Journeys to Peace
Providing end-of-life care and bereavement care with distinction
“How do you do this work?”
People ask me how I can do this work: putting pets to sleep, being there at the very moment when life leaves the body. The honest answer is that it is rewarding. It’s rewarding to be trusted with such an immensely important task. It’s rewarding to use the most sophisticated methods to peacefully and painlessly deliver one’s pet from a life that’s become too hard to their well-deserved rest. And it is incredibly rewarding to bear witness to the tremendous love shared between a pet and its adoring family. The tears that fall beforehand and the mourning that begins with the pet passing away – those tears and that grief are a testament to all the meaningful moments shared together. I am there to see a moment which unites us all: the loss of a loved one. And through my work, I help to see the family through that moment and into the future when the grief has lessened, but the joy remains close to their heart.
I’d never say that it’s an easy job. It’s hardest when someone else’s pet looks like one of mine from the past, or when a name or a nickname is the same one I’ve spoken into a velvety ear. As you might expect, I’ve had to put down some of my own pets and sometimes another family’s moment starts to feel a little like the moments I went through and I find myself brought closer to the memories of the pets I’ve lost. But there again is something of the beauty of this work: helping someone else helps me, too.
Serving pets and families in their time of great need is my calling. Families most often say, “I never thought I could get through that, but you really helped.” Or sometimes they say, “That was awful, but you made it as good as it could have possibly been.” I give all I can to each pet and each family; knowing that the work I’m called to do meets an important need makes me feel fortunate indeed.