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working with the dying...

 
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 04:18 pm
doglover wrote:
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
Hmmm, this thread is not really helping me. Sad Its just bringing me down more.


As someone who has worked at a cemetery for almost seven years, I often come into contact with those who have just lost a loved one or persons or family members who have been diagnosed with a terminal condition and are coming to the cemetery to make their final arrangements.

Doing that job at first was difficult. But I soon learned from watching and listening to my co-workers that if I wanted to continue in that job, I had to learn how to separate myself from the grieving people I came into contact wih. I could feel empathy for them, but if I was going to make it in the business, I had to learn to not take every sad situation and loss personal. If you do, you will burn out quickly. You have to compartmentalize. At the end of the day, leave the grief and the sadness at the door. Appreciate life and the living more. Seeing so much death makes you realize how precious life is and how fleeting it can be.

What I learned to do was be a caring, strong presence in the lives of those grieving people. To give a touch on the arm, a smile that says I care, to be as helpful as I can be to the grieving family.

I think it has helped make me a stronger person when it comes to dealing with death. If you think of death as moving on to the next phase of life, it does seem to help. To me, all death is the same. Be it human or animal.


I'm of the impression that those of us, who witness death professionally on a daily basis, gradually come to view death as a passage from one stage of existence to another. Whether it be a dog ,cat or human, upon death the soul leaves the body and is reunited with it's Creator. This is a belief of mine, based on my religion and nothing else.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 04:19 pm
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
Acquiunk wrote:
A close friend of mine had to put down her cocker spaniel yesterday, her close and for a time here only friend for 11 years. It was a very upsetting experience. But the dog had pancreatic cancers and she had reached her end. You are experiencing many of these events and what you feel is simple a means of protecting yourself. You are not insensitive just reacting normally and appropriately.


Do you know if the dog was eating Pedigre brand dog food?


Why this specific dog food?
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 04:31 pm
Miller wrote:
I'm of the impression that those of us, who witness death professionally on a daily basis, gradually come to view death as a passage from one stage of existence to another. Whether it be a dog ,cat or human, upon death the soul leaves the body and is reunited with it's Creator. This is a belief of mine, based on my religion and nothing else.


Absolutely.

My dog has never eaten anything but Pedigree. She loves it. Is it somehow bad for her? BTW ~ my dog Kody, who passed away from anemia (a form of anemia common in Cockers) ate only Pedigree dog food the majority of his life. Could there be a connection to Pedigree dog food. Confused
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 04:53 pm
Was this dog food the dry or the canned?
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 04:54 pm
My dog ate Pedigree canned dog food. He died of a nasal tumor, that eventually grew into his brain, so that motor control became increasing difficult. It all occurred over a span of about 9-12 months.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 06:05 pm
LRR Hood.

I think it inevitable that you will become desensitized to the deaths - if you decide to stay.

I am wondering if you think this will make you a less sensitive and caring person, to animals in your own life, or generally, with people, too?

I see the desensitization as just part of dealing with a difficult situation.

If you feel that you are able to work well with the animals, and it has no awful effect on your life, I would see no reason to stop.

Are you having nightmares? Unusually negative feelings about life? Stuf flike that? It may be time to stop if you are.

Would it help to actully be there as a support for a few animals when they are killed? To really face it, not just see it?

I am always with my animals when they have to be killed - I also believe they need that familiar and loving touch and scent and voice - it is terribly sad, but just part of loving things.

To me the hard part about the shelter killings would be dealing with the stupid human irresponsibility that has made these animal lives so disposable - THAT would be the bit that would make me hard and mean.
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 07:08 pm
Miller wrote:
Was this dog food the dry or the canned?


Dry...never canned. Makes their poop too squishy. Mr. Green

I'm so sorry that your dog got a tumor like that.
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L R R Hood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jun, 2004 07:48 pm
My vet told me that pedigre causes pancreatic problems in dogs.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 05:01 am
Quote:
I can't figure out if its the animals dying that bothers me, or the fact that I'm becoming desensitized that is bothering me. I'm starting to think its the latter.


Becoming desensitized is your mind's way of coping with a situation that is traumatic for you. Could you imagine a medical examiner becoming emotionally distraught every time he had to work on a dead body? Or a doctor having to deal with a dying patient? Desensitization is adaptive. It enables a person to deal comfortably with situations that would normally be very upsetting.

