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About Bowwout

The kind way to end a beloved pet's suffering - at home

Several years ago I took a few months break from work, during which time a friend  asked me, apologetically and tearfully, if I would come out to his home and put down his beloved old dog.

My friend's relief and gratitude that his pet had been allowed to die at home made me realise that there could be a need for such a service in the wider community.
Many vets in fulltime practice can’t afford the time to leave the practice. And some vets have a ‘no house-calls’ policy.

My work as a locum vet combines my love of vet practice with that of travel. And it’s flexible.  Thoughts became actions, and my ‘at-home’ pet euthanasia service, Bowwout, was born.
Bowwout’s first official client was an old German Shepherd dog who lived in Dublin. He was unable to stand, but pushed himself up as much as he could to greet me.  As I stroked him he gave a sigh, and I felt the weight of his great head relax into the palm of my hand. He sighed. I lowered it gently down and he lay peacefully. The elderly couple with him wept. I quietly put him to sleep, and left. A few days later I got a lovely letter from the owner, their son, who unknown to me had been sitting at the top of the stairs all the time.
Liz McCollum-Ryan (Pictured above)

It gave me confidence that I could do this, and the belief that I should.  Over the years since then, I’ve appreciated more and more how many dogs are a major part of their owners’ lives.

From the Yorkie stretched out on the back of the couch, people-watching through the living-room window, to the Border Collie returning to her master after separating out sheep, wriggling her body against him, and looking up at him adoringly. From the German Shepherd barking at the gate, looking back at his owners for approval, to the numerous dogs
I’ve seen in countries where many of them run wild. Some feature in the odd photos around this website. Street dogs in South America watch their luckier friends who are part of someone’s family. A dog with a homeless person in France. In India working in a feral dog neutering campaign, I saw local owners sneaking their sick dogs around our clinic doors, appealing for our help. Love between animal and man – it is everywhere.

Bowwout exists to bring peace of mind to owners who cannot watch their pet’s suffering any more, but who can’t bear the thought of bringing him or her to the veterinary clinic. The greatest love sometimes is to let go. And if you wish your pet to die at home we'll try to be there for you.