Guide Sheets to Help You Notice Changes in Your Dear Dog

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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:

  1. Your Vet
  2. Your Dog
  3. 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.

“I’ll be more aware of any changes in
Mr. Moto and enjoy the quieting of his sweet life. I know we will say goodbye in the next year or so.”
—Marla True Carlson, Moto’s Mom

“I feel relief that my dog Mogul is still able to enjoy a majority of his favorite things!”
—Julie Buffa Owen, Mogul’s Mom


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.

“This confirms my ‘feeling.’ Twitch is not quite ready to go, but very close. Could be any day.”
—JoAnn Kalenak, Twitch’s Mom


In either case, you’ll feel more clear and at peace having used the guide sheets.

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:

  1. The sensory experience of moving your hand across paper will put you in touch with your intuition.
  2. 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  _____    ______.