The Ultimate Emotional Spend: Pet Care

Since I’m remaining in my pajamas today, grief struck from having to euthanize my beloved cat, Gabriel, I thought I’d put my grief, skills and perspective to good use and blog about one of THE most emotional purchases: pet care.

I was clear yesterday, prior to getting any news about him, that I was not going to keep him alive by some elaborate means (emotionally, financially, physically). Then, they came back with the blood work indicating that he was in kidney failure. They could provide dialysis and I could continue giving him fluids at home. It would give him more time…with me. It was selfish, I argued, to keep him in pain just to cuddle him a few more times, and chose instead to release him to the Divine from which I unquestioningly believe he came.

I have not stopped crying, although I know I made the right decision.

I often wonder if vets give us the “hard sell”; you know what I mean, they offer all manner of options for our beloved pets because they KNOW how emotionally attached we are to them and we simply cannot spend enough money to keep them with us or to take measures to maintain optimum pet health. (This became clear to me when we brought home a rescue dog. I had no idea how many immunizations a dog “needs”.)

Did I really need the vet to run a few hundred dollars worth of blood work to know my cat was dying? No.
Did I give them permission without reservation? Yes.

I was speaking with a good friend this morning, she also has cats, some of which have required very expensive medical treatment. After the last one passed, she and her husband agreed ahead of time to set a dollar limit on any one animal’s immediate medical needs. This way, they could decide rationally, in the heat of the moment, whether or not to accept certain measures. I thought this was a great idea and plan to apply it as soon as I can stop crying. I encourage you to use it, too, because as much as we love them, we must accept the larger picture for their lives and ours. I’m certain that even the Sultan of Brunei (if he has pets) could benefit from this limitation because, no matter how much money you have, there’s never enough to buy forever.

About Amy Jo Lauber

I help people who are overwhelmed take control & make good financial decisions with confidence and experience peace and abundance. Are you ready to say goodbye to working hard but not having anything to show for it? Go to "Let's Talk" tab to schedule your complimentary initial consultation and take the first step on the path to financial empowerment.
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14 Responses to The Ultimate Emotional Spend: Pet Care

  1. Lisa says:

    This is great advice, and it’s heartbreaking at the same time.

    I wish you peace and comfort in the knowing that you made an incredibly difficult – but absolutely Gabriel-centered – decision. Take good care.

  2. jacki says:

    pet medical care can be as stupid-expensive and over-the-top as human medical care. You have to put your faith and trust in someone when there is an emergency. And they know owners will want every angle looked at, so they do provide just as many tests and treatments -from an allopathic perspective – as humans get. They get as much training as a human doc. It’s all part of the expense of having them and I would not twitch at it any more than for a kid, tho the holistic vet is WAY cheaper, makes it easier for me to have “mass quantities” to care for. I have friends who pay $100 a month for pet insurance. They think it is worth it. My annual vet bills are less than that even when treating chronic illness. Gabby was your buddy, I know your heart is hurting, I wish Bart liked you as much as he apparently likes me ( dunno why tho ! ) but you have Fawn and I’m sure she will not reject extra cuddling in her grief, she has to be missing Gabby too. They were so cute together. Have your grief, so do less would be to dis Gabby’s memory.

  3. Robin says:

    Oh Im so sorry AmyJo!! You made an unbelievably hard decision but I know you are at peace with it. Gabriel is not suffering. You’ve given very good advice, it can be heartbreaking to make those decisions.

  4. Ruthann Szychowski says:

    Wonderful article Amy Jo! I’m sure using your grief will also help you! I still miss so many of my cats that have gone on, and regret none of my decisions. You know when it’s time. It’s just so hard.

    • Thanks Ruthie, and thanks for this advice about setting a limit on how much to reasonably spend on these things. It gives ourselves permission to put limits when we are least able to because of our emotions. Thanks for the visit, too, it definitely helped.

  5. Dr Aletta says:

    Dear Amy Jo, When I was emailing you about other things I had no idea you were going through this heartbreak. I’m so sorry. People who aren’t animal people often don’t understand what it is like to grieve a beloved pet. I am glad you are allowing yourself that understanding and compassion. Thank you for sharing and for turning your pain into a “teachable moment” for all of us.

    • Thanks Elvira, working helps me channel my energy into something productive, and keeps me from wallowing, which would be infinitely easier to do. Thank you for your kind words.

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