I don’t find comfort at gravesites. I feel more connected with the deceased looking at a photo, as opposed to visiting a headstone. So when it’s time to say goodbye to my dogs for the last time, I’m not sure I’ll bring their bodies home for burial.
Which is why I found Mia’s story all the more disturbing. Mia is an eleven-year-old Rottweiler with a spinal condition. Her owner, Matt Olivarez, loves the infirm dog and even feeds her all her meals by hand. Unfortunately, however, the young father of two is facing foreclosure on his home and can no longer afford to keep Mia comfortable.
On Saturday, Olivarez made the tough call to go to the Westcott Veterinary Care Center in Detroit and have her put down. On Sunday morning, however, instead of finding a lifeless body, he discovered Mia standing up and looking him in the eye. Obviously, the euthanasia had been botched.
How does a misstep of that degree happen among trained professionals at a veterinary clinic? Why had the final measures to ensure death had occurred not been performed? What kind of pain and stress did this have on Mia’s already compromised body?
But the most horrifying question: What if Olivarez had not left his dog on a blanket in the garage over night? He “shudders at the thought of almost burying his beloved pet alive.”
Understandably, Olivarez can’t bear the thought of attempting the procedure again. He’s looking for a new home for the dog, but has vowed to keep her until the right placement can be found.
And while Mia does have health issues, it sounds like a lack of money (as opposed to a lack of treatment) is the main obstacle to keeping the dog alive and well. With the right care and medicine, she could live happily and comfortably.
My solution: The Westcott Veterinary Care Center should ensure that Mia is content and pain-free, to the extent that money can buy, for the rest of her life. They should waive all further drug and medical expenses, allowing her to spend her final days (or weeks or months) among those who love and care about her, until it’s truly the time to say goodbye. And when that time comes, they better be able to do it right.