Pet Insurance For Pets And Quality of Life For Our Pets
Recently I received an e-mail from one of my students asking about "Pet Insurance" for her young teenage dog, Louie who has been coming to our “Teenage Blues” Group Class. I have a personal opinion about Pet Insurance, but I want her to have more than one opinion to think through so she can make the best decision for Louie and her financial situation. So I posted the question to my colleagues Facebook group page. Some of them gave me useful resources with links; some of them shared their personal experiences and/or their client's experiences.
While I was having the conversation with my colleagues, someone posted a quote that lead me think of something other than health insurance for pets. The quote said "What is your dog's life worth?" Having pet insurance, a saving account for the furry kid and having financial security is one way to have peace of mind (especially in a case of emergency). But at the same time, we also need to think long and hard about the most difficult topic as pet guardians-What does "Quality of life" mean to you-.
It’s hard to think about “Death” when you see a happy, rambunctious, young puppy and/or kitten in front of you. We all want them to live long, healthy and happy lives. “Death” has been a taboo topic for a long time and no one wants to think about “Saying Goodbye” to our furry best friends, and you will never be fully prepared when the time comes no matter how much you think you are prepared for it. So why do we need to think about “Quality of Life” now?
Our cat, Komaru was a happy, joyful, and playful young girl. She was always looking for trouble, she stole a whole chicken, ate spaghetti when I just stepped away from the table, and would knead our head and face while we were sleeping…She was enjoying every minute of her life until one day my husband noticed that she had lost weight. We took her to our vet immediately; we went through every possible test and all the treatments for several months. She kept losing weight and rapidly,. She started to act strange, changing her eating habits and hiding from us a lot of the time. After awhile, our vet told me that only a neurology specialist may be able to find out what is wrong with her.
My husband and I had a long and heavy conversation after our vet mentioned the neurosurgery specialist, and decided not to pursue it. Yes, it was a pricy surgery if we followed through with it, but no, we didn’t make our decision because of the price. We didn’t pursue it because she lost weight significantly and only weighed 3 pounds at the time, (she weighed 9 pounds when she was healthy), we weren’t sure if she could even make it through the anesthesia with the rapid weight loss, and even after the surgery, we still “may or may not” know what was wrong with her.
My husband and I decided to take her home and let her eat whatever she wanted with the least amount of medication and loved her until the very last day we had to say good-bye. She was only 7 years old when all this happened, and while I was crying like a baby, I will never forget what my husband said to me on the way home after we euthanized our beloved Komaru.
“She was such a fun kitty, let’s remember how she lived, not how she died”
How ironically, my husband brought her life back to me the day we let her go to Rainbow Bridge. That same day, she was reborn as a healthy, happy cat again in my husband and my hearts, and I knew, she will be the cat we loved always-happy, joyful and playful Miss. Trouble Maker-forever as long as we live.
We all have different idea of what is "Quality of life" means, and we all should respect when someone makes the most difficult decision for their furry kid. Yes, it is the responsibility of the pet guardians to consider how to save money for our furry kid’s emergency, vet and medical bills. But it is also our responsibility as pet guardians to know and be able to make a decision for our furry friend based on “What is my furry kid’s quality of life” when a vet says “It will cost X dollars for you”.
We are certified pet bereavement counselors. We also offer Anticipatory Bereavement support, for those who need comfort and someone to talk to as their companion gets older and/or suffer from a long term illness. We are there to provide a safe place to discuss your fears and anxiety, and to help those struggling with their pet’s end of life needs. We will be offering pet loss/anticipatory discussion chat session through our Facebook Fan Page soon, and meanwhile, please check our “Tribute video”.