Goodbye Henry

Vasu Reddy from Chicago

Henry was put to sleep on 24th of July 2013.  The Greek term” Euthanasia” or the good death was upon him as he was no longer able to function on his own.  Animal euthanasia (from Greek, meaning "good death") is the act of humanely putting an animal to death or allowing it to die as by withholding extreme medical measures. Reasons for euthanasia include incurable (and especially painful) conditions or diseases, lack of resources to continue supporting the animal, or laboratory test procedures. Euthanasia methods are designed to cause minimal pain and distress. Euthanasia is distinct from animal slaughter and pest control, which are performed for purposes other than an act of mercy, although in some cases the killing procedure is the same.

In domesticated animals, this process is commonly referred to by euphemisms such as "lay down", "put down", "put to sleep", or "put out of its/his/her misery".  When he was put to sleep, Henry was 12 ½ years old when he really was unable to survive on his own and was very sick.

Henry was a yellow Labrador, and he was runt of the litter when Jamie picked him up from the owners’ of his parents.  Jamie was there when he was born, and since his adoption has always lived with Jamie and his family.  Jamie and his three children; Alex, Andrew and Alison and their cat Milo were a team.  Jamie is my brother and friend, every day I would get an update on how the guys were doing and never forgot Henry and Milo’s update, until last week when Henry’s time has come to go.  The kids are on holiday and they are away visiting grandparents and still don’t know of Henry’s passing away, and Jamie has not yet figured out how to tell them.  It will be hard to tell them that Henry who has been a part of their entire life is gone, and will not be around to watch them.

I have never seen Henry in person, but he was very much a part of Jamie and his family and they were very much attached to him, and he towards them.  I never had a dog, as I did not live at home most of my life and when I grew up never made an effort, but always admired the animals and their love of humans.  Dogs, cats, horses and domesticated animals in India such as cows, buffalos and chickens and goats, and whatever we chose to raise and care for, and at the same time they have their undivided devotion to their owners.

Henry’s loss is deeply felt, and also brings into the question of Euthanasia.  The doctor, the owner and the surroundings determine the final decision to put down the animal, and it must be a difficult choice to make for the humans involved.  It is just to see that the suffering ends in a kind and gentle manner, albeit a very painful and heartfelt decision to make.  Good bye Henry.

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