Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Quote for the Day

"I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself."

 ~ Brittany RenĂ©e

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Elderly and Special Needs - You Call that Hospice?

A picture of Coby, one of New England pet Hospice's mascots     At New England Pet Hospice, we care for elderly and special needs animals as well as those who have a terminal diagnosis.  This is one of the few areas we differ from the human hospice model.  In human hospice, the patient must be diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than 6 months to live (some hospices accept patients with a 12 month prognosis).

     Why the different standard?

     Because of euthanasia. It is widely accepted that the vast majority of pets in our country will be put to sleep (except for those who die of traumatic injury). This has a direct impact on our elderly and special needs animals in many ways, but especially in three ways:

    1.  Quality of Life.   The Quality of Life scales used to judge when a terminally ill animal is ready for euthanasia are equally applied to our animals who are elderly or have special needs. And all of our elderly and special needs animals will "fail" that test at some point (or points) in their life, almost always within a year and often within a few months.  While some families may have the knowledge and muster the strength to carry on without support, many - or perhaps even most - will not.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

But What if I DON'T Feel Thankful?

A picture of Heather's beloved companion, Kiko
     Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday Season that can be devastatingly hard for those who are struggling with loss. And Thanksgiving itself might be the worst holiday of all of them.  Not only are you required to be happy, but also to be thankful. If you have lost an animal recently, those around you may expect you to be especially thankful for the time you shared with your beloved companion.

     But here's the truth: it is perfectly normal to have a hard time mustering thankfulness when you are caring for an ill animal or mourning.

     The expectation that you must be thankful too often causes people to feel shame and guilt.