Some people fear that their pets know what is going to happen when they take them out on that final trip. The companion animals may sense that their time has come and that their human companion is helping them.
There have been reported cases in which a pet who was about to be euthanized showed signs of being greatly
upset because the owner was in another room. In all those instances, when that person joined the pet and veterinarian, the animal grew calm and waited to be helped out of all its pain and misery. It seems that they need us for this parting.
The pet may seem anxious, but that is almost always because it recognizes the
veterinarian’s office and smells the fear of other animals. It will also be reactive to the owner’s intense tension, and it can respond strongly to that. At such times— through our tears—we have to give it loving permission to let go. Animals are not frightened by the prospect of their own death, unless they are being attacked by a predator. When their time comes, they sense it and often go off by themselves, accepting death as normal. Our pets do not get upset or sentimental at the prospect of their own death. That is a projection of our own fear. We have so much to learn from them, even after they leave us. When we project our dread of death to our pets, we are incorrectly attributing human qualities to them. In reality, at this time, there is no regret or sadness in their minds. Unless they have been made to feel they still need to protect our feelings, the pet and owner need to say goodbye and give each other permission to let go. We should not torture ourselves during our grief by agonizing about this and distorting the final memories of our beloved companion animals.