How I Hit Gold in Animal Hospice Education and Never Looked Back!
By Elizabeth Allen
Guest Blogger | The Caretakers Animal Care
You never know how your passion will lead you to your dream job. Callings are almost impossible to ignore. But suppose your passion has anything to do with companion animals. Ignoring that call is a distinct impossibility because, as animal lovers, we know how they can turn the Earth on its axis. Without them, we will not know unconditional love and eternal forgiveness. So essentially, it is the calling of all callings, and thankfully, I never stopped listening.
My first pet, a white cat called Fiona, walked me through many life changes and passed away from mammary or breast cancer. During her last year, together, we walked the hospice journey, although if you’d asked me at the time, I would not have been able to find the words to describe what was taking place. It was intuitive to follow the progressive path of heart-centered care and the indescribable beauty of unconditional love until the last breath. I promised myself if I recovered from this loss, I would help other pet parents do the same. Then, I began another journey. I set out training with a holistic veterinarian for several years and then gained experience in the natural pet food industry. I was deepening my love for animals and found I had acquired more animals than I should have, still living happily among them. As it happens, I would say goodbye to many. But what truly moved me into animal hospice was my precious cat, Elibrown. He had feline congestive heart failure, and we took him home to die. I did not doubt that he would go naturally because he was neither fighting nor straining against the outcome. Nor was I. When Eli exhaled his last living breath and stretched his legs to the next world, I realized this was “My Why.”
The “How?” became the next question, and despite occasional impatience, “When?” Mostly, I worked on animal time, nothing like human time. And to my great fortune, I discovered that Spirit had given me a host of veterinarians and holistic practitioners to keep me moving toward my aspirations. Working in a mobile veterinary practice for seven years, I developed a system to support the human caregivers and the practice, from client coordination to assistance at appointments, body care transportation arrangements, and delivering ashes to homes. Best of all, I took thousands of calls from grieving pet parents, and I could see that my talent was to offer them the gift of companionship and grief support, which we know can be transformative in their experience.
Oh, how my career had become so rewarding! One common thread was “we love our animals” and “I loved my work.” However, I saw a gap in care that was not being filled, including comprehensive hospice-supported end-of-life care for people and their pets. I knew there was more than one path to a peaceful transition, and I became frustrated that it was not offered as a viable option by people trained in the art and science of the end of life for animals. In those seven years, I had seen peaceful euthanasia but no options offered to those families who held those wishes in high regard. No options were presented to pet parents when their animal family members were appropriate for transition through a hospice-supported natural death. They needed the education and support to make that happen.
Spirit came to the rescue again as I found what I was looking for - animal hospice education, training, and certification through the Animal Hospice Group. And the exciting thing was I didn’t have to be a veterinarian or veterinary technician to make it my life’s work. I had indeed hit gold, and I knew it! It was inclusive of all beings who loved animals, those who worked in the field or those who wanted to, or people who just wanted to know more about end-of-life care for their animals and to support the people who loved them. In many ways, I guess the Animal Hospice Group felt like family.
During those nine months of self-study, learning from the Animal Hospice Group Founders, and developing a kinship with my fellow students, I moved deeper into a living expression of my soul’s purpose. The Animal Hospice Certification Program Curriculum is dense, with over a hundred years of cumulative knowledge, experience, and dedication of four incredible mentors in the field of death and dying for animals. I could confidently and competently give animals the gift of the natural dying experience and pet parents the opportunity to make that happen with professional support. The lively and expansive discussion groups always left me feeling full and confident that I could use this education to serve the animal kingdom.
Even before I had completed the course, I had quit my job, created my website, and written a business plan. I remember hearing many years before that most people are afraid to get it wrong and, therefore, don’t take those leaps of faith necessary for expansion and experience. I was not going to make that mistake. I leaped and have not stopped leaping! I’ve gotten many things wrong and will continue to do so, but I’ve loved every moment along the way, creating what I feel is an array of end-of-life care options for pets and support for the people who love them in my OWN mobile animal hospice practice.
This passion for animal hospice is like a bug, and if you have the bug, I urge you to follow your passion...
Because what are passions except bridges over which we travel to fulfill our dreams? And if your dream is one whereby you get to dive into the world of pet hospice and help animals die and their people live through it, then quite simply – you’re home. I knew I was home when I found Animal Hospice Group, their Certification Program, and Animal Hospice Community, for it was unlike what I’d found anywhere else. Though it was a journey with an unknown destination, with animal hospice and AHG, I found my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
|Guest blogger, Elizabeth Allen, is an AHG Curriculum Graduate, Animal End-of-Life Practitioner Author, and Healer. To learn more, please visit the Caretakers Animal Care website at https://caretakers-acc.com/, founded in September 2021.|
We would like to hear from you...comment below! And, if you are interested in enrolling in the Animal Hospice Certification Program, please visit: https://www.animalhospicegroup.com/site/how-it-works.
Please show us all that you like this article by sharing, commenting, and/or giving this a "LIKE" on Facebook. Photo: beautiful Fiona the cat (photo courtesy of Elizabeth Allen). Click here to read Elizabeth’s previous blog posts.