Why We Chose Hospice For Maya


Maya…Our Great Pyrenees Princess

I’d never had a dog as long as we had her. She lived in our home as a cherished member of our family. Maya was our baby!

Read more about Maya and how her family chose 4 Paws Farewell on Lisa’s blog!


Our beloved cat Ollie died on August 31st, 2016. We are so grateful that he was able to die at home, outside with us in one of his favorite resting spots, and  in a very peaceful away. Beth carried out the euthanasia in the most caring and compassionate way.

Beth had been Ollie’s vet for several months, ever since his regular vet had determined that he was terminally ill with kidney disease. We had done all we could for him for a little over three months, including giving him subcutaneous fluids more frequently as his illness progressed. In the very last days he could not eat at all and was having convulsions so we knew it was time to put him down.

Watching him steadily waste away had been hard. At the same time, we were able to pamper him as much as possible and prepare ourselves for the end. We are also glad that he experienced his decline in a compressed time and with the best possible veterinary care.
Ollie was around 16 years old when he died. I was blessed with 15 years with him. He was originally from Maine and came with me when I moved to North Carolina with my husband, Lothar. Soon after we added to the family a ‘brother’ for Ollie, named Leo. After some adjustment, the two became fast friends. Ollie was really like an older brother to Leo, who is still a sweet kitten and not too wise to the ways of the world.

Ollie had been an indoor-outdoor cat in Maine. A couple years after I adopted him I learned that there was a large predatory weasel hunting down cats in our neighborhood.  I had to train Ollie to accept the harness and leash and go on ‘outings’ with me rather than go out on his own. He became very accustomed to the outings and we continued this custom here in North Carolina. It kept him safe – and took some pressure off the birds in our neighborhood.

Ollie so loved his outings. He was my regular companion as I dug and weeded in the garden but would go out in winter too. It was our daily ritual. Ollie’s illness was such that he was still very mobile and still enjoyed and sought out many of his favorite things – like our daily outings as well as general management and supervision of the household, which he was very good at! Leo also had time to adjust to Ollie’s gradual separation from him as he became more ill. Still, we could tell that Leo missed him terribly afterwards. We are all doing okay now.

Ollie, I so miss your cranky, froggy voice that always made me want to hug and kiss you. Good bye.

Zoe's Last Best Day


clip_image002[4]Bubba slipped his earthly bonds today, Independence Day 2016.

He died peacefully, surrounded by love, and accompanied by wishes for a grand reunion with his beloved sister Violet

         and all the other special dogs who have shared this home.

                                                He was 14-1/2…

           and he leaves lots of paw prints all over so many hearts.

With love and sadness,


Love for Zoe

zoe-home-euthanasia-for-petsAlways by my side through life, now forever in my heart. Zoe lived a life full of love, big adventure, & service. I could never ask for more loyalty & a hundred years would not have been long enough my girl. You are so incredibly missed!


Live-on-in-glory-Kaiser-longWe, Nancy and I, are German Shepherd people, After our first two, Bruno and Zora left us, Kaiser and Titan both came to us via NC German Shepherd Rescue and Adoption in 2013. It was only 30 months ago, when he was 4 years and 11 months old, that he adopted me when I first met him with his foster down in a park in Charlotte. 30 months is far, far too short a time but he filled that time with enough love for a lifetime. He was canine mentor to our 4 year old Titan, German Shepherd Rescue and Adoption class of 2013 also. He was friend to Nancy. He was an extension of my soul, sent to me as a conduit mirror who we humans really are or ought to be. He rescued me, anchored my identity and secured my soul in a world so often in storm tossed flux that keeps the deck moving under my pre World War Two feet.

Kaiser-smWhen I was ill, he stood watch without having to be asked. When I needed peace and comfort, without being asked, he would come to me, sit by my right side, lean into me as I put my arm around those powerful and wonderfully velvet soft shoulders and while I stroked that golden
velvet on his deep thunder chamber chest, he would turn his head towards me, perhaps put it down on my leg and caress me with his gentle, always ready-to-love eyes.

