A Newsletter and Resource Guide

A New Time!

As I sit here today, I deeply feel the promise that we have begun a new era in our country, our communities and in our own personal lives. This new era will inspire us to be better! It will also help us to be better world citizens and stewards of the planet. I believe President Obama is a symbol of our deep yearning for change.

Change will come from each of us in our own small and large ways. My personal commitment at this time is to do better each day at living my life with the smallest impact on the planet possible. I watched a movie last night that drove home my new committment. The movie is called “Our Daily Bread.” It’s a foreign film with no words…no need for them. It’s a TOUGH movie to watch but for any meat eaters out there, I encourage you to watch to the end…if you can.

My commitment is that I am going to cut the amount of animal protein I eat each week by half. Currently I have some sort of animal protein 3-5 days a week. So I pledge to lower that to 1-2 days per week and to remove beef from my diet completely, as it has the largest impact on our planet. I have to admit this scares me as I say it out loud! I was a vegetarian for 7+ years and found myself getting sick often in those last 3 years. So I will go slowly and do my best to eat well (all organic,) eat light and lighten the load on the planet.

As an animal communicator and a human who honors all life, it has been a difficult journey having a body that seems to need animal protein. I hold that things have shifted for me now and I will thrive on the new diet. That is the image I am holding for myself.

I am interested to hear from you what you plan to committing to! Feel free to share it here with a like-minded, animal loving community.

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All My Relations,

Raven

:: NEWSLETTER :: December 2008

The Aging & Dying Process

Animals naturally transition from a vibrant healthy life, into a geriatric phase and finally move towards death. Sometimes it is a slow natural process and sometimes it is sped up by life threatening illness. It takes courage and presence to deal with the choices and decisions around end-of-life decisions when facing the possible loss of your beloved animal companion.

As animals age, there is often a slow and natural decrease in activity and overall energy level. Our companion’s once “perky attitude” seems less vibrant. This might be a sign of illness and a vet visit should be scheduled to run a blood panel to assess typical geriatric issues. There may be easy ways to help our animals move through this phase and keep up their quality of life.

If an illness is found to be life threatening, the choice to treat, begin hospice care or do immediate euthanasia needs to be made. Treating illness is a decision best made between you, your animal and your veterinarian. Hospice care entails keeping your animal comfortable and well cared for without going to great lengths such as surgery or some form of “active” treatment. It may be difficult to assess the situation objectively because you are so close to it. The options listed below will help with your decision-making process.

First, have an open and frank discussion with your vet or health care provider. Second, use an animal communicator to discuss the situation with the animal to find out their wishes. Asking what they want to do is a vital and important part of the process. I realize this might be a stretch for some of you, but those who have done it find it extremely illuminating and helpful.

Finally, having a way to assess the situation from home is essential. Veterinarian Alice Villalobos has devised a quality of life scale that may help you in your decision process. It’s called the “HHHHHMM Scale.” You assign a score of 1 to 10 to seven different areas: hurt, hunger, hydration, hygiene, happiness, mobility and “more good days than bad days.” If the score is 5 or less in each area, she believes the time has come to assist your animal companion through the use of euthanasia.

Most of us do not make the decision to assist our animals with euthanasia lightly. It can be a painful and heart-wrenching process. Using the options described above can support the process and make the decision clearer for you.

It’s an honor and privilege to assist you and your animal companions on this journey.


Raven Stevens
Animal Communicator & Animal Wellness Educator
530-926-4339
M-Th 12-5pm