This summer I have been working in a small animal clinic in the country. Working there has given me the opportunity to apply the skills I have learned in school to a professional setting. However, one thing that school hasn’t really prepared me for is clients and the euthanasia of their pets.
I grew up on a farm, so death is not unfamiliar to me. However, how clients deal with their own pets euthanasia’s is a different thing. What surprised me the most is that a lot of clients do not want to be present for the euthanasia. I have had clients almost throw me their pets and partially run out of the clinic.
This week I had a client make a tough decision about his pet. A client came in with his pet and was torn, he came in and out of the clinic three times to sign the consent papers. In the end, he surrendered his pet and left. I could only pray that he wouldn’t run back in and it would be too late. Sometimes the clients want to do what is best for their pet, to prevent suffering, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision.
We, as technicians, are not unemotional, we feel for our clients, we are there with them when they say goodbye to their pets. However, during the process, during work hours, we try our best to hold back our emotions which can sometimes come across as cold to our clients. But when we come home and lay down to sleep we feel it. Most days I don’t even want to tell anyone about my day and a lot of the time it is to just not fall to pieces.
One of my coworkers has worked in the clinic for over twenty years and she has a personal relationship with our clients. She has seen some animals come in as puppies or kittens and watched them grow up, grow old. She will cry with the clients.
Fortunately, euthanasia is just a small portion of the job but it is still a part and sometimes it can weigh you down. But one needs to look at the positive, that we help clients and animals too. We help educate them and show them the best ways to take care of their pets. We try to spread some happiness in the world and do whatever we can for our clients.