A personal note from Tori Rosay
This holiday season is the one-year anniversary of Dexter’s passing, he was the store’s inspiration and mascot for 15 years. He was a once in a lifetime dog who had so much zeal for life – so in honor and memory of Dexter we are calling December – “DEXTEMBER”. It brings a smile to my heart every day when I see that Dexter’s memory and passion lives on through the stores, the dedication of our staff, and most of all our customers who never fail to delight, encourage and inspire us all with their beloved animals and their stories and sharing their journey with us.
One way I’d like to honor Dexter and celebrate his life and his memory is by letting people know they are not alone during a pet’s final journey. So much assistance is out there to help us all, be it in the form of your trusted vet, your family and friends, your local pet store, books, on-line services that offer much assistance, bereavement counselors, nutritionists, holistic health practioners, animal communicators, reiki healers, homoeopathy and truly holistic medical professionals – the list is endless.
I feel so blessed that I had so much love and support during Dexter’s last months. Although difficult to even contemplate and not the usual holiday topic, there is support for everyone, today more than ever we can reach out and get the help we need and the courage to make the best decisions for our pets. Please take a moment to look at the following information, or at least take note that Dexter’s Deli has many resources for every part of your pet’s life.
Thank you all for being a part of the Dexter’s Deli family for all these years. You are the reason we are still here. In memory of a dog that has touched so many lives and continues to and without whom Dexter’s Deli would not be here.
In deep gratitude and love,
Tori Rosay – Pack Leader at Dexter’s Deli
A Time to Paws
With all the joys of pet ownership that flood our daily life there is one that we must all face and that is their departure, as for the most part we will outlive them. The subject of preparing for end of life for both ourselves and our animals is not coffee table conversation while day to day tasks like preparing for tax or flu season seem to develop a life of their own. So how do we get more comfortable with it? We start now.
Helping owners choose between ever intensifying medical treatment, hospice care or euthanasia is an ever increasing difficult task calling for much sensitivity and care. Making the decision entails grappling with the question: “What would I want my pet’s death to be like?” Confronting this question can be overwhelming, evoking fear, anxiety, guilt, and other strong feelings. But also it can be a question that is empowering and can prepare you so that you can have quality time with your pet. It is easier to cope with making an end of life decision by dividing it into several more concrete questions. Such questions to consider can be:
• How will I know when is the right time to say goodbye? Will I know?
• Whose expertise can the family rely on as a basis for the decision?
• Does euthanasia make me responsible for my pet’s death?
• Is euthanasia my only option?
• Who else has been through this experience that might be able to help me?
• What environment is most appropriate for my pet to die in?
• Who will be present when my pet dies?
• What options are available for the care of the pet’s body?
The answers to these questions won’t be the same for everybody. An important part of this decision making process is to thoroughly explore all the options and their consequences – ethical, medical and possibly financial. Once the different possible answers to each question have been sorted out, it is easier to look at the new reality with a greater sense of control and one of peace and empowerment. After working with animals and the owners for the past three years, I see the need now more than ever to help people on that path and that it doesn’t have to be a dismal one. It can be one of the most joyous journeys we ever take without leaving, part of our divine contract with them. What a gift to help an animal go gracefully from this world to the next and what they teach us only through this life experience, about ourselves that we could never learn any other way. Supporting a dying animal is an art that can be learned, and benefits greatly from preparing ahead of time, before the actual hospice situation arises.
Elizabeth Allen is a member of Dexter’s Deli Del Mar staff and when she is not working at the store, she is helping pet owners connect with their pets through a variety of means. She brings people together with referrals, her schooling in clairvoyant studies and animal communication and simply by allowing people the freedom to express how they feel.
Recommended Resources & Reading:
The International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care – www.iaahpc.org
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement – www.aplb.org
Brighthaven – www.Brighthaven.org
Angelsgate – www.angelsgate.org
Pet Hospice Support – www.pethospice.org
Spirits in Transition – spiritsintransition.org/
American Association of Animal Human Bond – www.aah-abv.org
San Diego Pet Memorial Park – www.sdpetpark.com
Sorrento Pet Cemetery – www.sdpc.biz
Peaceful Paws – www.peacefulpawspet.com
“The Loss of a Pet” – Wallace Sife
“On Death & Dying” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross