Pet Euthanasia Gone Bad

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A reader writes: We put down our 14-year-old huskie at the vet today. She had bad arthitis in her hips and knees and a skin infection we couldn't clear up, but the big thing was she had anal gland cancer. They showed it to us a month ago, and said it was aggressive. We kept her home on meds for pain and infection, and watched it. She still had a great appetite and drank up until yesterday. It just seemed like it was harder and harder for her to get up and down and walk, and that thing on her bottom had to hurt. Anyway, we took her and I don't think I'll be able to get over it if I live to 100.

Caregiving and Hospice, July 22 - July 28, 2012

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Understanding and Managing Grief, July 22 - July 28, 2012

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Feeling Pressured to"Move On" in Grief

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A reader writes: I was married to a wonderful man for 26 years. At the age of 45 he suffered a massive heart attack and was given a life expectancy of two to five years, but with pacemakers, meds, and various procedures, he was able to be with us another ten years. They were not always easy years, as illness does not bring out the best in any of us. Nevertheless, we fell back in love and had the opportunity and blessing of this past year. We grew very close and he was my best friend. We have a grown son that my husband cherished. My question is this: Why after only six weeks do others think my son needs to move on????? I'm not usually one to get upset at my dad, but today I shared with him that my son had a sad day yesterday. His response was that he would "have a talk with him about moving on." I am so angry right now. Why can't people educate themselves on the grief process and understand if we don't deal with it now, it could cause problems in the future? I tried to help my dad understand, but no way can you win with him. I love him dearly, but he has no clue. My son is going out as usual, and he just left for a holiday with friends. So what if he has a bad or sad day? His dad was his best friend as well as his father! Another reason for me to really think about moving as far as I can get from here once a year has passed. Sorry, but I just needed to vent.

Caregiving and Hospice, July 15 - July 21, 2012

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How Do You Know When to Contact Hospice?

A reader writes: My mother died this past December and my dad has been in the hospital since mid-December. They are releasing my dad this week and we are searching for a nursing home. Here is my problem: My brother and his wife feel very strongly about getting hospice involved. (They live in another state and are not here to help me.) We waited too long with my mom and she died before we contacted hospice. I am not getting any opinion from my dad's doctor about how much time he has left, and I realize they don't know that for certain. My question is how do we know when to contact hospice? Can they help us if my dad is in a nursing home? What exactly would they do, if my dad is in a nursing home? My brother wants to find an in-patient hospice, but I don't know if that is the way to go. Any advice or information you can tell me would be great. Thank you so much.

Caregiving and Hospice, July 8 - July 14, 2012

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Coping with Pet Loss, July 8 - July 14, 2012

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Caregiving and Hospice, July 1 - July 7, 2012

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Understanding and Managing Grief, July 1 - July 7, 2012

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Voices of Experience: A Toddler in the World of Grief

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Harry Proudfoot lost his wife Jane to neuroendocrine tumor cancer (NET) in December, 2010. In the wake of that devastating loss, he decided the most effective way he could move through his grief was to go after with a vengeance the disease that killed his beloved. The result is his foundation, Walking with Jane, which you can read about here. Still, in the poignant piece he shares with us below, the author acknowledges his struggle to maintain his balance and stay on his feet as he continues learning to walk this difficult path of grief.  

At eighteen months a child is a toddler. The child walks, after a fashion, but sometimes--and for no apparent reason--falls on its butt. Sometimes the surprise induces laughter, sometimes tears. The child can speak, also after a fashion. It communicates in rudimentary words about the most basic of wants and needs--and tears and howls are still a major --though decreasing--part of the package.

Caregiving and Hospice, June 24 - June 30, 2012

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