Can Suffering Really Be a Matter of Choice?

When we have an elderly or ill furry family member, or our beloved animal has received a terminal diagnosis, pain, suffering, will to live and quality of life for living and dying become important considerations. A Helpful Definition of Suffering Pain and suffering are often lumped together, as if they’re synonymous. However, that may not … Read more

What Animals Want Us to Know About Living a Full Life

One of the many things that this shared COVID19 experience has brought front and center is the omnipresent impermanence of everything, including life itself.  That’s why setting the intention to live fully each and every day is so important, and animals can definitely show us how! The importance of Joy & Play I’ve been reading … Read more

On the Subject of Animal Hospice & Natural Death

In March 2017, Adam Clark, LCSW, AASW, interviewed BrightHaven President and Founder Gail Pope for a Psychology Today article about animal hospice and natural death.   This information remains very relevant to those who are seeking an alternative to euthanasia for their beloved animal family member. As you can see from our animal hospice guiding … Read more

It’s the Intention of Expectations That Counts the Most

After seeing an ad promoting yet another device promising to get your dog to immediately do what you want (in this case to stop barking), I started thinking about the unrealistic expectations many of us humans have of animals. I was also reminded of the prevailing and often unconscious attitude that animals are merely property … Read more

New booklet to help you help your animal!

What is one of the most difficult things for any animal lover and pet parent to hear? It’s being told by the vet that your animal’s illness is terminal. What do I do now? How can I best support my animal friend? What is the best way forward for our family? These are just a … Read more

What Does Everyone Love, Want & Need?

cat in blue jingle bell cap

I wanted to create a meaningful and helpful blog post for this holiday season, one that would apply to animals and people. I recalled a post I wrote back in December 2014 when I had my own personal blog. I thought it might be the perfect message for today and every day of the year. Although … Read more

It’s All About Love and Support, and It Starts with You!

Woman with two cats one dog

NEW BRIGHTHAVEN BOOKLET!!! BrightHaven President and Founder Gail Pope is putting the finishing touches on an important booklet called Following Your Heart: Navigating a Terminal Diagnosis. Her wish is to help you walk this often-challenging path with a deeper sense of peace, confidence and clarity.   ***UPDATE:  This booklet is now available!*** Buy Follow Your … Read more

What Really Matters Most Each & Every Day

Jonah-blog

I often feel uncomfortable when I hear that an animal or person has been given a specific number of days, weeks or years to live when they receive a terminal diagnosis. When it comes right down to it, who actually knows? None of us has an expiry date stamped in ink across our forehead! Of … Read more

Loss of Beloved Animal or Human, Grief is Grief is Grief

As BrightHaven’s Gail Pope wrote in “The Art of Dying—What Animals Teach Us” article that recently appeared in the Natural Transitions online magazine: “The death of a beloved animal companion is one of the most difficult things we as animal lovers ever face. In my experience, sometimes this loss is more difficult than that of … Read more

What About Quality of Dying?

BrightHaven President and Co-Founder Gail Pope and I recently returned from the 7th annual International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) Conference where we introduced the Quality of Dying Checklist. We met many wonderful and like-minded people who wish to provide peace, comfort and the best possible care to animals as they approach … Read more