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The Art of a Good Death

Show Notes

Are we doing better? And can we do better yet?

These are the questions I had for Dr. Dani McVety, the cofounder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In-Home Euthanasia with Dr. Mary Gardner. Lap of Love is a national network of veterinary doctors who offer hospice care and peaceful euthanasia in the comfort of a pet’s home.

When Dani was prepping a family for a euthanasia one night at the emergency clinic where she was working shortly after graduating from veterinary school, her client said, “Please, can you leave her on my lap? I don’t want her on that cold sterile table. I want her right here with me.”

That wasn’t clinic policy, though.

Dani said yes. And it was at that moment, she knew that’s what every pet deserves, to be in the place where they are most comfortable … their guardian’s lap.

Lap of Love was born, and now 15 years later, Dani and her cofounder are advocates for ways the veterinary world can improve the euthanasia process for pets and their families.

After all, the word “euthanasia” is Greek for “eu,” or easy, and “thanatos,” or death.

Easy death.

Let’s find out what that really means.

What to listen for

  • How end of life care has evolved for veterinarians
  • The importance of honoring a pet’s journey
  • Why pet guardians need a comfortable, supportive space
  • How a better experience can shift the end of life process
  • Normalizing hospice care in veterinary medicine

Where to find Dr. Dani McVety

Lap of Love
Dr. Dani McVety (for speaking engagements)
Lap of Love Facebook
Lap of Love Instagram
Lap of Love YouTube

Transcript

Angela  

Are we doing better? And can we do better yet?

These are the questions I had for Dr. Dani McVety, the cofounder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In-Home Euthanasia with Dr. Mary Gardner. Lap of Love is a national network of veterinary doctors who offer hospice care and peaceful euthanasia in the comfort of a pet’s home.

When Dani was prepping a family for a euthanasia one night at the emergency clinic where she was working shortly after graduating from veterinary school, her client said, “Please, can you leave her on my lap? I don’t want her on that cold sterile table. I want her right here with me.”

That wasn’t clinic policy, though.

Dani said yes. And it was at that moment, she knew that’s what every pet deserves, to be in the place where they are most comfortable … their guardian’s lap.

Lap of Love was born, and now 15 years later, Dani and her cofounder are advocates for ways the veterinary world can improve the euthanasia process for pets and their families.

After all, the word “euthanasia” is Greek for “eu,” or easy, and “thanatos,” or death.

Easy death.

Let’s find out what that really means.

Good morning, Dani McVety how are you?

Dani 

I’m great. How are you?

Angela  

Oh, it’s a great day. Why don’t we get started by having you tell us a little, still a little about your journey from Danny muck Vette to CEO of a national network for hospice and end of life veterinarians.

Dani 

Oh, so you want just the little, just a little story. All right. So I, like I graduated College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida 2009. And as most of us can recall, the economy was collapsing, then, you know, the, it looked very different. And I remember when I went straight into veterinary into emergency medicine, and people were just, I mean, people came in having not been to the veterinarian, and many, you know, in quite a long time because they couldn’t afford it. So, as 2009 kind of crept through, I realized, for a myriad of reasons, this is the short version, that I was very good at euthanasia, I just found that I that I was able to, I was able to be calm, I took a lot of pride in the entire process. And I think it’s important to understand, too, that 15 years ago, when I graduated, we didn’t receive any euthanasia experience, education, euthanasia was what just simply happened when our medical knowledge ran out, or when we had nothing else, or when the pet was going to die anyway, you know, that was just simply something, it was always respected, but it was never just educated. So I began taking it under my wing just to make the experience good, you know, sedation of the pet beforehand, really taking the time with the family, maybe giving them a popper and afterwards, and, you know, it went from just me doing it in the clinic, to me offering to come to somebody’s home. And, you know, a lot of times in emergency medicine, people will come in with an elderly pet that has not been a veterinarian in quite a long time. And they’ll say something like, I know he’s dying, I know, he’s not doing good, I don’t want to spend a lot of money that I don’t have, can I just keep them comfortable until tomorrow or until next week when my wife or my husband get home or something like that.

