Maintaining connection when Covid-19 is still a concern
The novel coronavirus has disrupted all our lives in many ways and it can add an extra layer of worry for anyone who is contemplating the impending loss of a beloved friend and family member. My goal has always been to provide the most gentle, loving, supported death possible, to allow pets to remain in their safe space while also preserving their connection to the people they trust most in the world. We can stay true to that goal, if together we decide on a workable plan ahead of time. Please let me know if you have concerns about protecting yourself or vulnerable family members at this time. We can preserve that sense of being fully-present for your pet, while also doing our part to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Location, ventilation, proximity and masking are all part of the plan.
Location is important because first and foremost we want your pet to feel comfortable and safe and we want you to be comfortable at their side. However, where possible we should choose the location which provides the best possible ventilation, or do what we can to enhance the ventilation. (When the ventilation is excellent we will not need to be as reliant on masking and distancing.) Outdoor appointments make this simple. For indoor appointments it helps if we can improve the ventilation by cracking open a window or door.
Masking is important because we will be spending some time in proximity. I need to be beside your pet to do my work, and you likely wish to be close to your pet, to give comfort and to receive comfort. If we are outside there may be a brief moment when we both need to be beside your pet at the same time, and for that moment we will both need to wear masks. Once I step back you can remove your mask and your pet will again be able to see your familiar face. If we are inside I will wear my mask at all times but, depending on the ventilation, there may be an opportunity for you to remove your mask if you wish once I have delivered the sedative, so your pet can see your face while they gradually relax and fall asleep. Once your pet will no longer notice I will ask you to replace your mask.
Getting this right involves some advance planning and collaboration. Our plan should take into account your concerns and wishes, your pet’s personality, your pet’s condition, the various settings available to us, your wishes for after care etc. The more I understand, the better I can help you. The more you understand, about what is possible and about what to expect, the better you can let go of worry, leave the details to me, and be a source of comfort for your pet.