark!

Hopefully she feels the care and love she was met with when she arrived in Denmark from the cold shelter in Russia late last night. Chelina came in, rolling Rada in her pet carrie. Chelina’s lovely family, Thomas and I stood there in exited anticipation.

 

The trip from Russia to Denmark is undeniably a stressful journey for a dog.

That is why it is so important that the first period in this new country is as calm as possible. The impressions as seen from the snout are overwhelming as it is.

To begin with she was stressed.

In the car home from the airport, Rada sat at the backseat – i.e. she sat in the lap of Lise as she would rather sit with her muzzle resting on a shoulder.

She had been barking from the moment she landed and that continued throughout the ride.

At the arrival at Artemis, she was let out at the parking lot. She lifted her head, and then she wanted to go for a little walk.

On three legs!

Rada I challenged by her lack of one foreleg, which complicates her sniffing. In that way she is different from most dogs. Her leg was wounded in an accident and got amputated below her shoulder.

In the beginning we therefore decided to spare her from dealing with stairs.

It was the plan that she should have a thorough check-up by the veterinarian, when she arrived in Denmark. We need to know her psyche and overall state of health to provide her with the optimal settings for her to have a good life.

Rada stayed at Artemis for the night. She should not be moved more than necessary.

After a short walk we returned to the clinic where a bed was made for Rada.

She was shown the soft blankets, and when Thomas Rathsack sat down with her, she finally relaxed. She slept right there all through the night. She had to do without Thomas as I took over the watch.

 

That’s how Rada and I spend the night in the consulting room. Snout to snout.

She definitely slept more than me. More than once I stroked her to make sure she didn’t feel lonely or sad!

 

What’s next?

Today we have run a series of tests on her. She takes some short walks and relaxes in between.

Rada’s stress and alertness needs to be removed. Up till now it has worked well.

The right home for Rada is one with an endless, loving warmth. And there are the challenges with her motor skills to take into consideration.

A dog can live a fulfilling life on three legs, but it needs the family to pay attention to its special needs.

To adopt dogs from abroad is not just a simple matter.

Rada is one of many dogs from the Russian shelter, Rada has had  the chance of a new life.

It makes a difference to help one dog – also even though you cannot save them all!

Our donation has created a local awareness.

Chelina has been on local TV, which has put focus on the shelter, and now more people have adopted dogs and cats.

Respect for life!

Rada is – apart form being a lovely dog – also a symbol for the fact that it makes a difference when we help. The respect for life, no matter the circumstances and challenges, is important. The respect also entails choosing the alternative, when that is the best for the animal.

Seen from the outside some people may think “Three legs? Is that a life worth living?”

YES, it is. If you pay attention and provide the proper care, life on three legs isn’t bad at all.

To put it bluntly – for the perspective: A lot of dogs suffer from severe osteoarthritis – sometimes in only one leg. It can end up being so debilitating that the dog puts all weight on the other leg to ease the pain.

Just as when you only have one leg, your body needs to compensate for the balance that is no longer working. These dogs live good lives, provided with proper care – until the day life no longer is a good life for the dog.

Rada’s handicap is obvious. A lot of dogs suffer from conditions not apparently visible for us.

No matter what happens, what is best for Rada is what sets the course.

We don’t yet know exactly what the coordinates are, but we are on our way to find them.

Tonight Thomas watches over Rada. Or is it the other way round? In any way she could not be in better hands.

When Tuesday arrives we will see what the day brings. Until then we just need Rada to feel good and get used to her new life.

Everyone surrounding Rada is again reminded that a dog is not “just a dog”, but just about the most trusting and life affirming presence, you will meet.

A puppy shouldn’t be worn out!

By veterinarian Lise Rovsing & Hanne Truelsen from Snudekompagniet!

Are you the happy owner of a new puppy, there are a lot of things to look forward too.

One of the greatest pleasures of owning a dog is the walks that you will experience together. However, it will take a while before this becomes a part of everyday life.

The puppy takes over the house with its energy which will test your patience. This might lead you to think that the puppy needs to be worn out physically and what better way to do this than to take the puppy for a nice long walk?

STOP – a puppy should NOT be taken on long walks or be worn out.

A puppy needs a lot less exercise than you might think. The puppy only needs to go out for short walk to relieve itself.

When the puppy arrives at its new home it is usually between 8-10 weeks old. However the most optimal time to move the puppy from its familiar surroundings is actually when the puppy is between 9-11/12 weeks old!

How much exercise does a puppy need?

During the first month of bringing the puppy home, it only needs to go out for 10-15 minutes a day.

As part of the housebreaking it is natural that the puppy needs to go out many times during the day, which is fine, but it shouldn’t be taken out for walks. The puppy only needs to go out to relief itself and the sniff around in its new surroundings.

