When I was 18, I started working as a veterinary assistant in a local one man veterinary clinic. I had always wanted to be a veterinary nurse and working in a vets was a dream come true and a first step towards my goal.
I saw my very first euthanasia at 18. It was the very first time I had seen an animal pass away, and I was hysterical. The image of that little brown dog passing away in front of me will never leave me.
However it is because of how upset I was that I decided to train as a pet bereavement counsellor. All I could think was if I was that upset about a dog that wasn’t even mine, how on earth did the client feel? I never wanted anyone to feel alone, or that there was no one there to support them.
In 2001 I undertook and passed the Diploma in Companion Animal Bereavement Counselling. In 2012 I qualified as a veterinary care assistant. Fate got in the way, and I was met with obstacles in my pursuit of qualifying as a veterinary nurse. So much so that I finally took the hint and concentrated on the pet loss side of my career.
I was one of the go to people when there was a euthanasia or a pet had come in already passed away. I would be asked to talk to the owners and try and help them as much as I could.
When I had my second child, I decided to make a career out of my passion and natural empathy for those suffering from grief associated with losing a pet. I set up my own business and left my job as a Veterinary Care Assistant. I use my years in practice and my experiences to help me to help my clients.
There have been some losses that I witnessed that were horrific, some images I will never forget. I explain to clients that there is not much I haven’t seen, so nothing shocks me or puts me off.
Slowly but surely my name and business is getting out there, and people are hearing about me and referring people to me. I am glad to be there for those that may feel that they have no one to turn to.
I also tutor a one day accredited cpd course for Veterinary staff, the Pet Loss and Bereavement Support Advisor course is provided by Innovet cpd training, and it allows me to train staff to provide gold standard end of life support to their clients.
I wrote a book for vet staff called The Last Visit which is available on Amazon and Create space, and this book was to complement the course.
Recently I have been to a local Veterinary Nursing training college Lite Limited, to talk to the students about the importance of pet bereavement counsellors and the importance of supporting clients before and after the loss of a pet.
Attitudes to pet loss are changing. People are becoming more sympathetic and I hope to be a part of a movement regarding this. One day society will allow people to grieve the loss of a pet in the same way we grieve for a human.
I love my job, I love helping people and being there when people may feel alone.
Find out more on Carries Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/cballpetloss/