So that was a great opportunity for me to introduce the word hospice into veterinary medicine. And I had volunteered for human hospice when I was in college. So I just I knew kind of just how like the philosophy of hospice care in general, which is just comfort over cure, right. That’s just the basics of hospice care. And so when I would say that to somebody, oh, yeah, we’ll just go in hospice care, then it’s, we’re gonna have heavy pain management, I’ll talk to you about what’s going to happen yada, yada. And then I would go to their house and a few days to euthanize. So, you know, and again, I just want to give a shoutout to my boss, Dr. Katie Meyer, she was amazing. And she really taught me and allowed me to focus on medicine that, that put the patient first. So anyway, I started Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, I was about three months out of school, when I started it, I thought it was just going to be a part time job that was gonna help me pay back student loans. And here we are 15 years later, and it went from just me in Tampa, Florida to now. You know, we have over 300 doctors, we have over 600 employees total, and we help euthanize over 11,000 animals a month nationwide. Yeah, so it’s, it’s just I think the coolest thing is that this wasn’t a job that just I loved. Because it sounds really weird. You know, you’re euthanizing pets. But it’s, I tell the doctors, I’m like, I think the thing that surprised me the most is that there’s other weird doctors like me, you know, that just take a lot of pride in it. And there’s a lot of fulfillment that comes from it. And it’s not, it’s not this, like sad thing that everybody thinks it is. It’s it’s sad, obviously, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. And when you have the right personality, which is not for everybody, but when you have the right personality, it’s just incredibly fulfilling position to be in to help families every single day, and they thank you for it, you know, it’s an emphatic thank you for everything that we do.

Angela  

Do you consider it more of a transitionary process than an end of life process?

Dani

You mean, the actual death process?

Angela

Yeah.

Dani

You know, it’s, it’s something that having just attended over, you know, a few, a couple thousand euthanasia is, it’s something that I it is so personal for each person, that I wouldn’t even want to comment on it because I have such respect for all different views and things that people go through. And I think it’s so important that they go through that on their own without even having my input. You know, there are some things that I have felt in my heart through my life’s journey. And so I feel like I can comment, you know, when it’s appropriate for families, and I’ll bring that, I’ll bring my experience and when it’s something that I know is going to serve them. But if it’s something that either they just need to have on their own, or they have their completely own thoughts. You know, I’ve just after being in there with thousands of people, everyone’s got their own opinion on what happens, right, everyone. And all I can say is what Mark Twain says, which is if they don’t go to heaven, I want to go where they go. Right.

Angela

That’s it.

Dani

Yeah.

Angela  

We talked a bit off camera about it. But I come from a time and a place where a bullet was cheaper than a needle. I know, there’s still that opinion out there in a lot of ways today, um, and then I became a pet guardian myself. And in 2014, it came time for me to say goodbye. And the experience was horrific.

Dani

I’m so sorry.

Angela

It, it shouldn’t have come out of the blue, but it did. I wasn’t paying attention to the signs, but then again, you don’t know what you don’t know. And so we had to, I was called by the vet that morning to say, it’s time, his heart is exploding, you have to, you have to put him down. And we had a clinic do that. And it was on the floor of a cold examination room. And, and then two days later, we went to pick up the ashes. And I was presented with a box that had a piece of paper stuck in it that was just a shitty little printout of that stupid Rainbow Bridge poem, attached with an elastic band. And it … I’m just at the counter, and this other young couple is picking up their dog for … from whatever experience they’re having. And it’s joy, joy, happy, happy, and I’m standing there holding my dog in a box. Are we doing better today?

Dani

I think all in all, we’re doing better, maybe. But I think it’s so pocketed. And even if we are doing better, it doesn’t mean that we’re always doing better. And that doesn’t mean that even if one little time something gets screwed up, or the person that handed you, you know, the urn was having a bad day themselves, right. And now all of a sudden, that just starts to domino effect down. And it’s, um, the story of the bullet is an interesting one. Because my husband’s from small town, Iowa, very small town, like people in Iowa don’t always even know where Harlan, Iowa, is. And when he found out what I did for a living, he’s like, people pay you for that. That was I’ll never forget his first comment. People pay you for that, like, yes, they pay me for, you know, and even now, sometimes we have people that will call in, out of anger and frustration, because we’re either, you know, too expensive, or because we live or they live somewhere where we can’t get a doctor to them. They might say something to us, like, what am I supposed to do just put a bullet in his head.