A puppy will relieve itself where it feels safe, which is why puppies often relieve themselves inside the house or in the garden. This is also one of the reasons why the puppy shouldn’t be taken for long walks, as it will not relieve itself if you just walk around in different places.

When the puppy is approximately 4 months old you can increase the walks with 5 minutes, which will add up to 20 minutes a day. At 5 months you can increase the walks with another 5 minutes and so on, until you reach 30 minutes a day. A puppy should not walk more than 30 minutes a day until it is fully grown. When a puppy is fully grown depends on the breed.

Let your puppy sniff!

When you take your pup out for a walk it should be on its terms. It’s very important that the dog gets to sniff around as much as needed. This means that you should make as many stops as the dog requires and wait for the dog to finish sniffing.

A puppy shouldn’t be worn out by too much exercise. Too much exercise can make a puppy stressed.

Stress has a lot of consequences for the puppy and can show itself in many disguises.

Typically the puppy will be unfocussed and have trouble relaxing and resting, it will pee excessively, it will hump object, which has nothing to do with its sexuality and it will drink a lot. The puppy will also take longer to learn to be alone at home as well as it will take longer to be housebroken.

If you have a garden, it is easy to let the puppy out several times during the day. Have in mind that even a small trip to the garden, is a major input for the puppy’s brain to process.

Small experiences make a BIG impression!

From a puppy’s point of view, a small experience makes a huge impression, a lot more than you might think!

A puppy should only be exposed to new experiences every three to six days, which ensures the most optimal development of the puppy’s psyche.

Slow down!

Making an effort and giving the puppy time to a just, will give you the best result for a harmonious healthy dog.

We as humans can also benefit from slowing down. If you want to do what’s best for the new family member it’s important to calm household and give the puppy time to a just.

 

Have you given your pet a letter of intent?

A wonderful ten year old Labrador named Futte came into the clinic – an old friend which we had been following for years.

Over the past few months there had been a change in Futtes behavior. He seemed more fatigued and had trouble settling in at night. His abdomen had become bloated, but he still seemed to want to eat, play and go for walks.

Could this behavior “just” be the body’s natural way of aging? A dog of his age cannot be expected to have the same energy it once had, especially when battling arthritis and a low metabolism.

What seems to be the problem?  

The owners still had a sense that something wasn’t right.

Futte was examined and his abdomen did look bigger for a typical food-loving Labrador.

Bloodwork were done to screen his organs. While waiting for the result to come back from the laboratory an x-ray was taken of Futtes abdomen. The x-ray was clear; an enlarged spleen, which was confirmed by the laboratory.

Futte had cancer of the spleen.

Cancer of the spleen or a spleen tumor can occur as a result of changes in the spleen itself, or could have spread from other parts of the body to the spleen.

This type of cancer usually affects larger dog breeds and is typically seen in dogs past the age of 5. The course can be very varied depending on the extent of the cancer and how advanced it is.

As with all types of cancer, the symptoms may come in many different disguises.

The most typical symptoms are; a subdued behavior, increased drinking desire and need to urinate, enlarged abdomen, pale mucous membranes and sometimes the dog might even collapse.

If you experience any of these symptoms in your dog, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.

 Is an operation the right course of action? 

Futtes owners had a tough decision to make of whether to operate or if Futte should be euthanized and laid to rest.

It is possible to remove cancer of the spleen or a spleen tumor with an operation.

During the operation, the veterinarian will investigate whether the cancer has spread to other organs. If the cancer has spread, it is very unlikely that the dog will come out of surgery.

If the cancer is localized to the spleen, the spleen will be removed and many dogs can live a long and normal live without a spleen.

Although Futtes case was a bit more difficult, we must always asses each case individually.

How far should we go to keep our dogs alive? This is a question of ethics in many cases and Futtes case was no different.

Should Futte be put through an operation? Especially considering that Futte already has other health issues.

If he was younger and without arthritis, would it have made a difference in making the decision?

Letter of intent!

Was love, the motivation for letting Futte undergo the operation? Or is it a greater love to be able to say goodbye and thereby let Futte be laid to rest, as to not put him through unnecessary suffering.

When to let go of a beloved pet, is the toughest decision an owner will ever make!

We know – that when we get a pet, we also get a sorrow in knowing that a pet rarely outlives their owner. When is a live no longer worth prolonging?

Facing such a decision it is very difficult as an owner to remain objective, because we wish to keep our beloved pets with us.

This is why it is important to keep in mind when enough is enough. It is therefore important to talk about the subject throughout our pet’s life.

Through this difficult process it’s important to remember the letter of intent we gave to ourselves and our pet when they came into our lives.

Facing the tough decision of euthanasia our emotions can sometimes get the best of us because the thought of losing our pet is painful.

I had a long talk with Futtes owners and they looked at each other and told me that they had made a promise to themselves that they wouldn’t prolong Futtes life unnecessarily. His age and health issues made it clear.

