The day before we put Buddy down

I grew up having dogs, from the time I was a baby until now. I have never once had to put a dog down. Our dog Buddy was almost 14 when we decided to put him down.

Buddy was struggling with joint issues, often limping. He had fatty tumors all over his body; it made some people uncomfortable to pet. Buddy would often get bad skin rashes that were difficult to treat and expensive. He developed a small tumor on his eye, which would also lead to eye infections. Buddy couldn’t hear anymore and also had trouble seeing. He was growling and biting people, and was often urinating in the house. Buddy was regularly breathing heavily, which is a sign that a dog is in distress.

My husband the night before we put Buddy down

I did not want to see our Buddy dog go through any more pain and discomfort. I also hated the fact that we were going to end his life unnaturally. A friend of mine suggested calling Loving Hands an at home Euthanasia. At-home euthanasia allows your pet to be in familiar surroundings and eliminates the stress and fear associated with a hospital setting.

Saying goodbye to your pet is never easy. The hardest step is to make the initial call deciding whether or not to put your dog down. The two doctors who take care of this process are Dr. Tiffany Palozzi and Dr. Stephanie Schneider. As veterinarians, they have experienced the euthanasia process many times. They have been through it personally, with their pets, and professionally by assisting countless families. After speaking with them about the process, I felt confident that this was the right time for Buddy.

I set a date with the doctor, and they told me to get a favorite meal that Buddy will love and have it ready when the doctors arrive at our home. The doctor recommended this so that Buddy will be distracted when they give him a sedative.

I am sharing this step by step process so that you can understand and get a feeling of what happens, in case you need to go through this challenging process.


  • 12:00 PM- Get Buddy Happy Meal from McDonald’s.
  • 12:30 PM -Doctors arrive, the family gathers, doctors inform my family the process, we give Buddy the Happy Meal, Doctors administer a sedative (a shot on the nape of the neck), the doctors leave to provide us with privacy. Buddy scarfs his food down and then lays down.
  • 12:45 PM- Doctors give Buddy the anesthesia. He goes to sleep.
  • 1:00 PM- Doctors insert an IV into Buddy’s leg (he cannot feel anything). Doctors administer euthanasia medication. Within a couple of minutes, the drugs shut down the heart, and the brain and Buddy are gone :(. The doctors then give us about 30 minutes to say our goodbyes. Not easy!
  • 1:30 PM-Doctors bring a stretcher and put Buddy on it. Discreetly, they remove Buddy and put him into their car.

I cannot express how amazing these two ladies were with this process. They were so loving and caring and knew how to move my family through this process. I highly recommend them.

After this process, the doctors notify your Veterinarian, and then your pet is cremated. Once a week, an associate from Loving Hands takes the ashes from all the pets and puts them out in the ocean. Loving Hands does offer to have your pet’s ashes packaged in a handcrafted cedar box with an engraved name tag. They also provide a clay impression paw print,that they mail to you. We chose just the paw print and the beautiful memories that Buddy brought to our family for 14 years.

Buddy’s paw print and collar

If you live in Del Mar or close by and you lose your pet, there is a great memorial that you must participate in called Gwen’s garden. You can make a rock with your pet’s name and add it to the hundreds of other stones.

My son chase painted this rock for Buddy