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Hospice Guide and Grief Support
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Here and Now

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18 November 2012 - 7:11 pm
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Porthos said
I was wondering if there is a new link to 'the hospice guideline' in the first post?

Looks like that site is no longer available, but we found some very similar resources...

Animal Hospice Guide from Angel's Gate Sanctuary

ASPCA guide to caring for your pet during his final days

Georgia's Legacy: Pet Hospice Care

 

Related Tripawds articles:

Doug Koktavy's Legacy of Beezer and Boomer

Hospice Care for Dogs

 

Hope this helps, thanks for pointing out the bad link.

The Rainbow Bridge

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19 May 2013 - 4:17 pm
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How do you know when it's time to say goodbye to your furry family member?

Here's a great article by veterinary oncologist Dr. Hohenhaus:

What 25 Years as a Vet Have Taught Me About the Right Time to Say Goodbye

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge

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18 July 2013 - 7:55 pm
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This may have been posted elsewhere but I thought it was a good time to re-introduce it:

Jul 18, 2013

The Last Battle

 
I have helped more clients than I can count make the difficult decision to euthanize a beloved pet. Even when I know euthanasia is in the pet’s best interests, letting him or her go is heartbreaking. Invariably, by the end of these conversations everyone in the room, including me, is crying.

A comment that I frequently hear from clients during these times is that the decision is “just so hard.” I agree but remind them that simply because something is hard, it doesn’t mean it’s not right. In fact, some of the most meaningful things we do in life are difficult — raising children, staying with a spouse through thick and thin, honoring our responsibilities, and being with loved ones during their last moments.

The poem The Last Battle does a wonderful job expressing the idea that euthanizing a pet who is suffering (or when suffering is imminent) should be viewed as the ultimate expression of love. Beware, it’s a tearjerker.

The Last Battle

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this — the last battle — can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

 

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

 

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close — we two — these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

 

— Unknown

 

Another important piece of information I convey to owners who are struggling during this time is this: In over 14 years of being a veterinarian I have never had an owner tell me that that they regretted the decision to euthanize.

Not once.

Grief is different than regret. We all grieve when a loved one is no longer physically present, but once the raw emotions of the immediate loss have passed, owners report a sense of peace, knowing that they were there for their companions when they needed them most. With time, the happy memories of lives shared are what endure.

To quote Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

 

 

Dr. Jennifer Coates

 

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Virginia
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18 July 2013 - 9:10 pm
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Thank you for the post. So beautiful. May we all be able to smile because it happened.:-)

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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19 July 2013 - 7:16 am
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Thanks for sharing this here.  :) Saw it in my email but didn't get to read it totally

 

 

Hugs

Michelle & Sassy

Sassy & MichelleSassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.

sassysugarbear.tripawds.com

07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

 

 "You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

The Rainbow Bridge

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8 April 2014 - 8:45 am
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A quality of life scale is something that can help us during the roughest times of the last stages of life, by allowing us to objectively gauge our animals' good days and bad days.

Here are some resources where you can find a good quality of life scale:

The book So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose features Dr. Villalobos' Quality of Life Scale

You can also download a PDF copy  here.

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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8 April 2014 - 1:13 pm
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Rene, thank you for bringing up this thread agian today..

I clicked back to the first pot before even reading the links you just provided (and still haven't...too many tears right now darn it!).

It was the FIRST time I read yor story on when it was ti e to say "good-bye" to your beloved Jerry. I COMPLETELY understand now why you told me Happy Hannah's current phase of her journey parallels..

Every dog's journey is so different. And quite often not anything like the vets tell you to prepare for as the transition journey moves forward. To "see" a path similar to my precious, precious soul Happy Hannah......darn it... trying to explain what I mean is hard......and it's just myself and Happy Hannah trying to sort through this and do the ABSOLUTE BEST thing for my beloved girl.......I have a "silent partner" who was selfless enough to share such an iportant part of Jerry's journey so we could all make good decisions.

Anyway...sigh...just trying to say thank you, that's all...just thank you.

