For Us, For Them

We're no strangers to the grief of losing a beloved dog around these parts.  And if you're reading this, chances are you have someone furry you loved and lost or whose loss you can't even bear to imagine.  This is kind of a heavy topic, so bear with us if we sound less than cheery about it -- but the good news is, there are new and better ways to make this experience a little less horrible.

Recently a friend introduced us to Lap of Love, which is basically hospice for pets.  Hospice for humans, as we know it today, really took off in the 1950s and provided compassionate care for the dying -- not only palliative medical care, but also attention to people's emotional and spiritual needs.  It's also helpful for those who are caring for the dying, especially their family members.  Lap of Love is just one provider of this service in Florida and nationwide -- a quick search of the In-Home Pet Euthanasia Directory also yields Pet Loss at Home, Gentle Passings, and others.  

Well, why not provide this service for pets, since they are family to many of us?  Brilliant idea, we'd say.  Especially when you think about how so many pets hate the vet's office, associating it with pain, stress, and separation anxiety.  

Calling upon a veterinarian who understands the principles of hospice care for pets may help both humans and pets feel more peaceful and more comforted in the end-of-life stage.  Lap of Love is one such network of hospice vets, and they provide a host of services: in-home medical care and pain relief for your pet; counseling and advice; a friendly and unbiased consultation about what is best for your pet; and the ability to end a pet's life in the comfort of his own home or bed or yard or human's lap.  This can also help human family members, adult and child, understand and experience the process in the gentlest way.  Pet hospice also allows humans to take their time -- in the privacy of their own home -- in saying goodbye. It's something to think about.  What are your thoughts?  Tell us in the comments.  We'd love to hear feedback on any of these -- or other -- pet hospice providers.

For more info on pet hospice, check the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC).