Sunday, September 6, 2009
I am at the Second International Veterinary Hospice Symposium at UC Davis's College of Veterinary Medicine. Just like last year, this Symposium is again causing me to change my life. I am completely taken over by the idea that our pets are sentient, feeling, soulful creatures that we are responsible for. When an animal looks into my eyes, I DO know what they want, what they are asking of me. I never really admitted that when I was a practicing Veterinarian. Now that look, those eyes are the reason I must write and help Veterinarians and concerned pet "owners" to accept the death of their pets and participate in the process through Animal Hospice. Finally, here at the Symposium, are some good journalists, this will be on the radar now. I am no journalist, and am struggling to write and express myself. I am driven, however, to try to get Vets and other caregivers, and pet owners to know about Veterinary Hospice. Something about this subject, this idea is all encompassing and life changing. Sharen Myers LCSW gave an amazing talk, and meeting her, I saw my new passion mirrored in her eyes. She has worked in human hospice for many years and is starting Synergy a Pet Hospice in Oregon. She quoted Cicely Saunders a Hospice pioneer who said "I did not find Hospice, Hospice found me". She also said about Hospice that "It took me 19 years to build a house around a window." Hospice has caused me to rethink first, my own life, my ideas about life itself, and then infused me with a burning desire to tell other people what the animals want.
I thought, because of my health issues, I had to be at home. Dr. Kathryn Maracchino told me last year to "work to your abilities, not your disabilities". I came to the first Hospice Symposium. Since then I have driven 5000 miles each summer with my daughter to help people in New Orleans, and to just have an adventure with her. I think that has changed both our lives. This lisence to GO that I got from Kathryn in one instant absolutely changed my life. That First Symposium then changed my views of life itself. This Second Symposium contimues to alter my basic values and views for the better.