I go into a sort of trance somehow to be reassured that he is ok. A vision dawns in my mind like sun rising behind a cloud bank hovering above a distant mountain range, and then, like the sun rising out of the cloud bank into the open blue sky, the vision fills my mind with a blessed brightness. He looks younger and is standing in a beautiful green and vital garden, inside an open ancient Greek style temple. My other departed canine companions and lost human friends are there but not in the foreground. The garden lies just beyond a silver stream I have come to through the forest, but somehow know I cannot cross. He has an aura of radiant vitality, he has a presence and clarity like a living super HD image on a horizon wide screen.

I know with all my being that this is neither dream nor fantasy, The most beautiful angel stands beside him and smiles as he smiles back. I feel from my guy Kaiser immense completion, joy and indescribable loving peace. The angel then reveals to me a golden cord that has always existed between his heart and ours. The angel then touches it lovingly. The cable comes alive and we know that we can continue to be one with Kaiser and always be in touch with him forever. He gives me that wonderful smile. His love gift, despite my waterfall of tears, gently lights a sacred, inextinguishable light in our souls. And as the vision recedes and I begin to move reluctantly back to my grief in my world, I realize: in Kaiser we had been visited for 30 months by an angel of light and love.

Live on in glory, Kaiser!




Meant to Be

Dan Krause and his wife, Mery, have had Golden Retrievers, two at a time, for most of the last thirty-five years. Here is their story about the love that they have shared with them over the years, written for Critter Magazine. Read Here: Meant to Be Below is a picture of Luke and Annie –


A letter to Annie from Dan Krause –

Dear Annie:

Yes, I realize that dogs do not read letters. At least not as far as we know. But none of us really knows what happens after we pass out of this life.

You and I had talks about that afterlife notion in these last few months during our walks. That was one of the things that most endeared you to me, your listening skills. You absorbed every word I said. What you did with those words, I’ll never know. But in our talks about religious traditions and about what happens after this life, you gave every one of those perspectives serious thought.

That was a skill I tried to convey to my students over the years, the ability to listen to someone else’s ideas. I told them that effective listening was an acquired skill, and it took practice. But I’m not sure they were listening.

Anyway what I wanted to say here is how much I admired you for how you handled a difficult life. When we adopted you and your brother from that shelter, you were recovering from a cancer operation. And your teeth had already been ground down from years of worry. I think if I lived next door to aggressive dogs they way you did for so long, I would have been grinding my teeth too. Although Annie, I could have told you some of my neighbor stories that would have you grinding your teeth all over again.

You watched over your brother like a mother hen and although Luke occasionally bristled at your attention, we could tell that he loved having someone watching his back all the time. Your experiences kept you from making friends with other dogs, but you more than made up for it with your relationships with the two-legged animals. I never told you how many people came to us to say how much they enjoyed you and your brother and how meeting you changed their attitudes about dogs.

In Golden Retriever years, Annie, I suppose you had a full life. All I say can is that it seemed far too short. We are going to miss you being at the door when we come back home, we are going to miss you asking for one more walk on a beautiful day, and we are never going to get used to not seeing you curled up next to the fireplace watching over the house and us the way you did for so long with your brother.

Just in case you can read this, Annie, I wanted to thank you again for your contributions to our lives. You were an important and enriching element from the time we adopted you, and your departure leaves a big hole in our lives. And if some of those religious traditions are correct about reincarnation and you do come back, maybe you can stop by and let me know you read this letter.

Rest easy, Annie.




Littlejohn was a great big dog in a modest size package – he had to be to survive his tough early years  without a home and keep his signature optimism.   Under the protective supervision of our German Shepherds, he made a splendid transition from feral dog to pack mascot and was eventually promoted by them to official first alarm sentry.  His endearing face and eternally youthful expression always promised  that whatever had clouded the day, it would soon be all better again.   He reached an amazing age, and Dr. Beth’s gentle care helped us to make his transition the safe and peaceful event we wanted to make it for him.



As my German Shepherd service dog, Teddy brought years of gentleness and devotion to my life, and often enough, also her wry sense of humor.  She was, as the song goes, the wind beneath my wings.  A sweeter soul, I have never known.   It meant a great deal to our family that, with Dr. Beth’s compassionate help, we were able to provide her a peaceful, kind and loving farewell right in that corner of the couch that she so loved so well.  I often feel here there, still.