And, you know, I always talk with my team about the fact that we actually have to have a lot of compassion for people when they say that because it’s coming out of this desire to do something for their animal. And watching your pet and pet in pain is very, very difficult. And that’s why you know, up until a few generations or a couple generations ago, Old Yeller, right. The story of Old Yeller was one of the saddest things in the world. Because what did the dad have to do? He has to take it behind the barn and shoot it right, the dogs. So, you know, it’s, it’s something that is part of the history of humanity. And the history of the relationship between dog and human, you know, goes back even further than that. So I think we’re, I think we’re getting somewhat better at honoring the bond. And look, we have specialists now for animals, like we have these amazing things for animals. But we also can’t forget that animals and now certainly we have a different relationship with dogs than we do, you know, wild animals on the Serengeti, but the majority of the animals on the face of this earth and in fact, the vast majority of humans on the face of this earth die without euthanasia, they die without this instrument of death that we provide via euthanasia.

So, even though I think that euthanasia is the most beautiful, wonderful, incredible gift that we can possibly give at the right time, just because we don’t have euthanasia, or because your pet has passed naturally, or because you’ve come home and find that he’s passed away on his own, doesn’t mean that that’s a bad thing either. The majority of animals on the Serengeti get torn apart by a lion, right, or maybe not the majority, but many of them do. So the death process is always going to be something that is, that we feel as humans we can do better at, you know, but I have five human children, the birthing process ain’t that much better. It’s awful, awful, it is very painful. And at the end, it’s over, you know, and then there’s a prize at the end. And we don’t know what that prize is on the other side, necessarily, of death. But, but the point is, is that coming into this world is not painless, going out of this world may not be painless all the time. And in either way, I think it’s particularly being a veterinarian, it’s important to honor that journey people have, and then, and to just simply do my best at the, at the best time. And that’s it. And sometimes there’s people we can’t get to there’s sometimes when people think that they have to take it into their own hands. And if there are, if they if they care enough to ask the question, then they care enough. You know, it’s one of those things that we talk about it in our team, and just trying to, again, helping people in whatever capacity we can help them in, and the pet, obviously, as well.

Angela  

I want to say there’s a movement to more normalize the death experience of pets. Whether that’s born from pure caring for the animals in humans or straight up capitalism, I’m not sure. But can we do better still?

Dani

Yeah, you know, I think, from my perspective, where the normalization comes from, is the is trying to get away from it’s just a dog. It’s just a cat. And I do think we’ve done as, as a society, so I mean, leaps and bounds ahead of where we used to be. People, people, now the majority of people now understand that you can have a bond with your animal that even far exceeds the bond that potentially you’ve ever had with any human ever. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times and I mean, on a regular basis, people will say to us veterinarians, during the euthanasia, this was harder than the death of my dad, this was harder than the death of my mom, this was harder than and it’s not that it’s more important to you. It’s that it’s a different kind of loss, right? Like, it’s, it’s ripping away, something that was there for you unconditionally, never asked anything of you, other than to have breakfast and dinner, right. And, you know, just like, we just have this different and not, again, not deeper, it’s kind of like saying, you know, you don’t love one kid more than the other, there’s just different like they pull on different heartstrings.

So, I do believe that that has been normalized quite a bit, thanks to TV shows, and books and stories and news. And you know, the ability for us to share on Facebook, like, I don’t know if it’s just what I like and click on but every single day, there’s like five people in my life that are losing animals, I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I just the algorithm just pointed out to me or whatever, I don’t know. But it’s we have the ability to share these losses so openly now. And I do think that that’s one of the benefits that that’s come out is that we can just normalize like when you lose your pet, it’s just people get it, like they understand, you know, they reach out they say things and that we’ve gotten a lot better at I can tell you medically, we’ve gotten a lot better probably in the last 15 years. And I would like to think that it’s a little bit of you know, a wave that probably hopefully we started, you know that has normalized the process of euthanasia in the veterinary field.

For example, when I first started pre euthanasia, sedation was not always done. There were some doctors around the country that had been doing it for many years. But it was not something I was taught it was not something that were talked about. It was something that even sometimes today the client is still charged extra for and even worse is when the veterinarian will say do you want me to sedate beforehand? So to me like I as a veterinarian, I want to give the client and the pet the best experience possible. Now I will say that medically for euthanasia, sedation is not necessary. So medically the actual drug that we deliver that euthanasia, so that pink juice or purple or blue, whatever it is, that is an overdose of sodium pentobarbital. So giving an injection typically in the vein of that is an overdose of sedation anyway, so however, the pre euthanasia sedation what that does is that gives the family and the pet I do think that it’s, it’s nice for the pet, just this one step before that allows everyone to have a moment of calmness moment of quietness, you know, we jokingly call it sedation of the owner, you know, secondary sedation of the owner, because it just allows everything to like you see your pet calm and comfortable, you see them relax, you see them calm down. And you get this like, last vision of your pet calm and comfortable and yet still alive. And then you give that second sedation or second injection, the euthanasia solution.

