As pet owners we are acutely aware of the sense of responsibility that comes with making the decision to bring a cat or dog into our home and making them part of the family. We live with pets at the centre of our lives and our homes. Pets truly make a home complete and there isn’t a bad day that can’t be rescued by a nuzzle from a wet dog nose or the pad and purr of a feline companion.
Our pets provide us with a constant in an ever changing, distant and often detached world and it is this that makes saying good bye to them so difficult. In this week’s episode we are given the privilege to share a families experience as they say good bye to their beloved Golden Retriever; Tessa.
Tessa was diagnosed with a bone tumour called osteosarcoma in her front leg. While we offer many solutions to treat osteosarcoma there are cases when treatment is not right for the patient and the most ethically sound approach is to provide palliative care and a peaceful death – something we as veterinary surgeons have the honour to be able to provide our patients with in their hour of need.
Tessa’s family spent her last days gathering the family together and celebrating her life and while the sadness was profound Tessa could not have had a more peaceful and respectful death in the arms of the family she was a part of.
The bond we form with our pets is one psychologists find difficult to explain – all sorts of academic work has focussed on the human-companion animal bond and many hours of thought have been exhausted in trying to pick apart and rationalise this bond. However I think it’s quite simple – the love a pet gives to us is unconditional and that is a unique and rare gift in today’s society.
As Tessa’s family moved on there was a definitive dog shaped hole in their lives and they made the decision to welcome a new member of the family to their home in the shape of Scout a beautiful little Golden Retriever puppy!
For more information on osteosarcoma in dogs please visit our website: http://www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/our-services/surgery/conditions/limb-sparing-limb-salvage-surgery