Jasper's Story: Animal hospice from a pet's point of view

2022 animal caregiver animal hospice giving tuesday lori neumann national animal hospice month november pet hospice pet parent Nov 14, 2022
Animal Hospice Group - Animal hospice from a pet's point of view

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Jasper's Story: Animal hospice from a pet's point of view
By Lori Neumann
Animal Caregiver

Guten Tag — Jasper here! I’m a short-haired “tweenie” dachshund — and I’m 16 years young. My dad calls me his bestie, and mom calls me “Jasper – No!”, but you can just call me Jasper. My mom is helping me share my story today, because we both think it’s a really important one.   

The truth is, I shouldn’t be here right now. Alive, that is. We thought my time was up in June, when I collapsed at home after a bath. When I arrived at the Emergency Vet, the nurses swarmed around me — they could barely find my pulse. They lifted me from the car and placed me gently, but with urgency, on the gurney. My gums were white, I was in and out of consciousness, and I was so afraid of slipping away. No one thought I would make it. But I did. I DID! When I woke up, my mom’s eyes were all wet and my dad was pale and shaky. Then the doctor said some things that really scared me. Things I’ll never forget: “prognosis is poor”, “it’s just a matter of time” and “I’m so sorry”. See — they found a bleeding tumor on my adrenal gland, and didn’t expect me to live for much longer. That it might be time. And what did we want to do? 

Well, I’ll tell you what I wanted to do — I wanted to live! I wasn’t ready to go anywhere just yet. I still had a lot of living to do. I had trees to sniff, dirt to dig, squirrels to chase, and Amazon delivery people to bark at. I tried to tell my mom all of this when she looked into my eyes. Did she understand what I was trying to say? Did she know how much I loved my life with her and dad, and how I wanted to keep making memories with them? She had to know…they had to know — right? And they did. They knew because they understood the significance of having end-of-life options. They recognized the importance of animal hospice. And it was all thanks to the Animal Hospice Group, an organization dedicated to helping, educating, and certifying veterinary team members, practitioners, and caregivers like my mom and dad for better animal companion end-of-life care.

Photo: Sweet Jasper keeping warm

Thanks to their learnings from AHG, we went home that day, and I now have more time. More time to burrow under my favorite blankie, snuggled close to my mom’s leg. More time for long, deep stretches after peaceful naps in the sun under the living room window. And more time for all the love I have left to give.

When I think back to that day four months ago, and how close I came to saying goodbye before I was ready, my heart hurts. The thing is, I’m still here — enjoying my quality of life, thanks to the Animal Hospice Group. And while I know my time on this earth is still limited, at least I can handle things on my own terms, in my own time. My mom and dad can face this difficult situation and the challenges that come with it with comfort and peace of mind, knowing they’re doing what’s best for me.

I wish all pet parents knew about animal hospice — veterinary staff, too!

And this is where you come in, because you can help!  

For Giving Tuesday, your donation to the Animal Hospice Group will help more pets like me! With your generous gift, pet parents and veterinary professionals will get the tools and support they need to navigate the final stages of their pet’s journey. They’ll face those overwhelming decisions with confidence, compassion and understanding. What more could any pet ask for?

I hope you will make a gift today to the Animal Hospice Group, and help pets like me.

On behalf of myself, my mom and dad, and animals and their caregivers everywhere, thank you for your kindness and support this Giving Tuesday. 


Jasper Emoji

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Give this Tuesday, next Tuesday, or on Giving Tuesday come November 29th. The Animal Hospice Group appreciates your consideration and support! The Animal Hospice Group in affiliation with BrightHaven Inc., a CA 501[c]3 Corporation.

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