We are never quite prepared for the death of a pet. Whether swift and unexpected or after a slow decline, we aren’t fully aware of what a pet has brought to our lives until our beloved companion is gone.

Everyone wishes for a pets peaceful passing, hoping to find them in their favourite spot in the morning. Unfortunately this often isn’t the case, and the impact of a pets passing is significantly increased when, as responsible and loving caretakers, we decide to have our pet euthanised.

Requesting euthanasia of a pet is probably the most difficult decision a pet owner can make. You don’t want to prolong their suffering, but at the same time you don’t want to put them to sleep when they are still enjoying life.

Making the toughest call

Euthanasia is the greatest gift that you can give an animal to mercifully end suffering. Your veterinarian can assist and support you throughout the decision making process, however ultimately the final decision should be based on not only what is best for your pet, but also what is best for you and your family.

To help guide you through the decision making process, here are some things to consider.

1) Is my pet still eating well? Being hungry and eating with gusto are signs of vitality.

2) Is your pet drinking and maintaining hydration? Reduced water intake or dehydration in spite of drinking plenty is a sign of illness.

3) Is my pet still interested and responsive to things around him (family, toys etc)?

4) Does my pet seem tired and withdrawn most of the time?

5) Is my pet in pain?

6) Can my pet get up without assistance? Go to the toilet outside?

7) Is my pet still interested in exercise, participating in his or her favourite past time?

8) Do they have an incurable illness?

9) How does my pet’s health impact on my family’s well-being?

10) Do I have the financial and physical resources it may take to adequately care for him/her as his/her condition declines?

11) What do I think he/she would want at this point? What would I want if I were in her/his position?

12) Will the quality of life through the treatment and beyond be good enough for the time it afforded? Am I prolonging his or her life for my pet or for me?

13) Does my pet have more bad days than good?

There is no right answer when it comes to making end of life decisions; only what makes sense for you and your family. Take your time, don’t rush your decision and remember that giving your beloved pet the gift of a peaceful rest is the last best thing you can do for your best friend.

Who Wears The Pants In The Relationship And Why It Doesn't Matter|


With the rise of equality and feminism through the 60’s and 70’s to the ‘metrosexual’ male movement of the 90’s and 00’s there are a lot of really confused men out there and to be fair, a lot of confused women too.

When I was growing up, one of the biggest insults you could give a man was to infer that his wife/partner ‘wore the pants’ in their relationship. This was challenging his ‘manhood’ and always would get a raucous applause at the pub or BBQ where it was uttered.

Growing up as a child of Baby Boomers my parenting role models were those on TV comedy shows and three of my best friends parents as mine separated when I was 6. Gender or sexist humor was again commonplace and being a man meant parenting little, working long hours and having ‘alone quiet time’.

Yet there was one couple, parents of a twin boy and girl whom I gravitated too as a young adolescent. In fact I think I tried secretly to become adopted. You see, Doug was a teacher so he worked very family friendly hours. He picked the twins up from school, took them to their sporting activities, cooked, cleaned and played and was present in every way.
Joy did all of those things too. She was feminine, motherly yet knew that Doug derived so much enjoyment of his ‘role’ in the family that she was empowered to do the things she wanted to as there was a balance in the relationship.

Doug still loves a beer, a punt and his sport and enjoys being in the company of his mates just like the other male role models I had in my life. He just chose to own his passion and I saw how rounded his kids (my friends) were.
As many men do, my later teenage years and my twenties were spent experimenting, partying and generally doing what most young men do.

When I met my now wife, I was ready to begin the next phase of my life. I had come out of a relationship where I was the controlling partner with a very subservient girlfriend that played the role of a ‘good housewife’ perfectly. She cooked, she cleaned while I took everything for granted and in fact became everything I despised in a man.
I soon learned very quickly that Natasa, my new partner was in fact the polar opposite of my last partner. She was opinionated, confident and certain in what she wanted and I was challenged more than I ever had been.

By the time we had our first child I immediately tried to assume the role that my role model Doug had unknowingly imprinted on me. I changed nappies, cleaned up vomit, soothed my son back to sleep, cooked and cleaned all the while working in a new business I had just purchased. I was present, passionate and loved being a dad.
One day I turned down a game of golf with my mates as I wanted to give my wife a break from looking after our son while I had been at work only to hear the words tumble out of my mate’s mouth, “Wow, I can see Natasa wears the pants in your relationship”.

It shouldn’t have mattered. I don’t know why I reacted the way I did yet I got defensive and lashed out. Who was he to judge me?

Over the next few years I struggled with other peoples expectations of what a man was meant to be to his children and his partner. My wife was a powerhouse, driven and got her energy from business and significance yet I was nurturing, calm and valued quality time and family very highly.

We spent some time fighting against it yet when we finally took ownership of what really inspired each of us it worked well if we reversed the ‘traditional’ gender roles and just did what we were great at.
When we did we instantly became in flow and our whole relationship, family life and business success just reached amazing heights. We were both doing what fulfilled our purpose; we excelled at everything we did.

Now, two kids later and another soon on the way, things have adjusted slightly as we have moved along with me taking on more of my own business interests and my wife being able to take a break from our other businesses to welcome our new child into the world. We continue to be in flow with ourselves, our family and our businesses all because we decided it didn’t matter who wore the pants.
Stuart Denman is a lifestyle mentor who spends his time working with those craving a better, more balanced life.

It's Not How Big Your Budget Is|


The most important consideration here is that you need to be actively marketing your business all the time. If you don’t, bad things can happen.

I recently had a jeweller approach me to do some marketing for his company. He had been operating for over fifteen years and he had never spent a cent on marketing. This man was very successful but in the last five years competition had increased, tourist numbers had dropped and business had suddenly got tough.

He was very humble and it was obvious that he had done a lot of soul searching to understand why his business was failing. His greatest realisation was that he didn’t take an active stance in marketing his business because he thought that the custom­ers would always be there.

If you have a small marketing budget, you need to put the effort in and do low cost marketing – things like networking, social media, knock on doors, send emails, try and get some publicity in the local media and so on.

Where do you start? Well I actually go back a step and say the first place to start is to make absolutely certain that you can deliver on any promises you make. If you don’t you will have grumpy customers who will gladly tell everyone that your business is dodgy.

I always ask business owners to look long and hard at their business before they start marketing to make sure that they can meet these expectations. I remember a new themed restaurant that had fantastic pre-opening marketing, with a very real air of anticipation that the place was going to be very good. When it finally did open the food was lousy and the theming ordinary so people didn’t go back. The business closed within a matter of months. They sold people the promise of a fun experience but they couldn’t deliver the goods.

Don’t get obsessed about how much you spend on marketing. Make sure your product or service is excellent and if your marketing budget is small, be prepared to do the work.

International bestselling author of “The Big Book of Small Business”.