What are your plans for them? – by Dr. Amanda Glew
One of the most frustrating thing to deal with as a vet is death. I am not talking about animals dying. Yes, that is bad, but I am talking about when the human dies. It really bothers me that we make allowances for everything in our wills – our children, our house, our finances. But we forget about the most important thing, the thing that has been our lifeline for years – our animals. We are suddenly left with “loved ones” making decisions for our companions who have most likely been more companionable than most of our human friends. Guess what? Their decisions are most often not in the best interest of the animal.
However, this is a story with a good ending. When my mother lost my dad this June, she desperately wanted to get a dog. We have always had dogs, and yet last year, when we tried an adoption, it went terribly wrong. Likely it was the timing, my dad was still at home, and my mom as care giver was exhausted. However, I was worried about another disaster. I tried to convince her she wanted a cat, but to no avail.
As life will happen, an acquaintance husband also passed away. They had 3 Westies, and with the down- sizing she needed to do, the widow suddenly could no longer keep all the dogs. My mom wanted to try one of the dogs. I was full of trepidation about a 10 year old dog – she could be adopting a whole new set of problems, medical included, and although I am a vet, there is a cost. So before she committed, he came to the clinic for a full geriatric work up – blood tests, urine tests, xrays of his arthritic knees. Of course being a Westie, he needs a dentistry, and he unfortunately has two knees that should have had surgery, but for an old dog, he passed.
So Charlie came to my mom and joined our doggy family with daily walks and cuddles. I am happy to say I was wrong. He is filling a void of companionship for my mother, and has a great spirit, even coming on walks with my zoo. When I asked my mom what am I to do if something should happen to her and Charlie is still around and she answered – “don’t worry dear, Charlie has more money going to his care after I go than you will get!” Got to love my mom!
The morale of the story – be specific in your will where your animal is going, and allocate the finances to keep the animal in good health until his time ends. It makes our life as vets much more pleasant.