she shared cake and pizza with all of her friends..she even let odie have some and she doesn't like him very much cuz he scares her when he tries to play.
i no longer feel like crying..thank god ray from dewdney enterprises came out on thanksgiving sunday afternoon and fixed the water system cuz even with filling the tanks, we still couldn't get any water and i was beyond frustrated with the thought of a couple of more days with no water.
it occurs to me that most folks really do not have a clue what palliative care means. it does not mean you hasten the end of life at the first sign of illness. it does not mean that impending death becomes some beautiful, or magical moments of warm and fuzzy fantasy. it means that you provide the support for humans or animals to meet the end of their lives in relative comfort.
you cannot remove every symptom of impending death..you cannot make anyone feel 100% great and wonderful til they take that very last breath.
but what you can do is help them to minimize the symptoms, to support them when they need extra care, to provide them with the some of the basics, like pain medication, adequate food and fluids, clean and comfortable beds. you can try to make each day as easy as you possibly can and you can try to bring some kindness and caring to brighten their day.
and in the animal's cases..when they decide that they are done and life is just too hard and not worth getting up for anymore...then you can help them to pass peacefully away.
i don't know where we got this idea that birth and death are supposed to be a piece of cake. the two biggest and most profound challenges all of us at some time face are both the beginning of our lives and the ending of our lives. and neither need to be torturous but they do require some participation on our part in the process too.
we had a visitor here today, and after 5 minutes of meeting rock, she thought he should be let go.
there is no doubt that rock has only a very short time left here..but...he is still attached to being alive. he is not his vibrant healthy self any more, he is in fact getting close to the end of his road. but he still wants to come out, he still wants to eat and drink, he still wants to share some quiet affection with his friends. the rock is an incredibly strong cat..he had to be to survive some of the horrors that he has seen. and i don't know how to explain to someone who doesn't know him, that today the rock is not quite ready...but maybe tomorrow he will be.
when my mother was terminal with cancer and very near to the end of her life..she was invited to speak to the doctors and nurses at her local hospital because before her illness my mother was a nurse with a masters degree specializing in end of life care. it was a great opportunity for the medical caregivers to ask some of the questions of another professional who now knew both sides of the end of life fence.
one of the doctors asked her...how did it feel to be dying? my mother said there is no such thing as dying...you were either alive or you were dead. my mother died in my arms and i learned thru caring for her that the process of death is not meant to be easy. we do struggle to be born, and we do struggle to live and we do struggle when death is standing right next to us.
and it is the VALUE of each moment of life that is unique to each of us. some want to go quickly, so fast that they do not even notice the ending of their days. some want to hold on for as long as they possibly can, to them each moment is infinitely precious, they don't want to let go and some fall somewhere in the middle..ok to keep going as long as they feel not too bad.
and so i watch the rock carefully, waiting for him to say that he has had enough of living today. he is a small cat and i can do that for him because i can be at a clinic with him within 30 minutes or less... 24 hours a day.
there are times that i step in and i hasten our animals end and i do it for many different reasons but i prefer if able to let death come to them on their terms...ready to step in and ease their passing but respectful that they do in fact have some say when they think they are ready to let go.
to me this is palliative care for our animals...helping and supporting them thru the process of ending their lives..it is not about just arbitrarily taking their lives..it is about helping them peacefully end their lives when they are ready.
I totally agree that animals should be cared for and made as comfortable as possible until the end. I've taken over the care of my grandmother's 2 elderly horses (29 and 33 yrs) since she had a stroke. At one boarding place I went to, the owner suggested ending their lives just because it takes a bit of extra work to prepare their food so they can chew it. I was pretty upset with that and definitely won't be boarding them there! She obviously didn't agree with taking care of older horses and said she puts hers down when they get old. So unfair after a lifetime of serving humans!