Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Image courtesy of Keattikorn/

Image courtesy of Keattikorn/

Our pets bring much joy to our lives, especially if we have a serious illness and are house-bound or otherwise limited. those furry friends can cheer us out of a pain-induced down mood, give us exercise as we take them out for walks, and help us remember that keeping a sense of play and humor is essential to raising our spirits.

But it can be a very different picture if our pet gets ill. Instead of that unconditional love that we feel, the bond between companion animal and us, we might be forced into decisions driven by stark realities: How much money can we allot to our pet’s treatment? How much effort (and what kind of effort) can we give to treatments, operations and post-operative rehab? Is it ever right to sacrifice our health or an aspect of our medical treatment/doctor’s appointments in order to turn these resources to our pet?

Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. In some cities, private foundations might be able to help defray costs or provide physical support (rides to the vet, for example) for people who are disabled and have companion animals or service animals. These can be wonderful resources, but because they are individual to geographic areas, it can take much research and time to locate them. Friends and family, too, are good places to turn when you need help or at least a sympathetic ear to hear your concerns and the issues involved in the decisions you have to make. But, you might find that even the available resources pale in the face of the reality of your limited money, abilities, and, yes, emotional resilience. This is a very difficult place to be, an agonizing place.

If you find you are facing a difficult decision regarding a sick, beloved pet, I encourage you to draw close all of the members of your support system – friends, family, medical team, online supporters, and faith family. Pray for strength and wisdom. Understand as much as you can about all the various aspects of the situation – your health and needs, your pet’s health and needs, the realistic timeframe involved, etc. Color all of your prayers, thoughts, and decisions with love and compassion – for yourself and your beloved pet. And know that God is with all his Creation – people, of course, and animals, too. As it says in Genesis, He sees all his Creation and calls it “good.”

Let that goodness inspire you as you move forward. And let God’s comfort and wisdom envelop you and your beloved pet each step of the way.



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