Author Archives: Kristi Lehman, MSW, LISW

A Place to Start (When You Don’t Know Where to Start)

This decision is not easy.  In fact, the question of whether to help end your pet’s suffering through euthanasia can be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make. So many factors play a role in whether or … Continue reading

Posted in End-of-life decisions | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

J-O-U-R-N-E-Y-S: A Quality of Life Scale

The JOURNEYS scale, developed by Dr. Katie Hilst, DVM, is meant to get you thinking and considering the factors that affect your pet’s happiness and sense of well-being. There are no hard and fast rules, although in general a higher … Continue reading

Posted in End-of-life decisions | 4 Comments

Your Pet’s “Bucket List”

Do you have a bucket list of things you’d like to do in your lifetime? Lots of people do, but have you ever considered making a bucket list for your pet? As our pets age and change, it’s easy to … Continue reading

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The First Rule of Grief: There Are No Rules of Grief

Most of us are aware of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ “five stages of grief”: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Very often I hear clients say things like “it’s been over a month and I still can’t believe she is gone”, or … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet | 2 Comments

Memorial Walk to Honor Your Pet’s Memory

A few months ago, during the coldest, gloomiest days of winter, someone had mentioned to me the idea of taking a memorial walk to remember and celebrate the life of a pet you’ve said goodbye to. The idea has been … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet, Memorializing a pet | 4 Comments

How to Pack for an Unexpected Guilt Trip

At our monthly grief support group, I have the privilege to listen to people’s stories and hear what they are experiencing during their grief process. Last month, I noticed a common thread between the stories – the presence of a … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet | 3 Comments

Caring for the Caregiver

In many helping professions, we are taught to remember “the oxygen mask.” This common phrase refers to the rule of thumb of which flight attendants remind us — you must first apply your mask and attend to your well-being before … Continue reading

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Permission to Grieve, Part II (Permission to Heal)

In addition to giving yourself permission to grieve, it’s just as essential to give yourself permission to heal. That may sound obvious – isn’t healing the point? Healing and changing is part of the grieving process, but the moments in … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet | 3 Comments

Permission to Grieve, Part I

When we talk to clients facing heart-wrenching decisions, we frequently hear apologies about their tears or distress. I always reply that, of course, it is okay and that there’s no need to apologize. However, my response never seems to do … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet | 26 Comments