As a veterinarian for the past 30 years, it has been my observation that the season I am most needed is around the holidays. For that reason, I long ago stopped traveling to my own family for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Years so I can be of service to my cat family and their guardians when my medical expertise, guidance and counsel is most essential.
Consider the following circumstances. Do these situations resonate with your current feelings and concerns about your upcoming holiday plans?
- Suddenly, your 18 year old granny cat looks so much thinner than you noticed before. You begin to anticipate seeing her through the eyes of your visiting in-laws or judgmental cousin coming for Christmas dinner.
- You realize that you’re heading back East to visit your family for 2 weeks. You can’t find an available friend nor can you wholeheartedly trust a stranger to give your diabetic cat 2 insulin shots a day.
- Who can feed Johnny Cat on a strict schedule, do blood sugar tests and possibly handle an emergency if he stops eating and becomes hypoglycemic because he misses the family?
You are faced with HARD decisions. Cost of medical boarding for a week or more may be prohibitive. Sometimes you are forced to make a decision that you and the family have been postponing. Is it time to consider euthanasia rather than risk the loss of a beloved family pet while you are away?
You ask yourself how you disregarded multiple e-mails and cards reminding you that Purr-Purr was due for her senior wellness exam and lab tests and now you are over-scheduled with holiday obligations and money is tight. That’s when I get the frantic phone call “Can you please work me into your appointment schedule for today?” Of course I can! I’ll take the blood pressure, run the blood and urine tests and interpret x-rays, while you have lunch next door to the clinic. Now the news: you need to give antibiotics or meds for high thyroid levels, or fluids for kidney disease. This is the worst possible time for you to deal with all of this.
This is when you need my patient, compassionate, direct, sincere, loving counsel. I listen carefully to your concerns – whether financial, philosophical, related to life circumstances, time constraints, prior losses, etc. I am here to help and if it is time to let go, I am here to hold your hand and shed tears as we say goodbye to our beloved friend/family member together.
I hope you don’t find yourself faced with a hard decision like this yourself this holiday season, but if you do, I am only a phone call away. I will come to you and help you provide hospice care and deal with all end-of-life issues and concerns.