Two weeks ago I made the decision to euthanise my old dog, Glenna. Today I made the same decision in respect of my father in law, Alan, who has advanced dementia, pneumonia and is incapable of swallowing. Of course, it's euthanasia by non-intervention so we have to wait a while before we can say our final farewell to him..

Glenna's ending was calm, quick, painless and civilised. Alan's ending will be frightening, painful, drawn out and messy. It is said that the English love their dogs more than they love other people. Certainly the different way we treat dogs and people at their time of dying would indicate that this is true.