With a grateful heart,

Sally and My Beloved Happy Hannah

PS And while I can still half-way think .....I did not know about the Pred. and constricting the veins.....and I realy needed to know that. Thank you.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

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8 April 2014 - 5:27 pm
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Oh Sally, we all love you and Hannah so much. We are here for you. {{{{hugs}}}}

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge

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29 October 2014 - 6:16 pm
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I wanted to let you know about a very pawesome animal communicator and pet loss support counselor, Janet Roper of Talk to the Animals.  Her work is so helpful, she is a really amazing lady with lots of insight and help for coping with loss.

Janet is presently offering a special promotional deal, 15% off her individualized pet loss support session.

Use the coupon code petgrief914 at the checkout. Here's her description:

It’s hard to admit the time will come, but eventually we all will need to say a final farewell to our beloved animal companion(s). The death of a pet is not easy to assimilate, especially in a society where feelings surrounding animal pals can be ambiguous and undervalued. When others ask questions such as ‘why are you so upset, it was just an animal?’  we can begin to deny our grief in times of our own doubt. However, when you love your pet as a family member, the grief is real, painful and perhaps just as hard, or maybe harder, to handle than that of a beloved human.

To help prepare you and your animal pal for this time in your lives, Talk2theAnimals offers individual Pet Grief Sessions, which support you in assimilating your feelings and remembering your animal companion in your own unique way. 

Read more

Also, here are some free podcasts that you can listen to:

 

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It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge

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6 November 2014 - 9:57 am
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Another insightful article by Dr. Nancy Kay, about coping with the end of our pet's lives:

Caring for Our Pets and Ourselves at the End of Their Lives

Helping Your Pet Let Go

Chances are, your beloved furry soul mate pet knew before you did that the time to say goodbye was approaching. That doesn’t make it any easier of course. Our pets absorb our thoughts, feelings and emotions in ways we as humans are just beginning to understand. It is quite possible that your thoughts about your pet’s old age, sickness, injury, etc are getting in the way of them being able to let go.

Our pets often tune into our sadness, conflicted grief, worry and concern and internalize it as if they are the cause of your sadness. True, they are, but not because they are “bad.” It is important for us to “send” them the thought-images that whatever the cause of their impairment is, that it is not their fault. They are reaching the end of their life in this body, but they need to be assured that the joy they have given you continues and WILL continue even after their spirit is released. Talk to them outwardly and inwardly to let them know that this is a natural process and that leaving their body does not mean their spirit will be abandoned by you.

READ MORE

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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6 November 2014 - 10:04 am
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Lovely...so lovely...

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

Martinsburg, WV
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6 November 2014 - 2:41 pm
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I'm in tears over here...crying

  It's a beautiful article and very touching.

Sahana and her Angel Leland

Leland

November 17, 2009 - June 30, 2014

May you finally be healthy and running free at the Rainbow Bridge. Until we meet again my sweet boy!

Los Angeles, CA
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6 November 2014 - 3:06 pm
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This was beautiful to read. .. I made some mistakes on Shelby's last few days but I also spent hour after hour telling her 'stories' about our time together. I am glad to see that she probably "heard" me and that that was a reminder that our bond will never, ever be broken. 

It is ALWAYS hard to be the ones left behind ... always. 

Alison with the Spirit of Shelby fur-ever in her heart (and little Jasper too) 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

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8 November 2014 - 6:47 am
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Oh how perfect and so true.  Happy and sad tears here!

The Rainbow Bridge

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4 February 2015 - 3:39 pm
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Another grief support resource we just learned about. They also offer help for anticipatory grief during end of life care.

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

On the webpages links at the left you will see an extensive list of specialized help categories to click on. We are all professionally trained volunteers in pet bereavement counseling, and are here for you. Our beloved animal friends have brought us together, and in honor of them we are now all here for each other, as well. Welcome.

The APLB is unique, and the only organization in the world doing all this. Our services are free and available to anyone bereaving for a beloved pet. We pride ourselves in incorporating the collective wisdom and experience of all our friends and members. And we make that freely available to anyone who can use it, during deep bereavement for a beloved pet.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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