The problem is when desensitization becomes callousness.
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 05:08 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Quote:
I can't figure out if its the animals dying that bothers me, or the fact that I'm becoming desensitized that is bothering me. I'm starting to think its the latter.


Becoming desensitized is your mind's way of coping with a situation that is traumatic for you. Could you imagine a medical examiner becoming emotionally distraught every time he had to work on a dead body? Or a doctor having to deal with a dying patient? Desensitization is adaptive. It enables a person to deal comfortably with situations that would normally be very upsetting.

The problem is when desensitization becomes callousness.


Excellent post Phoenix. You are right on target.

Personally, I could never become callous to another's grief or the loss of a life. But I have seen some people do that very thing.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 05:13 am
doglover- Over the years, I have heard stories related to me about doctors who have made remarks to patients that could be considered nothing but callous, and totally insensitive.
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doglover
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 05:18 am
When I was pregnant I developed gestational diabetes. When I was about seven months pregnant, my obstatrician (who was from India) said after examining me that because I had diabetes my baby could die inside of me at any time. I burst into tears, my heart in my throat and scared to death for the child inside me. He looked at me matter of factly and told me to get dressed and left the room.

Before the day was through I had a new OB GYN doctor.
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Miller
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jun, 2004 05:22 am
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
My vet told me that pedigre causes pancreatic problems in dogs.


Personally, I've never heard this aspect about the dog food. What I've found out however is, that in my opinion, most Vets don't know very much medicine. This becomes especially true, when they want to Rx antibiotics to dogs. Yes, the Vets passed their boards. Yes, the Vets passed microbiology, when they were in school.

No! Vets do not understand the scientific basis for Microbiology or for the admiinistration of antibiotics. I'm firmly of the opinion, that academics at the nation's Vet schools began to slide downhill, once the academic emphasis was placed on the subject of molecular biology.
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mchol
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Jul, 2004 11:18 am
Re: working with the dying...
L.R.R.Hood wrote:
I've been wondering how people deal with this kind of thing, either with animals OR people. Do you ever get used to it? Is it going to be easier when my own pets, or my own family members, die?
I'd love to hear from others who deal with this.


Dear L.R.R.Hood- I am a nursing assistant and I work in a skilled nursing home. I encounter death frequently, but the ones that sadden me the most are the ones who never had visitors during the last days of their lives. And then there are the ones who had family and friends visit everyday, or almost everyday, and you know that person died knowing they were loved. And then were are the ones who are sufferning so profoundly you sort of have an understanding that it's kind of better this way. I am not freaked out or haunted by seeing (and even touching) dead bodies because I've grown so accustomed to it. But the point I am trying to get at is that no matter how many patients of mine die, or how many expired bodies I encounter, it will never prepare me for the loss of my own loved ones. Losing a close family member is going to be hard no matter what, and that's natural. It's part of the grieving process, and you should never deny your feelings. I hope that helps answer your questions a little bit... Smile
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Eccles
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 09:04 pm
doglover wrote:
When I was pregnant I developed gestational diabetes. When I was about seven months pregnant, my obstatrician (who was from India) said after examining me that because I had diabetes my baby could die inside of me at any time. I burst into tears, my heart in my throat and scared to death for the child inside me. He looked at me matter of factly and told me to get dressed and left the room.

Before the day was through I had a new OB GYN doctor.


Surprised That's appalling! Good on you for having the strength to change doctors! However, I think that in that situation, the problem isn't the doctor's callous attitude towards death, but their inability to see the client's viewpoint and respond in an appropriate way. It happens a lot + it's more to do with how the doctors were ( or weren't) trained. These days there is a lot more emphasis on client interaction + general social skills so ( hopefully) the new generation of doctors won't be as bad.
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Eccles
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 09:11 pm
In this course that I'm doing now there is a lot of emphasis on aging and things which can go wrong. We have to work with prosected cadavers and visit homes where people are dying + terminally ill. It was an enormous shock but, like the others have said, you learn to accept it as just another part of life. I don't see anything sad or frightening about it. It just makes you realise how precious and fragile life is. It doesn't make you callous, callousness comes from not respecting life and the lives of other folk , not from losing your ignorance and illusions about death.

However, I think your situation is a little harder since there is no real reason to put the animals down except human negligence. I don't think that I could do that. Have you thought about taking animals to visit the sick and elderly, or , like one of the other posters mentioned, working in a shelter where they don't put the animals down?
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