Facing Farewell - Making The Decision To Euthanize Your Pet

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Julie Reck, DVM
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Dogwise Publishing
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Be informed before you bid farewell to your pet
One of the most difficult aspects of being a pet owner is making end of life decisions for beloved dogs and cats. While many end up deciding to put their pet to sleep, the euthanasia procedure remains a mystery for most people adding to the stress and fear an owner experiences at this critical time. Author Julie Reck is a veterinarian who has devoted her professional career to helping owners make more informed decisions about euthanasia. In Facing Farewell, you will be provided with a complete description of the euthanasia procedure so that you will know what to expect and be confident that you have made the right choice for both you and your pet.

You will learn about
The symptoms of pain and discomfort pets display as they approach the end of life.
Information you should gather and share with your veterinarian as well as questions you should ask you vet about how she conducts a euthanasia procedure.
What options are available in terms of medications and techniques used during euthanasia so you can be a more informed advocate for your pet.
What happens when in detail during euthanasia so that you will know what to expect.

What experts are saying about Facing Farewell:
Facing Farewell walks families through the pending loss of a pet with gentleness while offering a feeling of empowerment at the same time. Pet loss support begins well before the death itself. Dr. Reck has provided the tools for a safe and healthy end-of-life experience for both the pet and family.
Dr. Kathleen Cooney, author of In-Home Pet Euthanasia: The Veterinarian's Guide to Helping Pets and Their Families Say Goodbye in the Comfort of Home

Facing Farewell is an invaluable guide for the family facing the ultimate, important decision in their pet's life. Dr. Reck gently takes the reader by the hand and provides compassionate guidance through the decision making process. Quality of life and pain assessment are two very important considerations regarding end of life decisions, and they are thoroughly covered. Families will find that the assessment forms included in this book are indispensable for helping to determine when the time is right. Knowledge is freedom, and Julie helps free the family from some of the anxiety and pain involved in making decisions in preparation for saying that final good-bye to a beloved family member.
Wayne Hunthausen, DVM. Behavior consultant, international lecturer and co-author of Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat

Dr. Julie Reck owns and operates a full service animal hospital in Fort Mill, South Carolina where she lives with her husband, two dogs and horses.

Click here to view an excerpt.

What reviewers are saying...

The decision to let your pet go is often quite a difficult one. "Facing Farewell: Making the Decision to Euthanize Your Pet" is an advisory guide from Julie Reck as she advises readers on how to better cope with petting a pet down. Reck focuses on the conditions and the pain that come with it, discussing important issues with one's veterinarian, and how to comfort oneself and the pet during these hard decisions. "Facing Farewell" is a strong pick for pet owners who may dread having to make this decision in the future. James A. Cox

OK, this is not in the holiday spirit, but as dog owners it's something we all face much sooner than we're prepared. For most of us, letting go is one of the toughest decisions we make in our lifetime, albeit it several times. This insightful resource by a South Carolina veterinarian discusses the difference between human and animal perspectives on life and death, designed to help the owner make a rational, compassionate end-of-life judgment for his/her beloved pet. The takeaway nugget here is that animals do not fear death, but they do fear pain. I really began to believe this concept a few months after beginning Home Farewell (an at-home euthanasia service), says Reck. Facing Farewell is designed to make you proactive throughout the process. It is packed with worksheets to help the reader recognize body changes and symptoms of pain and offers a complete explanation of the euthanasia process from a practitioner's perspective. Reck discusses the young pet with serious medical issue(s), the senior pet with a terminal illness and the senior pet without a terminal illness, encouraging the reader to follow his/her instincts, your veterinarian's guidance and advice from this book. Her deft handling of this highly emotional subject will not replace the emptiness in your home after your beloved pet is gone but it will empower you to make a timely, rational decision based on the most important element of all the animal's quality of life. Soberly reflective but always open-minded, Reck delicately balances angst and apprehension with sensitivity and simplicity throughout. Ranny Green, a Seattle Times pets columnist and feature writer for three decades before retiring in 2008.

The inevitable subject of this book is one that all animal-lovers wish they could avoid. However, as responsible dog owners, we are often faced with the heartbreaking decision to humanely euthanize our beloved pets. Frequently, this decision comes after a long and fulfilled life, but sometimes the decision must be made much earlier than we are prepared to, after a tragic accident or battle with an illness. Reck provides invaluable advice and guidance for those faced with the most important decision they will ever make on behalf of their pet. Through her experience in home euthanasia, she observed a dichotomy in the way she believes animals view death and the human view of death. Dr. Reck believes animals do not fear death, but they do fear pain. This in itself is a very powerful argument for the euthanasia of a pet who is facing great pain. The very name in itself, euthanasia stems from Greek language meaning good death and is intended, by medical definition, to relieve intractable suffering. After giving an in-depth description of the actual procedure and putting to rest common curiosities about the procedure, Reck delves into a discussion of pain. She includes many useful pain assessment charts to track the decline of your pet's quality of life. She concludes by giving advice on making and living with your decision to euthanize your pet. Making an informed decision you can not only live with, but feel confident about, becomes much easier after reading this book. Bonnie DiCocco, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is an applied animal behaviorist and owns Companion Animal Behavior Consulting (CABC) in Dacula, GA.

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  • 5
    Facing Farewell

    Posted by Debbie on 24th Oct 2020

    Fabulous caring, loving helpful book. Bought it after hearing Julie speak and my dog suddenly left us last week. I pulled out the book. I found comfort and knowledge. Thank you Julie!

  • 4
    Good Practical Book

    Posted by tim evans on 19th Nov 2017

    I thought the chapter on pain was especially helpful, but there were many other useful sections too. The details on how the euthanasia procedure works and the idea of using a checklist multiple times to track changes were good .too. I didn't need the multiple copies of the checklists included in the book (one would be fine), especially since they are available for download. It was a useful book on a difficult topic.