Saying Goodbye - This Sign Could Make All The Difference

Saying Goodbye 


They say that death, divorce and redundancy are the three most stressful things that can happen in a person's life. They are many others we can mention but to that inglorious list we must also add the decision to have a beloved pet euthanised.

For most of us, that terrible time will take place at our local veterinary surgery. Despite thousands of animals being euthanised each day in the UK, some areas of the veterinary profession still have much to learn in terms of managing the experience sensitively.



We know of numerous examples of distraught pet owners being asked to settle their bills over the stricken form of their deceased pet or being made to wait in a queue in the reception area, lead and collar in hand. Our own experience of end of life care with our Great Dane was nothing short of dreadful - dismissive staff and vets more interested in obtaining payment than any real desire to manage a horrible and unexpected situation with sensitivity.

So when we came across this little sign, we were struck not just by how much resonance it had with us, but how vets could quickly and cost-effectively improve end of life care for pet owners simply by adopting this measure. Let's face it, we all know that life goes on for most of us after a pet is put to sleep but do we really need to hear background laughter or what staff are having for lunch that day whilst we are saying goodbye? Of course vets must remain emotionally detached from the process but sometimes this means they can lose sight of just how traumatic the event is for the owner.

It seems that we are not alone in believing that this should represent best practice in veterinary surgeries.

When we shared this on our Facebook page it went viral almost immediately. To date, it has been shared over 109k times, and has attracted over 5k individual comments. The overwhelming majority of these have spoken out in favour of this simple device.

We believe that vets who take this on board are showing clients that they are alive to the sensitivities involved. We know of several vets who send condolence cards to grieving owners together with a plaster cast of their dog's paw print as a cherished reminder. None of these measures are particularly expensive or difficult to implement but they all show that great veterinary care is a lot more than just dispensing medicine and performing surgery. 

Here is the link and barking hour is at 02.05

Listen to us discuss this on BBC Radio London's The Barking Hour with Anna Webb and Jo Good on 94.9 FM 

Listen from 02.05


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