You will know when the time comes

The last three weeks have revolved around the schedule to give Leslie his medicines. It was really painful to see him suffering sometimes, but other times he surprised us eating, drinking and bathing. We struggled with the idea of been able to recognize when the moment to end the fight would come. On Friday I called a dear friend from my childhood days. She’s a vet nowadays but works only with small mammals like cats, dogs and rabbits. I didn’t just want a professional advice, just a moral one. She passed exactly the same with their family dog last year and she told me what she tells her patients’ owners: You will know when the time comes.

And she was right. Last Saturday morning Leslie stopped eating. The day before he had an accident when coming out of the bathtub and his breathing was very difficult. Most of the days he had some less worse moments, but that was not happening on Saturday. And he was very pale.

I was scared that taking the decision was going to make me feel guilty and a bad person, but it was not like this; it was clear that the moment had arrived. It was extremely painful, but leaving him like he was, agonizing until the end, was even worse. We did everything we could to give him a nice life after all he suffered and after the unknown life he had. We are people, we’re not perfect and I’m sure we all make mistakes, but everything we did for him was for the best we knew and could, and at least we tried that for three months. We’ll know why this all happened next week, since we now should try to keeps the others happy and healthy.

We miss you, Leslie, with your beautiful singing. You taught me that finches can also be interesting birds with their particular personality. We loved you and did everyhing we could.


  1. I’m glad you feel confident about what you did, Elena. I struggled with timing when my old cat was sick. I’d had her half of my life and she was my companion. My husband and I would team up to give her fluids from a bag we hung on a coat hanger by the table and fed her special food. I probably waited too long, until she quit walking, to put her down. A few years later it was the same with our dog, only all of his organs were fine, he just couldn’t walk anymore and was so big we couldn’t carry him up and down the steps and how would he relieve himself, etc.
    It isn’t a small thing to be responsible for ending life. It’s a big responsibility , a duty, but also a gift to give a compassionate end to a little life.

    I think you and Koen were the perfect people to pick up this little life and contribute some goodness and wonder to it, before sending him off.

  2. I’m so sorry Elena. This is a very sad thing to have to go through. You did the right thing. I love that you share my affection for birds. It’s heart warming to see someone else showing so much care and understanding of how much fun, sweet, entertaining personality birds have. Hugs to you.

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