But, Shelia’s last dying wish was one that strikes anger and sadness in many dog lovers around the world. She wanted to be buried alongside her seeing-eye dog, a healthy, 5-year old Labrador Retriever.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Andrew Stadler carried out his mother’s final dying wish a few days after her death, when Toffee had shown signs of mourning and ‘wandered aimlessly’ in the days after Mrs. Stadler died.
Andrew, had Toffee euthanized and placed inside the coffin next to his owner and companion. Both were visible during the funeral viewing. The pair were buried together at the DeBaun Funeral Home in Indiana. The devoted dog was even mentioned in Mrs. Stadler’s obituary:
She was a committed Christian, enjoying camp meetings and singing and playing for church services. Her favorite book was the Bible which she faithfully read for many years. The last few years she listened to it on audio tapes, but still carried that wonderful book with her as a comfort during her last days. She loved Toffee, her seeing-eye dog and constant companion for five years.
Andrew Stadler is now paying the price for his controversial decision to fulfill his mother’s wish and euthanize the perfectly healthy, young guide dog, whose services are desperately needed with other disabled or blind individuals. He is receiving death threats, public outrage, and even anger from his own family members for the decision.
While it would be difficult to find a veterinarian to carry out euthanasia on a perfectly healthy dog, Andrew’s decision was well within the law. In Indiana, and most other states in the US, dogs are considered property and the owner has a right to euthanize for any reason.
Weigh in with your thoughts on this controversial story: Do you believe Andrew was wrong to carry out his mother’s dying wish? Do you believe that Toffee should have been kept alive and given to another family in need of his services?