Dr. Theresa Economos spent last weekend in Tampa, FL completing her certification in Pet Loss & Grief Companioning with Coleen Ellis. This event was hosted at the DogSmith Training Center & DogNostics Career Center.

Dr. Theresa Economos (Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice & Integrative Medicine), Coleen Ellis (Two Hearts Pet Loss Center), and the Pet Loss & Grief Companioning certification course participants.

Topics of the course included understanding pet loss companioning, understanding Anticipatory Grief, The Six Central Needs of Mourning, The Intricacies of Pet Loss, How to help the elderly, children and other pets in their Grief Journey, Success Drivers: The Lessons from Our Pets, and The Importance of Rituals. Dr. Economos has been with Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice & Integrative Medicine for over a year now and focuses her care on our palliative care patients and performs home euthanasia when quality of life can no longer be maintained. She felt this course really helped further her understanding of the grieving process and is thankful that her work with Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice allows her to help families make the best possible decisions for their pets.

“When words are inadequate, you have ceremony.’’ – Alan Wolfelt, founder and director of the Center for Loss & Life Transition.

The course ended with a memorial ceremony, where participants gathered to reflect on their own pets that have passed. Regarding Kobe Bryant’s recent memorial service Alan Wolfelt is quoted as saying “When words are inadequate, you have ceremony… Right now words are inadequate.” This is so true and why so many of us do feel comfort from a memorial service or honoring ceremony for our pets, whether they have passed recently or were long ago friends.

Dr. Economos believes her post-doctoral training in Pet Loss & Grief Companioning will allow for more personalized and compassionate care for families facing a decision regarding euthanizing a pet.

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If you have a pet you think would benefit from an palliative care, home euthanasia or integrative medicine consultation, please contact Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice, In-Home Euthanasia, and Integrative Medicine at 757-474-5968.