Saturday, January 29, 2011

Top 5 Natural, Safe, Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

     We hear a lot about allergens, carcinogens and toxic substances for us humans, but many don't realize our animals are even more sensitive to these than we are.  They are lower to the ground, smaller (usually!), and they lick what gets on their paws and fur.

     Ill and elderly animals are even more sensitive to chemicals.  In addition, smells can be disturbing to animals at the end of life and limited mobility makes it difficult for them to leave an unpleasant environment.  On the other hand, ill, special needs and elderly animals often require more cleaning than younger animals.

     So what should you doWe strongly recommend all natural, home made cleaning products made from simple ingredients you may have at home or can easily get.  Here are our top 5 favorites:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

4 Wonderful Herbs to Keep on Hand

     I discovered Slippery Elm Bark a number of years ago when working with a raw feeders group and always have a bottle on hand now.  There are many wonderful herbal remedies out there.  Here are my top four  "must-haves" when it comes to remedies to have on hand not just for hospice care, but for all animal care.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Mourner's Bill of Rights

Thank you to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D., founder of The Center for Loss and Life Transition for allowing us to share this wonderful resource with our followers. Although written for mourners of human loss, we feel it also applies to companion animal loss and the complex grief that follows.


The Mourner's Bill of Rights 

by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D.

     Though you should reach out to others as you do the work of mourning, you should not feel obligated to accept the unhelpful responses you may receive from some people. You are the one who is grieving, and as such, you have certain "rights" no one should try to take away from you.

      The following list is intended both to empower you to heal and to decide how others can and cannot help. This is not to discourage you from reaching out to others for help, but rather to assist you in distinguishing useful responses from hurtful ones.

1. You have the right to experience your own unique grief


     No one else will grieve in exactly the same way you do. So, when you turn to others for help, don't allow them to tell what you should or should not be feeling. 


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Preparing for Your Animal's Future: Social Aspects

     Yesterday we talked about how to prepare financially for your animal's future.  As we said then, even though it may not seem necessary now, unless you face a tragic unexpected accident, all animals will grow old and face illness.  You can take action now that will substantially improve your ability to function at that time - whenever it may come.  We hope it will not be until they have lived out a wonderful life with you and your family, but unfortunately young animals get sick and have accidents also.

     What do we mean by "social preparedness" and why does it matter? 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Preparing for Your Animal's Future: Financial

     All this week we will be posting about how to prepare for your future with your companion.  Today we address the financial aspects.  In the coming days we will also address emotional, social, physical and spiritual needs.

      When your animal is healthy, active and without a care in the world, you probably don’t give a second thought to the time when he or she will not longer be that way.  But unless your animal meets an accidental, untimely end, it is inevitable that he or she will age and very likely that he or she will have some illness or health issue.

       When that day comes, you are likely to feel overwhelmed in many ways – financially, emotionally and socially.  It is likely you will also have spiritual needs, regardless of whether you are a member of an organized religion or consider spiritual practice important in your life. And you may face physical challenges to providing care.

     What you do now can make that time easier for you. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Arizona Tragedy and Words of Wisdom from President Obama

     Our hearts go out to all those affected, whether directly or indirectly, by the shootings in Arizona.  We are grateful to President Obama for his inspiring words and ability to bring people together in times of crisis.  Our friend, Nadine M. Rosin, picked the following quote out of his speech last night and we thought it was perfect, not only for the tragedy in Arizona, but also the work we do here at New England Pet Hospice:

 ‎"We recognize our own mortality, 
and are reminded that in the fleeting time 
we have on this earth, 
what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame — 
but rather, how well we have loved, 
and what small part we have played 
in bettering the lives of others." 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our Mission - From the Words of Cicely Saunders

     Thank you to Dr. Ella Bittel for sharing this wonderful quote from Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern human hospice movement.  It perfectly sums up our beliefs and the reason we do this work:

You count because you are.  
And you will be of significance
until the last moment of your life.  
And we will do everything we can 
so that not only can you die in peace, 
but also live all the way until the end.

     We are eternally grateful for the work of Dame Saunders and Dr. Bittel, which inspires us and forms the foundation of all that we do.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

8 Ideas for Linking Objects and Why They Help

     When you lose a companion animal, the loss you feel is very deep and very real.  You may be surprised by the depth of your feelings and unsure what to do.  Many well-intentioned people will tell you to clean house of anything that reminds you of your pet or immediately go out and get a replacement animal.

     However, the only way to to get past the pain is to fully and honestly grieve the loss of your friend.  It is hard work and doesn't happen overnight.  It's OK to feel sad, it's OK to cry, and it's OK to want to have something to hold on to.

      A linking object is something that reminds you of your pet. 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Do's and Don'ts When Your Friend's Pet is Ill or Dying

     It can be difficult to know what to say or do when you hear that someone has an ill or dying companion animal at home.  Your own feelings, experiences and judgments mix with those of your friend and loved one.  Here are some ideas to consider:


Monday, January 3, 2011

The Beauty of the Unexpected

Last week, I was walking my dog in the woods.  The middle of nowhere.  Not a car or a house to be seen and we came upon this:

Someone had dragged decorations into the woods and magically transformed a small area into a wonderland - never knowing if anyone would see it and perhaps never expecting anyone would. There was no fanfare, no neon signs directing you to the display, no one selling tickets.  And for that very reason, it was incredibly beautiful and touching.

In our determination to control and plan the perfect this and the best that, we forget that the most important and beautiful things unfold without our doing anything and happen outside of our control.  We need only to be, to listen, to slow down enough to behold them.

Our companion animals bring us these moments every day.  In sickness and in health.  In the way they bury their faces in new fallen snow with such glee and complete abandon.  In the way they touch a paw to our arm as we lay suffering in bed.  In the way they look into our eyes, soul to soul, at the very hardest moments.

As you busy yourself with caring for your family and your companions, take care of the immediate needs and crises, run from one place to another, fret about this or that, be sure you open your heart and your eyes to the beauty of the unexpected.  It is there every day and even on the darkest days.  I promise.