Originally Posted by Dekka
While I will always be there, I don't agree that its the best choice for everyone. IF you know you won't be able to hold it together its entirely possible that the owners extreme distress will be far more upsetting to the dog than the calm reassurances of the vet staff.
This. Some people also just can't take the emotional distress, and if they were forced to be there, they would have killed themselves after. (speaking from knowing somebody in that situation) Not everybody who owns a pet is in a healthy enough state of mind for that distress. That said, I think if they can't be there, they should ask somebody else that is close to the pet to be there if they can.