Written by Dr. Chelsea McGivney, Caring Pathways General Manager đź’ś

Having been an end-of-life care veterinarian myself, and now as General Manager of Caring Pathways, one might think that I would be well-prepared to face having to say goodbye to my own companion when the time came. The truth is, nothing can prepare you to say goodbye to a beloved family member, regardless of your experience in helping families do the same.

Jack was with my husband and me for 14 years, since we were active duty Air Force members stationed in Italy. We found Jack as a stray and, soon after adopting him, realized that his quirky personality and severe separation anxiety were likely the reasons that he didn’t have a family to call his own.

Well, challenge accepted!

Through the years, and many chewed shoes, couches, library books, etc… Jack eventually mellowed out and became a loving part of our family. Especially in his older years, our daily routines often swirled around our old man: the brief period in the morning and the evening when he enjoyed attention, his daily mile walk followed by a routine treat, carefully preparing his breakfast and dinner. And the day that we said goodbye to Jack was one of the hardest we have ever had to face.

My professional knowledge and experience slipped away as I became another owner in need of support from an expert. Caring Pathways’ veterinarian Dr. Kellie came to our home and immediately provided the loving care and support that we needed. Her gentleness and expertise allowed us to focus on our Jack in his last moments as he had the most peaceful passing.

I will forever be grateful for Dr. Kellie for helping us through such a difficult time, and I am grateful every day to work with a family of veterinary professionals and support staff that are able to help families that are also having to go through one of the most difficult times in their lives.