Some advice needed please

If you wish to partake in casual "off-topic" discussion amongst spiritual friends, please do so in the Lounge at Dhamma Wheel Engaged.
User avatar
Phra Chuntawongso
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 11:05 am
Location: Wat SriBoenRuang,Fang,Chiang Mai
Contact:

Some advice needed please

Post by Phra Chuntawongso »

Hi everyone.
I need some advice.
Yesterday,a couple moved into the same house as I am living in.They have with them 2 cats and a dog.
The keeping of pets is not the issue here.
The dog is rather old and apparently has cancer.They are talking of having it put down,and are asking what we think about this.
I have avoided answering them as I really would like some advice first.
My personal feeling is that this is taking a life and that is the intention,although some will answer that the intention is to stop the dog from suffering.
I understand the compassion side of this but it is still a killing.
Any idea how to deal with this.I am the only Buddhist in the house and do not want to word my answer in such a way as to bring the Buddhas teaching into disrepute.
With metta,Greg :shrug:
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
User avatar
effort
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:32 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by effort »

very hard situation, i dont know exactly what is teachings about this issue, but i guess its about let it suffer.
Just a question, by buddhist view that suffering will clear some old karma of poor dog and brings better riberth?
User avatar
Khalil Bodhi
Posts: 2250
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:32 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

The Lord Buddha never advocated any such thing as a mercy killing. I would certainly discuss the possibility of the many palliative measures there must be to help the do to pass on in as little pain as possible. Further more, I wouldn't be ashamed of answering them truthfully if they've asked you directly for your opinion. Anyway, I wish the best in this difficult situation.
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

The Stoic Buddhist: https://www.quora.com/q/dwxmcndlgmobmeu ... pOR2p0uAdH
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com
User avatar
Phra Chuntawongso
Posts: 274
Joined: Sun May 02, 2010 11:05 am
Location: Wat SriBoenRuang,Fang,Chiang Mai
Contact:

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Phra Chuntawongso »

As I understand it,as a result of karma,the dog should be allowed to die of what ever it has got,including old age.I believe that to shorten this process could mean the dog may not get a more advantages rebirth that it was possibly headed for.
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning
User avatar
adosa
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by adosa »

Think about what's best for the dog, not what's best for "you".


adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
User avatar
altar
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Great Barrington, MA

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by altar »

Actually, think about what's best for you and the dog. :)
User avatar
altar
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Great Barrington, MA

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by altar »

p.s. tell the truth.
Mukunda
Posts: 295
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Mukunda »

I recently had a friend come to me with the same question. My response to him was "I understand the taking of life to ALWAYS be unwholesome kamma, nor do I believe we alleviate any beings suffering by ending it's life. However, you do what you need to do, I'll still be here for you."
User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18438
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Ben »

I was in a very similar situation over a year ago. One of our beloved pets had an accident and became parlyzed from the hip down. He was in perpetual agony, lost control of his bowels and bladder and was immobile. Eventually, we had to take him to the vet to have him euthanased. It was one of the most difficult decisions I had to go through. At the time, I consulted Ajahn Dhammanando who gave me some advice.
The fact of the matter is that in life you are going to be faced with hard ethical dilemmas but as a Buddhist you do so mindfully, with compassion and a sense of remorse. I chose what I did and I take full responsibility for the kamma as a result of that decision.
When you put your pet down, extend loving kindness and compassion towards it. Then at the earliest opportunity retake tiritana.
My response to him was "I understand the taking of life to ALWAYS be unwholesome kamma, nor do I believe we alleviate any beings suffering by ending it's life. However, you do what you need to do, I'll still be here for you."
This is good advice. I don't know how familiar you are with your neighbour but if it was someone I knew well, I would offer to attend the vet with him/her to give my support.
metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: [email protected]..
User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by appicchato »

My understanding of the Buddha's teaching, right or wrong, FWIW, is that we (humans) don't end life...to relieve, or alleviate, suffering, yes...to end it, no...
User avatar
Monkey Mind
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Monkey Mind »

Last October our 13 year old dog passed away after an extended period of pain. I did some rather thorough research into the "Buddhist" view about animal euthanasia. I was surprised to discover that the answers were as varied as the traditions. So I sought guidance from a Thai monk. I will not repeat the advice, but it was much more "middle of the road" than I would have expected. Some of our friends and family were very angry with us because we did not euthanize sooner. One friend threatened to kidnap the dog and do the deed herself. One friend still refuses to speak to us. In the end I feel certain that we did the right thing, and I have no regrets.

If you have access to counsel with a monk or teacher, ask.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
upekha
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:39 pm

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by upekha »

This is my first post here.

