ADVICE: "Getting to Spend Time With a Loving Dog Is a True Privilege"

Every week, New York City's own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.

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July 9th, 2014

Dear Andrew,

My mom is a big fan of yours and told me I should write to you about this, so here it is. For as long as I can remember, our family dog Riley has been part of my life. He's a Golden Retriever and just the nicest dog ever. He's almost 13 now, which I realize for a dog is kind of old, but my parents told me yesterday that our vet said Riley has to be put to sleep next week. I'm really mad about this. I realize Riley's not as strong and energetic as he used to be, but that doesn't mean he needs to be killed! My parents said that even though Riley seems OK on the outside, he's very sick inside and that the best thing we can do is make it painless for him to go peacefully. I know my parents are sad about it too, because when they told us it was the first time I saw my dad cry real hard. My sister and I have been begging them to not listen to the vet and to let Riley live longer, but they won't listen to us. I know pets can't live forever, but I can't bring myself to end Riley's life when he could maybe still live longer, even for just a few more days. What should I do?

Help Me Save My Riley

Dear Help Me Save My Riley,

I'm so sorry to hear about Riley. This is one of the hardest things ever. I totally understand why you feel angry and why this seems so frustrating. When pets get old and sick, it's hard to tell sometimes what they're feeling. They might look OK, but because they can't talk or communicate as easily, we have to trust the animal doctors to really understand what is happening with their health. Sometimes when an animal gets sick, it can be very painful for them.

When I was 12 years old, my parents decided to put our dog, Tavish, to sleep. Just like you, they had Tavish since even before I was born. I had grown up with him as a member of the family and never really imagined a time when he wouldn't be there. One day, it seemed like out of nowhere, Tavish changed. The fur on his face turned grey, he didn't like to go outside very much anymore, and he would bump into walls because he couldn't see too well. Even though I didn't know how sick he was, I could tell he was getting old because he laid around and slept most of the time and didn't like to run around and play.

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This news item was posted on: July 09, 2014