Now, if you want to get one step further, the first sedate the first injection is given in the muscle or in the under the skin. And it’s typically, like it requires less restraint. And then the second injection is given in the vein, which goes directly into the vein, which then causes you know, immediate sedation and then euthanasia. So it is nice to have a city as sedation injection, that’s easy to give, and then you don’t necessarily have to restrain the dog for this final injection. So there’s a couple different reasons why we do it. But I really like to think that that’s become much more normal now. Maybe it’s gone from 25% of people would do it 20 years ago to, you know, ideally 75 80% of doctors do it now. So we’ve made strides and we’ll continue to make strides and even large slug, we’ve got you know, online pet loss grief support, we have an entire department dedicated to this, we have three or four full time people dedicated to nothing but pet loss support. So I think we’re getting better. Still lots to go, right?

Angela  

Yeah, the, the experience really does depend on where you are and what clinic you land at, right? Because I can remember as far back as taking Shep to his chiropractor in Calgary, Alberta. And they had a comfort room. Then fast forward a few years to the experience that we had at his end of life. And the clinic we go to today for Bella has a candle. And I’m not prepared to think about what the experience beyond that candle is like, because she only turns 10 In a couple of weeks. I’m hopeful that we have a few more years left. But how do we, is there a way to make it more consistent? Other than letting people know to call Lap of Love?

Dani 

You know, it’s one of the things that myself and my now business partner spend so much time on, which is lecturing to veterinarians. And we have been at all the major conferences, we’ve spoken for 10 years at the veterinary medical conference in Orlando every January, it’s the largest veterinary conference in the world. And we do everything that we can to get the word out, you know, and that’s, that’s something that we have never … I remember the very beginning, I had a couple of business associates that were saying, like you’re giving away your secret sauce, why are you telling everybody else how to do this. And I’m like, this isn’t just about us, this is about the whole profession. And this is about making it as beautiful as it can possibly be. And we don’t do this for business, we do it because we love it and we want to share everything that we’ve learned.

So I can definitely tell you that after you know, it’s been 13 years now of lecturing, that I absolutely have people come up to me and say you change the way that we do things you change the way that we focus on things, you’ve changed. So that to me, that’s the payoff for all the time and energy that it takes to do some of that stuff. And it definitely you know, we are, we’re very blessed my business partner and I that you know, when we start talking it typically goes really well you know, I think we talked earlier about people in the in the pet space and there aren’t always going to be, you know, a lot of outgoing people but my business partner and I were very outgoing she you’re not gonna believe this, but she’s even more outgoing than me. She’s just credibly dynamic human being and she’s hilarious and, you know, she makes the end of life care process, quality of life is one of her best conversations that she has are one of her best lectures. And we do what we can to make it uplifting and people laugh at our lectures and you know, just trying to bring a little bit of sparkle to something that we typically just have behind a closed door. And by sparkle, I mean like, catching that little, that little smile somebody has, as they’re telling you the story with tears in their eyes about how crazy their dog was when he was a puppy, you know, and just catching those little moments and kind of digging a little bit and just getting them to open up and, you know, doing something so, so beautiful, holding such a beautiful ceremony for them that it’s like, oh my gosh, I could never have imagined it would be like this, thank you so much, this was so much better than it could be, you’re so much better than it’s been the last 10 times or, you know, whatever.

And, to me, that just leaves people with, just leaves you with your grief, which is what life is about anyway, you know, you just have that. But what you don’t have is guilt, and you don’t have this ongoing, you know, this was a terrible drive to the clinic, it was a terrible drive home. And every time I pass that road, I’m gonna think about where I left my pet, you know, and just little stuff like that, that when we do it at home, it it just makes it just just a little less awful. You know, just a little less bad. And sure, there are people that are like, I can never do it at home, because I can never walk past my couch knowing that he died there, you know, and yeah, you’re right, there’s always going to be something but you know, at the same time your pet was in the most comfortable place he could possibly be. And the only thing that he could ever think was that, you know, that happened was a tiny little injection underneath the skin, just like a vaccine injection, and then they drift off to sleep, you know, and it’s a better passing than any of us are gonna get new, almost none of us unless you want to go back to California, or Canada. Actually, California and Washington both have a bill. Yeah. You know, unless you want to go back there. It’s … we don’t have that in the United States. But I’ll tell you what Canada does have its Canada has the ability for a physician to administer the euthanasia solution. And I was talking to another retired doctor down here in Florida who is very, very big in his lobbying effort. And she said that over 90% of the people that elect for euthanasia in Canada, over 90% of them have the physician give the euthanasia.

