In-home euthanasia gives pets, their people an alternate way to say goodbye
DENVER — It’s hard to fully explain the bond between a dog and their person, but Jeff Childs knows the feeling well.
“Yeager came into my life, probably about eight or nine years ago,” Childs said about one of his dogs. “He has been the perfect dog.”
Childs’ partner, Caroline Kava, described Yeager as a dog who loved everyone.
“He’s just that dog everybody knew and realized how unique he was,” said Kava. “He didn’t want to be treated like a dog. He was just another person.”
Childs said the German shorthaired pointer was found on the side of a road.
“They thought that somebody was taking him hunting. And Yeager didn’t like gunfire, and he could care less about birds. And so, the shelter thought that someone just left him out there after he didn’t want to hunt,” Childs recalled.
Childs believes Yeager’s history gave him abandonment issues, but once the dog found Childs, he found a home.
Yeager lived a long and full life, but was diagnosed with congestive heart failure roughly four months ago.
“He did really good for that four months. And then finally, he started really going downhill,” Childs said. “I just knew it was time for him.”
Jeff Childs and Caroline Kava
Yeager was described as the “perfect dog.”
Childs was grateful he could call Dr. Jason Cordeiro when that time came.
“Doing it at home, it just makes it so much easier, especially on the dog. And, and for us, really,” said Childs. “They’re in their own environment, they’re safe and secure. And it’s just, to me, it’s just a little less scary.”
Cordeiro’s business, One Last Gift, offers in-home pet euthanasia for clients.
“It’s the best and the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Cordeiro said about his work.
Cordeiro’s veterinary career started around 20 years ago, and he worked on the emergency side of things for the first four years. He left that stage of his job because of the euthanasia he had to do. It may seem ironic that he found his new path in life performing in-home pet euthanasia, but he said it was the ability to give pet owners and their beloved animals a comfortable place to say goodbye that fulfilled him.
“I can give a dog a beautiful death, you know, that hopefully mirrors the life they’ve been given,” said Cordeiro.
It’s evident when meeting Cordeiro how much he loves animals, and that compassion has been shown on every home visit he has done since 2009.
“It breaks my heart when afterwards people will say, you know, “I can’t do this again. This is my last dog, my last cat. I can’t go through this again.”” Cordeiro said. “I’ll ask them, “So does that mean if you had to do it again, you wouldn’t have gotten this animal?” And it’s such a recognition for them like, “Oh my god, it’s so worth it.””
Childs said there is no doubt in his mind that every second of his time with Yeager was worth the difficult decision of having to put the dog down. He also knows he will likely adopt another dog to join family. For now though, he misses his boy.
“Yeager used to come wake me up at five o’clock in the morning and want to jump up on the bed. You know, so every day, I wake up at five and there’s no Yeager. And so, it’s just a weird feeling,” Childs said. “It feels like the house is really empty.”
Cordeiro volunteers and sits on the board of Broken Shovels Farm Sanctuary, which is “a sanctuary for homeless, abused, neglected, used, slaughter-bound animals, a place of healing, growth and education for all people who wish to see the world become a better place for all animals, human and non-human.”
For a free consultation with Cordeiro,visit his website.
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