Introducing Clancy

Posted on Apr 27, 2011 in Blog, Clancy

I’d like to introduce Wrangler’s internet pal Clancy, also a boxer.  Although they’ve never met they have a lot in common as they are both battling with degenerative myelopathy.  I frequently ask Clancy’s mom MaryBeth for advice and she’s always generous enough to help me out.  This is from MaryBeth’s facebook page and I thought it was too good not to share.  Hopefully I can convince MaryBeth to write a few articles for in the future.  Here is a picture of Clancy followed by MaryBeth’s article:

Dogs aren’t people too, but they deserve the same love.

Several times a week while walking Clancy someone comments on how wonderful I am for taking care of him like I do. Of course that is always nice to hear but every single time in the back of my head I wonder how could anyone do differently? I don’t think I’m the only person with a dog who is a wonderful, sweet, caring, loyal, complex creature full of life, love and personality. If any other member of my family lost the use of their legs what would I do? Help them get around…do anything I could to take the burden off them. If they became incontinent, what would I do? Discretely help them manage it. For me it’s absolutely no different with Clancy. He is an integral part of the family and I cherish him and value his life. Just as much the life of any other loved one.

Euthanasia is a privilege that we have as an option with our dogs. It’s a shame that we human beings don’t have the same option to give ourselves or our human loved ones a peaceful passage when there is no longer joy in living. But the privilege is just that…a gift of compassion we can give to our dogs, not a way to end a life that has become too burdensome to sustain. (Mom, sorry this is so very difficult for us, but we have to let you go…if you can’t walk on your own then there really is just no other choice but to put you down.”…sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? Even worse: “Sister, this incontinence issue is the last straw. Cleaning up your mess all the time is not an option, and you must have no dignity left. I’m sorry to do this, and it tears me apart, but I’m going to need to put you down.” Response: “But- but– but my disease is neurological and affects my bladder control! I’m still me I just can’t control my pee!” Sorry, sis.)

I think everyone’s situation is different, and their ability to maintain quality of life for their animal loved ones varies based on their circumstances. So I don’t judge anyone’s euthanasia decision. I just wish that we would all value the lives of our animal family members just as much as our human ones, and use that same scale of judgement when we decide how far we’d go to help them if they came upon hardship.

And if you don’t think of your pets as equal family members worthy of the same value, then it makes me wonder if you’ve ever really looked past the dopey furry exterior and taken the time to get to know the wonderful being that is behind those big brown eyes… not “just a dog” that needs to be fed and let outside to go to the bathroom, but a loving, caring, loyal being whose level of happiness is entirely within your control.

It’s never too late.

Just sayin’.