The Washington Post

High costs for canine care

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Regarding the July 26 Health article “My dog needed cancer treatment. The high price tag stunned me.”:

I have had many beloved dogs. Two lived to be close to 13 and 14, but sadly, the others were hit with various forms of cancer while still quite young. After their treatments and surgeries, I was offered for them a series of radiation that might have extended their lives. In each case, I determined to have them put down, but I was there with them.

With a child, one can explain to them that treatments might make them feel bad but that as soon as they feel better they can have all the ice cream and hamburgers they want. That is impossible with a dog, and each treatment can be painful and frightenin­g for them. As horrible as the death of a beloved dog is, we are able to give them the gift of a peaceful death that is, for the most part, denied humans. Instead of spending vast sums of money on often futile care, consider giving a substantia­l gift to a responsibl­e animal shelter in your dog’s memory.

Dogs’ lives are horribly short, and as hard as that is, we must be prepared. Rudyard Kipling wrote, “Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware of giving your heart to a dog to tear.”

John Peters Irelan, Washington

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