Workshops & Events
Animal Hospice from the Perspective
of the Veterinarian, the Animals and their People
4 hour Teleclass: two sessions, 2 hours each
Offered On Demand, to take anytime at your convenience
Reduced in price--from $119 to $48--so everyone interested in learning about how we can best care for our animals during the challening end-of-life period has easy and affordable access to this information. The $48 fee includes 4 hours of audio recordings and a supplemental handout package with resource suggestions.
To Purchase click here.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND:
This class is ideal for anyone who wants to further understand what animal hospice is and is not, and to benefit from emotional, spiritual and practical support regarding preparation for and being present with our animals during our end of life period of time together.
CONTENT AND PURPOSE:
At the first indication of a serious health condition with our animals we usually gear ourselves into action to find and provide the best possible care for them. It is often a time of exploring every potential treatment known for the condition, a time of moving all energies toward physical healing. It is a time of hope.
And in the instances when the time comes that it is clear that our animal’s condition will not heal and is terminal, we are then presented with the painful challenge to surrender to what we cannot change--that our loved one will die. This shift from providing the best possible quality of life to the best possible quality of end-of-life time is an essential one that our animals deserve. However, it compels us to face our own pain rather than run from it. Perhaps, this is the emotional core of hospice for us: acceptance versus resistance of the impending death of our love one, and acceptance versus resistance of our own emotional pain of anticipatory grief. This energy of acceptance gently and significantly reduces suffering and invites in the presence of peace and grace. It opens the door for what Dr. Karen Randall of Solace Veterinary Hospice calls moments of “joy therapy” for every day that we have left with our animals.
It can be hard to come to such acceptance and to not be overwhelmed by our anticipatory grief. Preparing to say goodbye to someone we profoundly love is not easy. We all need loving support and practical assistance during these times. The energetic, emotional and spiritual issues of hospice as well as the practical issues of physical care are covered in this class to provide you with such support. You’ll hear stories about real people and animals and the journeys they have experienced, as well as specific guidelines and practical tips to help you through the sacred and challenging time of hospice with your beloved animal.
And what is hospice on the philosophical level? What does it involve? Hospice is a time when we decide to forego further extensive medical treatments and hospitalization to focus on the palliative care and emotional and physical comfort of our love one for their remaining time on earth. Hospice may also mean we’ve made a decision to provide a time of quality life at home for our animals rather than deciding to have them euthanized just because their condition is terminal with no possible cure. However, hospice does not preclude the choice of euthanasia. There are instances when suffering and pain become unbearable and untreatable, and euthanasia is the only choice to allow our beloved animals a dignified, pain free death. As Dr. Karen Randall of Solace Veterinary Hospice says, “hospice neither hastens or delays death.” It is a time of pain free, quality of life before death.
The decisions we make with our animals and on behalf of our animals--with medical information from our veterinarians about which choice may be best at a given time in our animals’ end of life journey--are private ones, sacred ones and are unique to each situation. There is no one way to die that is right for every animal. The choices of euthanasia or unassisted death can both be part of a hospice experience. Each situation, each set of circumstances and perhaps most importantly the desires of each individual animal, are different. One of the purposes of hospice time is to be present and quietly attuned with our animals, helping us know what they want and what they need.
In her article Is Veterinary Pet Hospice Right for You? Laurel Lagoni, of VeterinaryWisdom.com and a pioneer of pet loss grief services at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital says:
In most cases, a pet hospice is not a specific place. Rather, it’s a philosophy of care that offers an alternative to extended treatments and repeated hospitalizations for your pet. However, pet hospice doesn’t replace the option of a well planned, sensitively conducted euthanasia. When it’s time, pet hospice programs can help facilitate a peaceful death in your pet’s familiar home environment or in a home like setting called a “comfort room” at your veterinary clinic.
The purpose of the class is to inform, educate and support you, not to attempt to impose dictates of right or wrong ways of managing this difficult time, or to judge your decisions.
I hope you will enjoy this panel discussion of professionals as they share their expertise, insights, and perspectives and stories from years of client support and integrative hospice care for beloved animal family members.
May you be inspired, informed and supported on your own journeys of acceptance, grace and service during hospice with your animal loved ones.
With Love and Blessings to you and the animals you love,
Issues that are addressed in the teleclass:
This features panelists Dr. Karen Randall, DVM, and professional animal communicators Kristin Thompson and Carol Schultz class is moderated by Teresa Wagner .
You will receive guidance for both practical issues of physical care and the emotional and spiritual aspects of providing hospice care with your animal loved ones. You'll hear stories about real people and animals and the journeys they have experienced, as well as specific guidelines and tips to help you through the sacred time of hospice with your beloved animal.
• Hospice as a focus on “caring vs. curing”
• How is animal hospice different from human hospice? How is home hospice for animals different from sanctuaries that take in older animals for the rest of their lives until their death?
• Does hospice mean “no euthanasia?”
• How animal hospice involves far more than home euthanasia service
• Tips for how we can all become more comfortable with administering medications, giving sub cu fluids and other specialized care that animals in late or end stages of life may need.
• The most important and best possible things we can do for our animals during their end of life period: Specific things we can do to make the situation the best it can possibly be for the animal and the person, things that are not helpful to the animal, and things that definitely are helpful.
• What physical things do we need to be prepared for during the end-of-life period for our animals?
• How we can best work with out animals’ veterinarians during this emotional and stressful time?
• Advice for those who use multiple service providers (i.e. a western vet, a holistic vet, an oncologist, an acupuncturist, an animal communicator, energy healer)--how to manage this to make it work harmoniously and to derive and share the important information for the sake of our animal.
• How do we provide love & support for our beloved animal when our heart is breaking at the thought of losing them?
Stories shared by professional animal communicators Carol Schultz and Kristen Thompson regarding:
1. Their most significant learning from animals and people they have worked with at end-of-life
2. Thoughts and reminders about what they found to be helpful when moving through compassionate dying experiences with their own animals
3. Thoughts and tips on how we can handle others placing pressure on us--for instance telling us that euthanasia is a bad thing, that only unassisted death is ok, or, conversely when someone attempts to push us into euthanasia when we may think it’s too soon. Or when we feel pressured into doing a very expensive medical treatment that is beyond our budget capability, or feel guilty when we can’t afford certain treatments or procedures
Comments from Class Participants:
This class was extremely informative from all perspectives. I took it mainly because because I have had to say good bye to five of my best friends. I had no idea about animal hospice and I wanted to know more about exactly what, who, where, etc..was involved. I was very impressed with the overall class. ~ Kristin
So timely for me, and Kristin, Carol and Teresa all provided very compassionate and gentle guidance to navigate these very difficult and emotional waters. It was just what I was hoping for. It is the perfect class for someone who has just had a close animal friend transition or is about to have one do so. It gives you some of the medical options and things to keep in mind as well as how to deal with it on both an emotional and spiritual level. ~ Ellie
I would definitely recommend this class to others. The most positive experience was listening to Dr. Randall because i am hoping to get into animal hospice work and possibly open a hospice in my area. ~ Veronica
I feel so much more prepared now for when the hospice time comes for my animals. I thought hospice was a "place" and now understand it is a philosophy of care. I don't look forward to the day when this comes for my little ones, but I feel I now have support, knowledge and tools to help me. Thank you!
I especially enjoyed part 2 from the animals perspective. I am a animal Reiki practitioner as well as a person who has had to make some tough decisions recently regarding my animal companions passing. I found the class to be extremely helpful. It was very informative, understanding, insightful, compassionate, honest, and helpful. Highly recommend. ~Kirsten