“I have no idea how you do what you do.” “This must be hard to deal with every day.” “I imagine you must put up with people like me all the time.”   Like any veterinarian involved in end-of-life care, I hear some version of “your job must be really tough, but I’m glad you do it” almost daily. Learning to sit with grief from a place of calm energy and peace does take time and practice, but end-of-life work is uplifting and rewarding to those who put in the effort. What drives me most of all is the cumulation of experiences which serve tomore…

When I first opened Arms of Aloha (beginning, as I’m fond of pointing out in speeches and interviews, as just me and a Rubbermaid box of supplies) and people would ask me what I do, I’d say almost apologetically, “Well, you know, I’m a veterinarian, but I’m actually opening this animal hospice….” Over time, I’ve learned to hold my head up and declare with confidence, “I’m a hospice veterinarian.” Animal lovers typically respond with some version of “I don’t know how you do it. That must be really tough.” This happens so often that I’ve advised everyone on our team to have a stock response.more…

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