Angela  

Oh, wow.

Dani

You Yeah, huge. Trust me. I know, a little bit, I guess they don’t know the entire thing. Right. But yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s it, but I can I can tell you, what we’re able to do with pets, is that we are able to provide an experience for the people that love the pets, that’s unparalleled. I mean, I’ve given you the nasia solution on the beach at sunset, after the people had an amazing day with their dog and took them around in a wagon everywhere. I’ve given the euthanasia solution, while the entire family, you know, holds hands in prayer around the pet and saying goodbye, candles lit like I mean, you name it, you know, I’ve done it. And the what that leaves is it just it leaves the people there, like with this immense sense of pride that they were able to give their pet something better than they will ever have themselves. So it’s a beautiful thing, you know, and it’s something that that again, it’s unparalleled in what we’re able to do and be a part of.

Angela  

As society changes the way we look at pets, instead of being just a dog. The related pet industries have to change as well, don’t they?

Dani 

Yeah, yeah. And I think I think in a lot of ways they’re trying to get on, you know, get on the wave. There’s GPS markers for our dogs now. Right? Like there’s, there’s

Angela  

Professional pet photographers!

Dani

Yes, exactly. Exactly. Like they do nothing, but just the animals. I mean, they’re, you know, all these, these things in into your, you know, to the statement that you said earlier, is it capitalism, or is it a society that’s getting smarter and deeper and more feeling and thinking? I don’t know, right? I have no idea. I can tell you that it’s probably as simple as asking the person that’s doing it. You know, I didn’t I never got in this for the money. I mean, I had to make money in order to pay back my student loans, right. Like, I can’t, government won’t take my thank-you cards as payment, you know, for my student loans. But every every step they’re in after has always been do the right thing, and the finances will be there. Just do the right thing. And even now, you know, there’s there are a thousand reasons, you know, why we do what we do and money is not at the top of that. We like it has to make money so that we can continue to help people, you know, and when one of the things that that does break my heart is that we are more expensive than a clinic. But it’s because we have a doctor that’s dedicated minimum two to three hours for every family. And our doctors can only physically see four to five families in a day. Now, the average doctor with us sees two and a half patients per day. So in that amount of time, we have to be able to generate enough revenue to pay the doctor and the doctors have to generate enough revenue to pay their student loans plus their, you know, living expenses. And, you know, it just kind of goes on down the line. But so the economics of what we do is very, very different than the economics of a euthanasia in a clinic. clinic euthanasia is going to cost anywhere from $75 to maybe $200, $250. At an emergency practice, you know, but we’re gonna be an average of two to $300. So, you know, it is it just it’s, it takes a little bit more, but, you know …

Angela  

And let’s be honest too, like, vet clinics aren’t always the most lucrative business to be in.

Dani

Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Angela  

Especially considering, you know, you might be have 30 years in the business, and you might still be paying off your student loans. And you’ve got all this overhead of having a building to pay for and staff and whatnot. It costs money to make changes to further accommodate pet guardians for the transitionary phase, right?

Dani

Yeah, yeah, it does. I mean, it gets it. It just costs money. I mean, we’re not in a world yet, where insurance is covering everything. I think we might get there, you know, Europe is far ahead of us with pet insurance. The majority of people actually have it, but I can’t tell you, it’d be very, very difficult. You know, we don’t as veterinary, as veterinary field, we don’t want the pet insurance to turn into what human insurance is, I don’t want an insurance company telling me how to practice medicine, I went to veterinary school, you know, I am the one who can look at a textbook, and find out the latest and greatest in study data and make that applicable to my patient. Now, I don’t want to an insurance company doing that.

