A Petsgiving Tribute to: Dr. Jennifer Aumer and Grace

(#2 out of 4) — Dr. Aumer was able to provide peace and reassurance during a difficult time.

Dr. Aumer’s compassion helped make Grace’s death more bearable.

Editor’s Note: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked our readers to tell us who they’d like to thank for “Petsgiving” this year — someone who did something extraordinary for their pet. Here’s another one of our favorite responses.

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I would like to thank Dr. Jennifer Aumer, DVM, of Kanabec Country Care for the kind and caring manner in which she eased the death of my Irish wolfhound, Grace, by coming to my home.

I had taken Grace in at age 2. She had received little training in her 2 years. At 130 pounds, she needed a lot of persuasion to get used to wearing a collar, walking when leashed, and even entering the house.

She never ventured off the carpet of the living room — she found the hard floors of the dining room and kitchen too slippery. It took her almost a year to venture onto the sofa on her own, and this became her spot. From that vantage point she could see through the window into the front yard to monitor any unusual goings-on outside.

A Change for the Worse

Earlier this year, Grace’s personality gradually changed. She no longer wanted to go for walks down the gravel road by our house, jerking the leash out of my hand and running back to the front door. She began growling, and then howling incessantly, at our other dogs.

Then, in September, she charged into the dining room and attacked one of our dogs, an elderly Irish terrier — putting holes in his throat and face. She attacked him twice more, and by the end of October I knew it was time to put her down.

Because Grace refused to ride in the van, I needed to find a veterinarian who would come to my home. Dr. Aumer didn’t hesitate to do just that when I told her Grace’s story. She came to my house on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The sun was shining.

I brushed Grace, one of her favorite activities. I had put her favorite red quilt on the ground for her to lie on. She was happy to see Dr. Aumer, who took the time to pet her and talk quietly to her.

Compassion in a Time of Great Sadness

Dr. Aumer gave Grace a sedative to calm her before administering the euthanasia injections.

The doctor spoke quietly and slowly to Grace the whole time, gently touching and soothing her. When I apologized for crying so loudly, Dr. Aumer looked at me and said, “I would think there is something wrong with you if you weren’t crying.” I am grateful for her understanding. Her compassion made Grace’s death bearable.

Grace was cremated, and I have spread her ashes in the places around the property she liked to be.

—Kathleen Brockway

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