The thought of our pets not always being with us is gut wrenching. Writing this I’m getting anxious just thinking about it, but in home pet euthanasia is something I get asked about A LOT. Fortunately, my vet Dr. Goldman went to work for Lap of Love and I have been able to refer him to my clients for the last few years. Even though I had not used his hospice or euthanasia services personally, my clients raved about him. Last year that all changed when our 15 year old cat Chino was on his last leg. We knew there was nothing else we could do for him and he was suffering. I felt the most loving thing I could do was make his last moments dignified and peaceful. Dr. Goldman and Lap of Love did exactly that and more. Lap of Love is a national company and I’m sure there are so many other wonderful vets around the country that are offering this service as well. I thought I would break down my experience for those who might be considering in home euthanasia for their pets. When it’s time for the rest our pets to cross the rainbow bridge, I know in home pet euthanasia will always be our first choice. Have you used a similar service? Let us know your experience in the comments with a photo of your pet that’s crossed.
Initial Phone Call/ Scheduling:
When I called to set up the appointment, the receptionist was so nice and collected all of the info about my Chino and me. I tried to provide her with accurate info through my boo hoo crying. I kept asking her, “if I change my mind can I cancel?” She told me yes like 3 times. I was so nervous about making the wrong decision. I would imagine everyone feels like that. After your appointment is confirmed they send you an email with all the details so you are prepared.
To me the pricing seemed reasonable. I guess everyone’s definition of reasonable is different, but I think once you read my recollection of The Day you will agree. The euthanasia itself was $325 and then you choose after care or cremation options. Meaning, if you want private cremation and want the ashes back it’s more expensive than just group cremation. We opted for the private cremation so our total was roughly $565. The nice thing is, all this is determined on the phone up front with the receptionist. This way you can have a check ready and not have to worry with business type stuff on the day the vet comes.
Our appointment was scheduled for 1pm. I remember all morning we tried to play with Chino and offer him tuna or his favorite toys. He wasn’t interested at all. It was his time and he knew it. I had that sense of dread all morning, was I killing my cat? Was there anything else we could do? I made another call to the specialist vet, but she told me what I already knew. As we waited for Dr. Goldman’s car to pull up we sat with Chino in ‘his room’. When he arrived I was happy to see his familiar face even under the awful circumstances. We decided it would be best to do it in Chino’s area where he felt safe and comfortable. The other cats hid immediately and I wondered if they knew what was happening. Dr. Goldman walked us through the whole process slowly. He explained everything that was going to happen, he answered questions and made sure we were OK. I can’t even imagine being in his position. Watching two grown adults hysterically crying as you sit waiting for them to give the OK. I even asked him how he did that everyday. He said he liked helping people’s pets transition peacefully. We started by giving him a sedative so that he could relax. After it kicked in we held him and kissed him for what seemed like minutes, but I believe was closer to an hour. During that time Dr. Goldman asked us so many questions about Chino’s life, his adventures, and his time with us. We showed him tons of pics and we laughed through the tears as we remembered all we’d been through. I got Chino when I was 22, living in LA. I had known that cat longer than I had known my husband. Chino had been with me my whole adult life. The nice thing about Lap of Love is they do a nice paw print mold and take a little chunk of hair while he’s sedated. It’s a nice keepsake that we have looked at many times over the last 8 months. There was no time constraints or pressure to administer the final injection. The Dr. seemed to have all the time we needed. Even though I know he had other clients that day. After the final injection was done and he took his vitals to make sure he passed,he gave us a few minutes while he retrieved something from his car. When he returned he had a beautiful basket that contained a purple velvet blanket. It felt so personal and perfect. I knew he wouldn’t just be thrown in a cage or a holding area at a vet’s office waiting to be cremated. We watched as Dr. G loaded him in the front seat for the journey to Craig Road Cemetery. One comment he made that has stuck with me… “Our pets live in the moment, they’re not scared to die. For them it’s natural”. I have repeated this to grieving clients so many times. It’s so true though, animals aren’t worried about yesterday or tomorrow. It’s all about now. And in that now, Chino knew his body was done.
In the immediate aftermath after the Dr. left we felt sad, horribly sad. But I felt at peace. I called my family and as I recounted it, I couldn’t have felt better about the way it went. The next day we received a lovely email with a link to the Lap of Love FaceBook where they had posted a beautiful obituary for Chino that included all the details and stories we had told Dr. Goldman in that hour. I don’t know how he remembered it all! A week or so later we got cards and baskets from all the vets we had seen in town over the years with their condolences. Lap of Love had taken the time to notify them so we didn’t get check up reminders etc. Lastly, we received a call from Craig Road saying we could pick up Chino’s remains.
Overall, in home pet euthanasia made a horrible time as peaceful and pleasant as it could have been. We were so happy with Lap of Love, so if you live in Las Vegas I would highly recommend them. I know friends that have had really great experiences in other cities with other companies as well. I think all in all, any vet who offers this service does it because they really care. It must be incredibly draining emotionally, but it’s a service that is so appreciated by those of us who have used it.
RIP Sweet Chino 2002-2017