Three days after my meeting with Dr. Mary, she called and asked me if I would like to attend the euthanasia of one of her client’s horses. The client had provided permission for me to be present, and in fact, she was a small animal veterinarian; she too thought that what I was planning was a much-needed service.
Driving over from Dundas, I considered what I was about to see and thought about how I would handle it. I had only witnessed one other horse euthanasia before and that was my own dear Polo, and there’s really no other way to put it … I was a complete wreck. Would I break down as I had with him, and if so, what use would I be to Dr. Mary’s client — or to anyone else for that matter? Yet, I had to know if I could handle this piece of what I felt was needed for grieving pet parents.
En route to the barn, I asked Dr. Mary several questions about what | could expect to see. Her main point to me was that euthanasia was the final gift that we could give to our equine partners who had given us so much throughout their lives. Wise woman.
For the next 24 minutes, I watched and marveled at how Dr. Mary and her technician moved and worked in unison, spoke calmly to both horse and client, and provided reassurance that she was doing the “right thing” for her beautiful boy.
The first injection was a sedative, given to him in his stall. Once it started to work, we lead him slowly out to the arena where final good-byes were said by all. Dr. Mary glanced over at her client, who gave a very slight nod of her head, and with that, he was given the final injection. He fell gracefully to the ground, as if in slow motion. It was beautiful. It was a good death — the literal translation of “euthansia”
I could do this.