When your Dear Dog is sick or aging, you may not know what to do next. If your pup is a beloved member of your family — you may especially struggle with knowing when to make the euthanasia decision.
I definitely did. So did all the Dog Parents I interviewed in my guidebook, Saying Goodbye to Your Dear Dog: 10 Questions to Help You Decide When to Euthanize.
In other words, you are among friends here.
In our guidebook, we explore three sources of information to help you decide next steps for your dog’s care:
- Your Vet
- Your Dog
- Your Heart
Each section comes with questions and corresponding guide sheet handouts for you to fill out.
“It’s helpful for dog owners to write down what they are thinking.”
— Dr. Teresa Petterson, DVM
How the Guide Sheets Can Help You
The guide sheets are designed to focus our attention on the the right questions. Filling them out helps you collect information about your dog’s health and happiness and reflect objectively on it. They’re a great resource to share with your vet and conversation starters for your family members, too.
More often than not changes in our Dear Dogs happen slowly over time. Without a tool to focus our attention, we may miss subtle changes.
Also, open-ended questions like, “How is my dog feeling?” leave us vulnerable to seeing what we want to see. Concrete questions, like, “How many of my dog’s favorite activities can she still do?” work better. They take the guesswork — and the wishful thinking — out of the equation.
What You’ll Discover with the Guide Sheets
Sometimes the guide sheets show us our furkid’s quality of life is acceptable, such as Julie and Marla discovered. Then we know we have a bit of time to savor the sweetness of being together.
Other times we discover our pet’s health is deteriorating, such as JoAnn did, and it’s time to seriously consider end-of-life options.
Guide Sheet Downloads
You can print the guide sheets or fill them out online. Download each guide sheet separately as you need them, or save time and download all of them in one printer-friendly PDF packet.
I recommend you print and fill them out by hand for two reasons:
- The sensory experience of moving your hand across paper will put you in touch with your intuition.
- Dog Parents in our test group who filled out digital guide sheets gave up, while those who filled out paper versions finished.
Either way, put completed guide sheets into your Dear Dog Binder for future reference.
Please note: If you purchased our book, you have free access to all guide sheets below. We’ll ask for your email address to send you a special thank you. You’ll also need a secret code to verify your purchase. Look on page 46 of the book — what did I say Kali was? My fuzzy _____ ______.
- GUIDE SHEET PACKET: Download All Guide Sheets in One Black-&-White PDF File (locked)
- PERMISSION SLIP: Giving Yourself Permission
- GUIDE SHEET 1: Questions to Ask the Vet When My Dear Dog Is Sick (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 2: Questions to Ask A Veterinary Specialist (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 3: Physical Signs My Dear Dog Is in Pain (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 4a: My Dear Dog’s Favorite Activities List (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 4b: My Dear Dogs Favorite Activity Pie Chart (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 5: Signs My Dear Dog Is Withdrawing Socially (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 6: Noticing Emotional and Personality Changes In My Dear Dog
- GUIDE SHEET 7: Evaluating My Dear Dog’s Quality of Life (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 8: Noticing Signs It’s Time to Let My Dear Dog Go (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 9: How Is Caring for My Dear Dog Affecting Me?
- GUIDE SHEET 10: Hearing My Heart: Guided Meditation (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 11: Bringing All 10 Guide Sheets Together to Make a Decision (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 12: Euthanasia Services with My Vet or A Mobile Vet (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 13: My End-of-Life Plan for My Dear Dog (locked)
- GUIDE SHEET 14: Trusting My Decision (locked)