Futte went home with his owners to spend a last weekend with his family and on Sunday afternoon Futte came back to the clinic and was laid to rest surrounded by his family.

In my book it was a”good” euthanasia. Futte have had a wonderful life and his time had come.

If you as an owner don’t have any doubts whether euthenisia is the right desicion, then you have been putting it off for too long.

Anyone with a common sense would agree that a tremendously weak and sick animal should be laid to rest.

It is much more difficult making the decision in situations where the pet’s illness isn’t at a point where life is unworthy.

This is the point where I as a vet believe that we should let the love for our pet prevail and let them be laid to rest with dignity.

Have you given you pet a letter of intent regarding a worthy passing?

Have the talk with your family members about what you consider to be a good life for your pet and a worthy passing, should it ever come up.

A letter of intent might spare your pet from unnecessary pain in the end.

The grief will not be any easier but it will be easier to bear knowing that you kept your pet’s best interest at heart.

The night sky burned a bit brighter on Sunday as Futte took his place amongst the stars, representing both the beginning of life and a final farewell.

When the sky got 3 new stars!

A bag containing a harness, food bowl, blanket, toys and various treats is standing in front of me by the stairs.

It is going to the basement for storage until it is picked up along with other things, to be brought to a shelter somewhere in the world. I have not carried it down there yet, maybe because the bag testifies a week not like the usual? If I carry it down, it’s definite.

When Monday morning started, I already knew what was waiting.

However emergencies can never be anticipated. We had just opened the doors to the vet clinic as one of my dear patients stood in the door with his owner by his side.

It was time for the last journey. Other surveys were planned for the upcoming days, but the light in the eyes of the little white dog was gone and what would the coming diagnostic workup benefit?

Our diagnostic workups should always be used to help the dog forward and should make the treatment better.

Some people reach out to scientific facts when the difficult decisions need to be made. If we have a clear diagnosis, it may support the impossible act of the last farewell.

In this case, a last weekend with the dog had made the decision clear – he should not be exposed to anymore. There was no idea in waiting until there was no doubt about euthanasia.

If you no longer have doubts about euthanasia, you have been postponing your goodbye, which doesn’t benefit the dog.

The owner told me he could see it in the dog’s eyes. I knew from looking at the owner, that he knew his dog, and that he was right.

Afterwards a new patient walks through the door; a wonderful brown Labrador.

I have followed her for most of my life and a call from the owner very early that morning, and I immediately knew what the call was about.

She had lived a very good life and had suddenly become poorly.

Starting a treatment would only prolong the inevitable and would not benefit the protagonist.

We said our goodbye knowing that the dog had a life filled with love and the joy of food, now once a Labrador’s metier in life, intact on the death camp.

Then straight to another consultation where a very special little dog, was sitting with its loving owners. It is not always age that determines when the stars are waiting.

The owners had taken over the dog a little while ago and had put all the love and care into the little creature as possible.

I have had a close dialogue with them along the way and we agreed that enough was enough. She should be allowed to have peace so that her body finally could get some rest.

It feels very different saying goodbye to a dog, knowing it has lived a long life, than one who is still very young. It feels as though it never got a chance but this little heart did get the best chance against all odds, thanks to some very special people. Their caring and patience has been beyond ordinary.

Everything was arranged in advance, and nothing more needed to be said. However, the things we do not say are often the strongest, and the tears behind the dark sunglasses said more than a 1000 words.

I will always be very grateful to these people because they gave the little dog a loving home and because the owners above all, were strong enough to let the love of the dogs needs exceed their own deprivation. That’s something we can all learn from.

A quick glance at the time and it is not yet 9 o’clock. A long day followed by the joys and sorrows that are now part of it.

There are many aspects to being a vet that needs to be controlled in fear of overseeing something. Therefore, most veterinarians have a systematic approach to a patient. “I have just taken a temperature at home, why do you do that again?” an owner might ask.

We do our examinations from a-z, because if we miss something we fail, and we will lose both patients and clients.

People just can go somewhere else and if you’re lucky you’ll be hanged publicly online. Fortunately, we have the world’s cutest clients!

Many of my colleagues and I, usually go to bed very early which benefits the animals. You do not go to work with shaking hands or lack of faith. Everything needs to be done right!

Now the week is coming to an end and soon we will go home with the stories of the week, carrying them with us in our hearts, and we will never forget!

I cannot help but think that you never know what hides behind the people you meet in the street.

Do not they smile? Are not they happy? Perhaps they carry some stories that are currently filling up in the mind, so the attention to the outside world for a while is gone?

Perhaps due to a job filled with strong emotions, they are just people where experiences and impressions of the day are being processed, so that there’s room for them to be there, for those who need them.

Before I go on, I will go to the basement and put the bag into storage. Reminded of a person in the midst of his own sorrow, had the strength help other animals.

The forecast promises clear weather for the evening.

Look up and send the 3 new bright stars a loving thought!