Written by Shannon Fujimoto Nakaya, DVM
Even as a veterinarian who chose to focus on geriatric and hospice patients, and even as a writer who chose to share my experiences in order to empower others who care similarly about their animal companion(s), there are parts of the journey that have been harder to write about and publish than others. For me, as much as I could write about Nalu objectively and all the practical ways we were making life as good as it could be for him, that place where my heart was through it all was something that I needed to keep to myself for a spell, to process in private before putting it out there as a case-study in animal care giving. I did write during this period and present some of my journal entries in the section Reflecting on Nalu, as one person's reflections over time.
Along the same theme, Dr. Joel Wooflson has contributed his essay, Tribute to Annie, describing life with Annie during her golden years. He also touches on knowing when her good days were drawing to a close and coordinating a graceful exit. Joel's Tribute to Annie is not just about a dog's passing, it is about the blending of souls, the beauty of two spirits -- one dog and one human -- coping with the bodily forms they were born to and transcending their limits.