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  • Helping pet owners deal with bereavement

    Dear Groomers,

    When we almost lost Russell to a Veterinary accident we took him to the Emergency Room at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital. It didn't look like he would make it and we were beside ourselves with grief.

    We were introduced to Dr. Jamie Quackenbush a pet psychiatrist (that's his real name) and he helped us deal with the possible loss of our pet. He made us feel so much better about ourselves and Russell. Russell survived another two years and we were better prepared for the inevitable.

    Today in the Press of AC is an article about a new service in Texas that I think will gain more and more acceptance by pet owners. If any of you are faced with the loss of a pet there is help available. What do you all think about this new Hospice service?

    http://pressofatlanticcity.com/life/...53eef0f79.html

    Chuck

  • #2
    Sounds wonderful! I have a number of clients that lost older pets in the past few months. It has been hard on them and me.


    sittingpretty

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    • #3
      I wish there was one near me... when Trinket died on Oct. 23rd, I fell apart..... she was my world.

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      • #4
        Wow, what a timely article for me. Nearly lost my old lab 4 days ago. Thought I'd be ok because shes old and I know shes old, but I fell apart. I got a reprieve but it may only last a day, week or year no one knows. Thats what the vet told me. It just plain hurts. My hearts out to all who have lost loved ones (be they human or animal) this time of year.

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        • #5
          atimetopaws

          How nice there is some one there to help owners grieve. When my 14 yr old cat died in Nov 2006, I decided to have him creamated. There were no ashes, just bone fragment. I was a little disappointed. But I do still have him with me in an urn. Now my dog is 13 and who knows. He is in great health, but I cannot decide if I want to do this again or not. Probably will because I am so attached to him. It is unbelievable.

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          • #6
            What a great idea! I am lucky to have a mobile vet in my area that will come and perform end-of-life services. I've had to use him a couple of times, but it was important to me that my guys were at home for their final breath. It would have been even better to have the hospice services available. I hope this business grows and spreads. It is such a wonderful service and it would be nice to know it was there if I ever needed it.

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            • #7
              It was nice to read and I wish these services were around me. I'm going through hell right now with my beagle. I have the date set for Jan. 2nd at 11:30 but just made another appt. for this Wed. to do an evaluation. She's still eating and drinking but has a hard time breathing...she will pant for no reason....just wakes up and pants and does this choking cough thing yet can still move around. Like I said she is riddled with problems (blind, adrenal and spleen tumor) but the fact that she wags her tail and still eats is making me second guess myself, even though she definitly struggles to breath at times. That's even with 4 blood pressure pills a day, eye drops and phenobarb. I know it sounds awful but I wish she would just go peacefully in her sleep so I wouldn't have to make that decision. I don't want to be selfish but her quality is 50/50 so I don't know what to do. I hope the vet can help me make a better choice.

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              • #8
                I think the more one "humanizes" pets the more liability we as pet professionals will have. I think this is nothing more than a money maker for the "funeral" providers.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by baddog View Post
                  I think the more one "humanizes" pets the more liability we as pet professionals will have. I think this is nothing more than a money maker for the "funeral" providers.
                  I don't think we are ever going to get past dogs being perceived as people's children and the pain of losing our pets is real and deep. Most times we spend more time with them than our family members. I think these people are making money but $110 didn't sound like a lot. It cost me more than that to cremate my kitty 4 years ago and then I bought a separate urn. I think they went through and saw the pain of losing a pet and were in the position to help others with it after dealing with people for so long.

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                  • #10
                    Wow, I can't believe that this profession hasn't been around a lot longer. It totally makes sense to me. And what a wonderful service. Thanks for posting this, Chuck.
                    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
                    www.ChrisSertzel.com

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                    • #11
                      You will know

                      Dear Grinch,

                      So sorry for your pain. I know the feeling. I sure hope when it is my time that there is someone who will ease my pain. We asked Dr. Quackenbush when the right time was and he said, "You will know and if you don't know it is not the right time." Words of wisdom.

                      Talk to your vet maybe there is some pain meds he can perscribe for your pet to make them more comfortable especially at night and maybe you can perform your own hospice care and share it with others.

                      Helping people through tough times can be very special profession. I thank God for those people who do and they are priceless.

                      Godspeed,

                      Chuck

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                      • #12
                        I think this is wonderful service to have available for those that need it. I have worked in the veterinary field for almost ten years now and it never gets any easier to help with or watch a beloved pet be euthanize or pass away. Some are definitely a lot harder on us than others. Lots of times the families of the pets don't know how to cope with the loss. Especially if it was sudden or unexpected. Many of these pets are treated more like family members than "just a pet". I have assisted one of our doctors on many home euthanasia trips. Whats is good for one pet/family may not be good for another. I try to let clients know when they call what all of their options are, and what to expect before they come in so they can think at home with a clear head and not at our front desk upset and unable to talk. Everyone doesn't grieve the same way so I think it is great to be able to have these options that this place offers. Veterinary care, boarding, grooming, and the over all life that dogs and cats have these days has changed so much in the past years that it is only fitting that after care has improved.

                        Our pets give us unconditional love and devotion. Something that only a pet can do. A memorial service for a family pet is a great way to give closure to something that gave us so much love. It may not be right for everyone but would be a great option to have.

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