Pet care

At the end of life

Some things are out of your mind as if they simply do not exist. Death is one of those things, but it does happen to all of us and however much one plans and makes provisions it always comes as a shock. I know of people with young children or with a handicapped child who always travel in separate aircraft just in case there is an accident and have an arrangement made with close family members. All this is wise and commendable.

However what about pets? You lock them in the house with food and water and go out for a few hours, but what if the unexpected happens and you finish up in hospital or don't go home? If you are the sole occupant and no one calls, animals cannot open doors, cannot feed themselves from cupboards, cannot go out into the garden by themselves to answer the call of nature. They could be left to starve to death unless someone calls; and even then, would that person be prepared to look for a new home and, even if willing to help, would they be able to find one?

It is a good plan to make provisions for pets with relatives, friends or neighbours who call at your home from time to time, just in case the unexpected happens. It's important also to update those plans regularly. We had made arrangements for Digger our dog and Suki our cat to go to kennels and then to be flown on to our son and his wife in New Zealand with all financial arrangements made.

But that was several years ago and now they are elderly and the journey of many hours with changes may prove too much of a strain for them. So we have reviewed those plans. Our pets need to rely on us and we will not fail them.