I laid out my plan for Rolf as clearly as I could. He sat quietly as I nattered on and would nod every once in a while. Once finished, I let out a huge sigh and said, “Just let me down gently, OK?” Rolf is one of those people who when he smiles, the whole room lights up. He sat for what seemed like forever, smiled, and then said, “It’s a great idea!”
We spent the next hour and an half discussing why he felt there was a need for it, not least of which veterinarians received very little, if any, training for dealing with distraught clients who need to make the decision to euthanize, or even worse, can’t/won’t make the decision. Although he didn’t mention it at the time, I was to learn about “compassion fatigue” and how euthanizing animals takes its toll on veterinary staff – but that is a topic on its own and will be discussed in a later post.
Leaving the coffee shop that afternoon, my mind was racing with what my next steps would be. While I believed with every fibre of my being that this was worth pursuing, I knew that I couldn’t move forward on the basis of one vet’s opinion. My next call was to my equine vet, Dr. Mary Bell.