No joy in being the angel of mercy

Euthanasia is a reality for every animal rescue. Even though Casa del Toro is a no-kill rescue occasionally we must perform euthanasias in extreme situations where it is been deemed medically necessary by a veterinarian. Casa del Toro believe that every dog deserves to be surrounded by people that love them when they leave this earth.

Every time I assist a dog with leaving this earth, I feel like my moral center is fractured and I loose a piece of myself. I always cry. One rule that we have is to not cry until after the dog passes so that our emotional upset doesn't upset the dog anymore than being at the vet office already does. Sometimes afterwards I'm angry. I'm angry at the person that bred the dog in the first place, the person that raised the dog and didn't care enough to properly take care of it or claim it when the dog ended up at the shelter, the fact that we just don't have the resources available to save all of the pit bulls in need in Indiana and because once again, I'm the one left hurting. Not the breeder, the owner, me. Does it make me feel better to know that it only hurts because I care? No.

Today after I held a dying dog and spoke words of love and companionship until they passed, I realized that I really do loose a piece of myself. More importantly, I realized that it's okay. The piece I loose is the part of my love and compassion that the animal takes with them. It doesn't matter if I've never met the dog before, I unselfishly give of myself in the way a dog gives to humans every day. It is easy? No, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. But it is worth it.

 Gone but not forgotten

Gone but not forgotten