We had a similar situation last year. Our Dalmatian was 14 years old, and was diagnosed with arthritis, and later on with some neurological disease.The last 6 months of his life, he found it difficult to walk, and the last 3 months was paralyzed.. There were so many people who advised us to put him to sleep, however, I kept saying that he still loved his food and had a great appetite. I felt that from a Buddhist point of view, he had some kamma he had to go through, and luckily,we were in a situation where we could afford to spend on his medical bills.I kept thinking, what if he was put to sleep, and the next birth he was born to a family, who couldn't give him the same attention.

He had the best attention he could ever get, with daily sponges, diapers, and fan to mention a few. He had a few wounds, which I dressed daily, after learning from the vet how to do . I felt that as long as he enjoyed his food, we shouldn't think of putting him to sleep.

One day, he gave up eating all food, but continued to drink his milk. At that point, my husband and I discussed what we should do, and came to the conclusion, that Clueso had gone through most of his kamma, and if we decided to put him to sleep, he would have to go through all of this, all over again in another birth. Hence, we decided to help him through until the last. He was without food for one day, but continued to drink, but the next evening, he drank some water, at which point, he was wagging his tale, when I offered him the water.Seeing him wagging his tail, made me feel that we had taken the correct decision,as he seemed to know we were there for him. The next day,early morning, he passed away.

Looking back, I feel we made the correct decision. I kept thinking, when my mother in law was sick, we never ever thought of euthanasia, then what right do we have to take Clueso's life .For me there was no difference in my mother in law's life and our four legged friend.

I guess, if your neighbors isn't a Buddhist, then speaking about kamma wouldn't help.I will admit , it wasn't easy to see Clueso suffer like this, as daily we kept asking ourselves , if we made the correct decision.But, when I think, of how he used to follow our movements, with his eyes, and wag his tail, I felt it was the correct decision.

with metta

Upekha
User avatar
appicchato
Posts: 1602
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:47 am
Location: Bridge on the River Kwae

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by appicchato »

:thumbsup:
User avatar
Khalil Bodhi
Posts: 2250
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:32 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Khalil Bodhi »

upekha wrote:This is my first post here.

We had a similar situation last year. Our Dalmatian was 14 years old, and was diagnosed with arthritis, and later on with some neurological disease.The last 6 months of his life, he found it difficult to walk, and the last 3 months was paralyzed.. There were so many people who advised us to put him to sleep, however, I kept saying that he still loved his food and had a great appetite. I felt that from a Buddhist point of view, he had some kamma he had to go through, and luckily,we were in a situation where we could afford to spend on his medical bills.I kept thinking, what if he was put to sleep, and the next birth he was born to a family, who couldn't give him the same attention.

He had the best attention he could ever get, with daily sponges, diapers, and fan to mention a few. He had a few wounds, which I dressed daily, after learning from the vet how to do . I felt that as long as he enjoyed his food, we shouldn't think of putting him to sleep.

One day, he gave up eating all food, but continued to drink his milk. At that point, my husband and I discussed what we should do, and came to the conclusion, that Clueso had gone through most of his kamma, and if we decided to put him to sleep, he would have to go through all of this, all over again in another birth. Hence, we decided to help him through until the last. He was without food for one day, but continued to drink, but the next evening, he drank some water, at which point, he was wagging his tale, when I offered him the water.Seeing him wagging his tail, made me feel that we had taken the correct decision,as he seemed to know we were there for him. The next day,early morning, he passed away.

Looking back, I feel we made the correct decision. I kept thinking, when my mother in law was sick, we never ever thought of euthanasia, then what right do we have to take Clueso's life .For me there was no difference in my mother in law's life and our four legged friend.

I guess, if your neighbors isn't a Buddhist, then speaking about kamma wouldn't help.I will admit , it wasn't easy to see Clueso suffer like this, as daily we kept asking ourselves , if we made the correct decision.But, when I think, of how he used to follow our movements, with his eyes, and wag his tail, I felt it was the correct decision.

with metta

Upekha
Beautiful story! Thank you. Sadhu!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

The Stoic Buddhist: https://www.quora.com/q/dwxmcndlgmobmeu ... pOR2p0uAdH
My Practice Blog:
http://khalilbodhi.wordpress.com
User avatar
Pannapetar
Posts: 327
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:05 am
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand
Contact:

Re: Some advice needed please

Post by Pannapetar »

Euthanasia is always a difficult decision, but I would definitely say "no" in this case. We had many dogs. Last one was a poodle. I never liked him. Covert, irritable, and aloof. He had $400 hip surgery at age 13. He also suffered from an incurable immune deficiency that caused a lot of infections and required permanent treatment. Yet, it would never have occurred to me to kill this dog. After all, it is a life! That must be respected. The dog has a life and we have no right to take it away.

Cheers, Thomas
Locked