So it is, it just is the way that it is. And it’s what’s sad is that people, you know, people love to bash veterinarians about how expensive we are. And yet at the same time, get mad at us when we don’t have any funds to do any diagnostics on your pet, but get mad at us that we can’t figure out what’s wrong with the pet. And, you know, so it’s, it’s a, it’s a very typical field, but then on, you know, the last little piece of that puzzle is that you then add in the fact that the vast majority of people that are in veterinary, the field of veterinary medicine, probably aren’t really great human people, you know, they’re not people, people, they’re not social people. And I think we all thought that the animals were going to come into our clinic, by themselves, and then they come in attached to humans that have to swipe their credit card to pay for it, you know, and it’s kind of shocks us all when we get out of veterinary school, and we’re like, oh, my gosh, I have to talk to humans, you know, they have, and they have to be the ones that OK the treatment plan that I just went to school for 10 years to learn, you know, but if you don’t convince the owner, that they, that you are a good veterinarian, and that it is worthwhile to spend the money on this pet, they’re not going to do it, they’re either going to go somewhere else, or they’re just going to say, no, I don’t trust you. And, you know, or then bash you on Google and stuff like that.

And so we’re, as a veterinary field are very ill equipped to handle those things. And it’s one of the reasons I was on the academic admissions committee at the University of Florida for four years. And, you know, just trying to be part of, of who gets into the veterinary field, and are you getting into it because you love people. You have to love people. We all love animals, OK? Everybody loves animals. That’s, that’s given. But you got to love the people too. And you have to be willing to walk through the mud with them, and hold their hand and explain things and if you can’t do that, you’re just you’re never going to gain anybody’s trust, and you’re never going to be able to use the knowledge that you go to school for.

Angela  

I cannot begin to tell you how many professional pet photographers I run into who tell me oh, I actually don’t like people. I just want to work with the dogs. Who do you think swiped the credit card?

Dani

Yeah, that’s the world we live in. Until you get paid with dog kisses. You know it’s this is just the world we live in. Yeah.

Angela  

I wish I could pay the mortgage with the dog kisses and gas up the car with puppy breath. But no, it’s not possible and We have to learn how to deal with people when we’re in an animal-related industry and especially at that end of life phase. Yes, it’s so important to know how to approach and manage people because this is such a huge moment of their lives.

Dani

Yeah, yeah. No, it really is. It’s, it’s it is it is a defining moment of their lives also.

Angela  

Truly, because my experience will change everything I do for a pet.

Dani

Yeah.

Angela

Now and the way I approach Bella’s end of life will be completely different. Because, just because I know more now, yeah, I know your time is short. So I’m going to let you go. But I ask you for one last piece of advice for pet guardians, when they are approaching their end of life journey.

Dani

I would say to bring up the word hospice to your veterinarian. And what that should mean to both of you guys is that you’re no longer wanting to do X-rays and radiographs and all this stuff, you know, in ultrasounds and you, you’re focusing strictly on the comfort of your pet. And we leave that word out far too many times. So bring that word up to them say I just want hospice care. And they may not know what that means. But that’s when you can tell them, you know, those words of like, it’s just comfort over cure. We’re just wanting to keep them comfortable. That’s it. So I do think that it’s a word that we need to normalize in veterinary medicine, and I’m doing my part to, you know, to make that happen. But I think that that’d be very helpful for both the owners, and the veterinarians, to, you know, to bring that up and use that philosophy of care a little bit more towards the end. But also, don’t be afraid to stand up for what you want. I think that you know, far too many times a veterinarian might say to somebody like, well, there’s nothing more we can do. There’s nothing, you know, but go get a second opinion if you want there, there are veterinarians, you know, have personalities just like you do. And if a personality is rubbing you the wrong way or just doesn’t make something doesn’t make sense. Just go talk to somebody else. You know, you will find somebody with a different personality and someone that can that can share that experience with you a little bit better.

Angela  

Oh, wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us today, Dani. It’s been a pleasure.

Dani

Thank you. You’re welcome. Welcome.

Angela

My experience was awful. I’m sure you can hear it in my voice as I relayed it to Dani.

I carry that with me as I plan, yes, plan, for the future with Bella. It isn’t anything my husband wants to talk about just yet but — and this is something I’ve learned from studying under Coleen Ellis at Two Hearts Pet Loss Center — it’s important to have a plan in place.

Because we don’t know if a test result comes back awry tomorrow or anything could happen.

And I want to honor Bella’s life with as peaceful and loving an end as possible.

I owe it to her.

And I owe it to Shep.

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