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Grieving the loss of a pet

Our gecko, Peaches, at one of the last healthy sheddings she experienced.
Our gecko, Peaches, at one of the last healthy sheddings she experienced.
Photo: Julia Tidd

My family is grieving today. Our pet gecko, Peaches, died sometime last night or this morning. This was not unexpected. In fact, I have been praying for some time now for God to take care of her, to not force us to make a choice to euthanize and to not let her suffer. However, with most every prayer, I ask His will to be done.

I know that He has a plan and this time that plan was not to take her life in a quick and painless way. She had been suffering for a few months now with shedding problems. After some consultation, I found that is a normal thing as geckos get older in captivity.

This last week, my husband and I had been debating what to do. We’ve continued to give her the extra care we’d been informed of to help with her shedding and subsequent blindness. (The last shedding didn’t completely come off her eyes so she was unable to open them unless we got them really wet.) We have continued to take the extra time to try to get her to eat. She refused each and every time even though we held hope that ‘this’ time would be different.

Two days ago she started bleeding internally. My husband and I discussed euthanizing her in the manner we had been instructed was the most humane. We just couldn’t do it. For one thing, I just kept praying that God would take care of her; would take her life for us. For another, my husband had some questions and doubts over how humane this method was.

I don’t know whether or not it is right or wrong to euthanize a pet or animal you know is dying and in pain. In Genesis 1:28, we are called to rule over His animals, His creations. Does that include mercy killings? Other than for food, I’m not sure there is anywhere in the New Testament that gives permission to kill animals outside of the reason for food. This is obviously something there is great debate about and, in the end, becomes a personal decision between the pet owner and God.

The Pet Loss Support Page lists Texas Pet Loss Resources which includes the DFW area. The resources listed include: hotlines, support groups, counselors, cemeteries/crematories and where to get in-home euthanasia.


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