What is a Pet Medical Doula? For that matter, what is a doula? You may or not have the answers to these questions but please follow me on this short discovery process to discover and understand the answers.
Honestly, I did not really know either 7 years ago when one of my clients called me her Pet Medical Doula. So, I set out to understand what she saw in me that made her describe me with those specific words. What brought her to that conclusion? Was it a fitting description? All great questions that set us up for a short journey of exploration to understand Pet Medical Doula.
In order for me to really understand I needed to do a bit of research. I did what the majority of us do and clicked on Google search for Doula. A whole bunch of hits came up and the majority were about Doula in reference to a woman’s pregnancy. The doula was assisting the mother to be with her emotional, physical, mental and spiritual journey through the pregnancy. As I read more, I was really understanding the doula provides support physically and emotionally by being available to assist a mother-to-be in one of the biggest scary and vulnerable times of her life. On a personal note: I think it is always helpful to have someone beside us as a cheerleader, or to provide a few words of wisdom and even to be a touch stone of belief when we go through challenging times.
Continuing to read the Google hit parade I came across the term Death Doula. My curiosity was peeked. What was this about? As I read, I was getting an education of what a Death Doula does to support the person dying and the family in their time of loss. Can you guess? Here it is: A Death Doula assists a person with a terminal diagnosis navigate from sickness to death. By assisting them emotionally, physically and by providing support based on the doula’s wealth of experience.
In the opposing examples above; the doula is brought in to provide emotional support, physical support, mental and spiritual support by giving the mom-to-be or the transitioning person a safe place to explore their questions and concerns. In addition, the doula can use her life experience and education to give each person security, comfort, and take away the feelings of being alone while going through this life changing period.
WOW, I was starting to understand the definition of a doula and then came across this definition from dictionary.com: a professional who provides support and assistance to individuals or families, especially during a medical or emotional crisis (used in combination): death doulas who offer comfort and companionship to dying patients.
This was fantastic insight but I felt like I really needed to speak with my client whom used the term Pet Medical Doula first to get first hand why she used that description. Here is what she said:
“I was in a bit of panic with my cat was first diagnosed with terminal cancer. So, I reached out to you to see how he was feeling. We set up a series of short sessions and I looked forward to my check in sessions. Knowing I had check in session scheduled weekly and knowing I could text you and you would get back with me as soon as you could, took away my panic. Each time we spoke it helped me understand how my cat was feeling physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Having that information helped me work with my kitty and the veterinarians as we established team Hunter. We were going through the treatment together and each team player was focused on my cat and what was best for him. The veterinarians can only be available for so little time. I never felt alone going through the cancer with my kitty. You would give me suggestions to help in giving medication or help in keeping him comfortable. “ Then she reminded me I made the series due to her request. The series was completely set up for her support while she and her kitty were in the process of facing terminal cancer and ultimately to the end-of-life conversation. Again, WOW. She had a clear definition of Pet Medical Doula and she was kind by giving me that title.
Here are my conclusions as to what a Pet Medical Doula is:
- A professional who provides support emotionally to owner and pet while facing medical hardship.
- Working as a health care team member alongside all other practitioners to help provide the very best care available to the pet and pet owner.
- Helping the owner and pet with understanding the Veterinarian’s recommendations for tests and treatment.
- Provide insight to the owner of how their beloved pet is feeling physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
- Assist the owner by educating them on what are the possibilities they and their pet will face on their journey together.
- Helping the owner access how their pet is truly doing while facing medical challenges.
- Listen to the concerns, worries of both the owner and pet then give support to each.
- Offer tips based on experience of how to help make the pet more comfortable.
It is very true, if you look up just the word Doula on your favorite search engine the majority of advertisements and information will all link you to birth doulas. But I believe my client was right: I am a Pet Medical Doula. There are not many animal communicators and even fewer with over 25 years as a Registered/Licensed Veterinary Technician.
If you are interested in any of my Pet Medical Doula sessions visit my website. Even easier here is a direct link to the scheduling page for an hour consult.