Do you want to be with your pet at home as long as possible AND feel confident that s/he is not suffering?
Like many people, your cat or dog is a member of the family so naturally you want to be together through thick and thin. However, no one wants a family member suffering. The veterinarian and counselor team of Anne Stanland, DVM, and Peg Beehan, LCSW, have joined forces to assist the whole family. Dr. Anne monitors your pet’s well-being and provides pain management, and Peg assists you in embracing the precious last days of life together. While your pet’s health may be declining, certainly you would like to continue sharing the bond you have created together--as long as your companion is NOT suffering. Under Dr. Anne’s supervision, you can become confident in caring for your loving companion in your home. Learning to perform the caregiving tasks is only part of this journey. Many find that walking the last mile with a friend is an emotional challenge which can be eased by the presence and support of someone who understands its multi-faceted impact. Caring for the caregiver is Peg’s specialty.
I’m concerned about additional costs after paying for diagnostic tests and/or treatment.
Of course you are. That's why it is important that you be as much a part of the hospice team as your primary-care veterinarian, Dr. Anne and Peg. You look at what veterinary care is recommended and decide when and how often you want assistance. Counseling is available to help quiet your inner turmoil when times are roughest. You determine when you want the support of a counselor. Clients often feel that having professional assistance, either veterinarian or counseling, a phone call away during this time is invaluable..
I like having a hospice veterinarian for end-of-life care, but I don’t know if I need a counselor.
Like human hospice services, Buttercup’s Pet Hospice believes that attending to both the dying and also the caregivers is the best approach to achieve a loving and peaceful transition for all. Several clients have reported that they feel better after even a brief phone conversation with Peg. She listened and responded to their fears and concerns. Like recommendations for veterinary care, you choose when and how often you call or see her.
What if I am satisfied with my current veterinarian’s expertise and approach, but want support for the challenge of letting go?
Since Peg and Dr. Anne are committed to customizing their services, Peg can be available while the pet’s care is managed by your trusted veterinarian. We want to honor that relationship. If you choose to include Dr. Anne’s in-home services, she would consult with your primary veterinarian regularly.
My situation may be different than what you usually do.
We recognize that you and your pet have your own life story, and that your life circumstances are unique as well. The following case study illustrates one situation. The names and other details have been changed to guard the client’s privacy.
Jo is a 58 year-old woman who had been in ongoing treatment for a particularly resilient form of cancer for 10 years when she learned that her 7 year-old labrador retriever, Wrigley, had cancer too. During their years together, Wrigley had been beside Jo through her divorce, the death of one son, her daughter’s miscarriage, as well as her own years of living with cancer. Jo was scheduled for an extended hospital stay yet wanted to be with Wrigley as long as possible. She feared that he would die in pain. After Wrigley had a difficult night, Jo asked Dr. Anne to come to her house to euthanize him. Dr. Anne was greeted by a tail-wagging dog and a clearly ambivalent Jo. It wasn’t the right time. A week later, Jo made the same request. This time Peg joined Dr. Anne for the home visit.
Once again, Wrigley bounded to the door with a toy in his mouth. Jo revealed that another son wanted her to let go soon in order to prepare for her own treatment. Jo shared her anguish that her life was out of control, and she was being asked to make so many decisions. I assured her that because of their close relationship, Wrigley would let her know that he was ready before her upcoming treatment. That day Jo also recognized that she didn’t want him to die at home like she originally thought. Since Wrigley always loved his rides in the car and his visits with the veterinary clinic staff, we decided that she could bring him to the clinic to be put to sleep one evening after closing.
Ten days later, Jo called Dr. Anne to say that she and Wrigley were ready. She felt terribly sad but no hesitation about the timing of her decision. Afterward, Jo commented that because of the support and compassion shown to her and Wrigley, this process had been easier than she expected.
What prepared these professionals for this unique role?
Peg Beehan, LCSW, has for thirty years assisted her clients in grieving losses of all kinds. Her empathy for those with animal companions was gained from having loved three of her own beyond their deaths. She became a strong advocate for choice and compassion at the end of EVERY life while facing her own life-threatening illness years ago.
Throughout her twenty-year career, Anne Stanland, DVM, has always been as comfortable with dying animals as she has been with those in the prime of life. She attributes this to her awareness that dying is simply part of the life cycle. She focuses on the wonderful life that each human and animal has had because of the relationships shared with each other.
Buttercup's Pet Hospice is named in honor of Dr. Anne's beloved Basset Hound who was her loyal companion through veterinary school and early years of practice.
On the Contact Us page, we invite you to briefly describe to Dr, Anne and Peg who the animals and humans are in your family and share your pet hospice concerns. You can request either an email or telephone response.
In-Home Services for Dogs and Cats in Middle Tennessee