The death of a beloved Dachshund

Washington Post writer Jonathan Yardley describes the difficult decision to opt for euthanasia for eight-year-old Reggie:

I am as certain as I can be that I made the right choice for Reggie, and I know that our veterinarian agrees, but there will always be, in the back of my mind, that lingering, nagging doubt: Did I really do the right thing, or could the expenditure of a few thousand dollars more have brought him back from the abyss?

Money had nothing to do with my decision, but as veterinary medicine becomes ever more state of the art and ever more costly, inevitably it will be part of many people’s decisions. The questions people must ask themselves as they start playing God do not lend themselves to easy answers: How much is a pet worth? How much value can we assign to a creature who is both a dumb animal and a cherished friend and companion, a family member whose importance in one’s life is incalculable?