It is our experience that individuals and families experience a wide range of feelings and concerns in relation to their pets. We have found that common concerns include: new pet owners, pets with behavioral problems, family/pet dynamics causing friction within a family, and chronic illness.
Our professional social worker can, upon request, provide counseling on an individual or family basis. Referrals can also be made for longer term clinical therapy to a number of animal-sensitive clinicians in the region.
The end of a beloved pet’s life is probably the most difficult aspect of living with a companion animal. In a sense, they are the children that don’t outlive us. The experience of end-of-life care and the bereavement that follows is frequently described as being one of the most intense experiences of an individual’s life. Myriad feelings arise, combined with practical tasks that must be performed. Additionally, both feelings and tasks can be affected by environmental factors, including people, other pets and external responsibilities and events.
Our support group seeks to provide a supportive, informative and nurturing environment in which animal caregivers and those who have recently lost a pet can explore feelings and concerns, as well as share experiences with one another. It is hoped that participants will enhance their coping strategies to enable them to make this time a more positive and rewarding experience.
Some examples of topics discussed during group sessions include: quality of life assessments for pets and their people, devotion to nursing care, support systems, insights and the ending. All that is expressed in the group is shared in strict confidence and will not be discussed with others outside the group sessions.
Attendees may call to let us know in advance that they are coming, but this is not required. There is no fee for attendance.