Friday, July 18, 2014

Seeking Death with Dignity ... for a Beloved, Aging Pet

The story of Kitty Lee, age 75, and her beloved border collie Zoe, age 18, captures so much that can be poignant about aging.  From the Albuquerque Journal, in a story by Joline Gutierrez Krueger:

"For months, Lee knew it was time to say goodbye to Zoe, her constant companion since 1999. The tumor had gotten so big, and Zoe had gotten so weak. Her gentle brown eyes were clouding over. She couldn’t hear. It wasn’t fair to force her to live this way just for Lee’s sake.

 

“She deserves better than this,” said Lee, 75. “She deserves to die with dignity.”

 

But dignity is hard to pay for.... Today, Lee lives on a monthly $800 Social Security check, just enough to pay for groceries, bills and rent for the broken-down RV parked in a West Central [Albuquerque, New Mexico] trailer court."

The costs and procedures for euthanasia for the suffering collie were more than Lee could handle alone. Plus, she did not want to simply abandon the decision to others; she wanted to be part of a safe and humane process for Zoe.  The Albuquerque Journal writer's first news story resulted in donations and offers of assistance. Eventually, Lee's collie "died peacefully and with dignity in her woman's arms." 

I suspect if you have read this far, you too might have a tear in your eye.  The full story is here

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/elder_law/2014/07/seeking-death-with-dignity-for-a-beloved-aging-pet.html

Advance Directives/End-of-Life, Current Affairs | Permalink

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