I have often heard people say I don’t want to “play God” when referencing a euthanasia decision for their sick, painful, and suffering pet. They seem to think choosing euthanasia for their pet is playing God. I do not agree. I don’t think any of us can know or understand how God acts in our lives, so I don’t believe we can pretend to be him. There are random events in all our lives we wish we could control and perhaps understand, but just can’t. We feel this most strongly when someone (pet or person) is suffering, is sick, or going through a difficult time and we are helpless to control or manage their pain.
If a pet owner were in fact, God (or had God-like powers), their pet would not be old, ill, or in pain. No one they loved would have any problems at all! A life without problems would not give us much opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow as a person. A life without end would not teach us to savor every moment, enjoy every sunrise and sunset, every hug, every fuzzy snuggle, and every tail wag.
While I am on the subject of God, I believe our pets DO go to heaven. They are purely honest little beings, capable of great love, and incapable of malice towards others. Yes, they may sometimes be aggressive, or fearful, but they are expressing what they are truly feeling in a situation that is out of their control (sound familiar?).
Choosing euthanasia for a pet that is in pain and suffering from a terminal disease is not playing God, but helping the pet transition to a new realm peacefully, gently, and painlessly. We all die, and I believe assisting our pets when they are suffering with kindness and love in our hearts is the most caring act we can perform.
I believe in God, and I am a Christian, so this piece was written from my spiritual perspective.