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Ask a Vet: Plan ahead for your pets after your depart from this world
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Thanks to my grandmother, I am now at peace with Kenny Rogers.

He may not be aware we ever had an issue. When I was a little kid, I loved his music and still do and his movies. “Six Pack” is still one of my all-time favorite racing movies.

But when I was in college, he sold one of his farms to the university. It became a horse-breeding facility. I have a problem with that, but what irked me was he apparently included the dogs that lived there in the sale.

It struck me as impersonal. But in hindsight, I was assuming the dogs had a close relationship to “The Gambler.”

Maybe they never even met him. Maybe what was important was them staying in familiar surroundings. Perhaps my assumptions on what was best for the pooches were way off.

This came up again last year when multiple news outlets covered a story regarding a dog whose owner had recently died. In the owner’s will, she instructed the dog be euthanized once the owner was gone.

My initial reaction wasn’t favorable, but I didn’t know that dog. Perhaps it was the type that had one friend in the world and would have cringed in persistent terror once that friend was gone.

Many things affect quality of life, and that is certainly one of them. It’s more of a philosophical question as opposed to a medical one, but I like both fields.

And at least the owner had a plan, which is what this column is about. Most of us don’t assume we’ll be gone tomorrow. We don’t make the necessary arrangements. We don’t consider who we’ll leave behind, regardless of species.

This week, my grandmother died. Since I was a toddler, she was my only grandparent, which leaves me a grand-orphan.

But before she left, she made sure she got to see my kids and told me she liked my columns. She also picked out her flowers and clothes for the funeral. I hope eventually I can be as responsible.

Love you, Nanny.

Matthew Sisk is a practicing veterinarian from Habersham County. Have questions about your pet? He can be reached at

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