Thursday, April 4, 2013

Saying Goodbye

The hardest part of having a hobby homestead, or having pets, or owning animals of any kind, is that we have to say goodbye to them all too soon.   No matter how much lover and affection we shower on them, they will be gone before we are and it's heartbreaking.
Pot as a young pullet.

Today we had to say goodbye to Pot, a black bantam cochin hen. She was only 14 months old, but developed a prolapsed uterus. I researched the problem as best I could and based on my findings, decided that the best thing for her was to euthanize her. Unfortunately, as a young hen in the prime of her productive life, the problem could occur every few days- or several times a day, even if we were able to fix it to begin with.

That's no life.

The hardest part of being with animals is loving them, naming them, then holding them for one last time, knowing you are about to forever put an end to them. I can tell myself she had a good life with us, she was loved and cared for. I can tell myself that she could have just as easily passed away as a day old chick, or lived with someone who neglected her, that a good short life is better than a long bad one, but in the end- a short life is still short.
Pot & Kettle- the day before Easter, 2013
It is important to remember that sometimes, the only gift you can give your beloved pets and charges is mercy.  So I hugged Pot close one last time, stroked her neck feathers while she murmured to me and whispered a quick "I'm sorry".  Then we let her go.  Not because we wanted to, but because it was what was best for her. 

It's part of life, but oh, I hate it so much.  I hate saying goodbye.  I hate even more making that decision, or having to be the one that ends the life.  I don't think it's something I'll ever get used to or take lightly.

Still- maybe there is some comfort in knowing that she couldn't have been loved any better, or missed any more.


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