After Clarence was gone, the vet who assisted the Wagners sent a condolence card with marigold seeds inside, suggesting they plant them in the dog’s honor. They did, and sent her a photo when the flowers were in bloom.
Pet Loss at Home has served more than 35,000 families since 2003. It operates with about 75 doctors in 50 metropolitan areas, including Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Houston and Minneapolis. The pandemic has caused a dramatic increase in business, said Rob Twyning, who founded the company with his wife, Karen, a veterinarian.
“Right now the phone is ringing off the hook,” said Twyning, in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. “We have so many calls that we just can’t help everybody.”
Pet Loss at Home charges anywhere from $300 to $600 or more, depending on the city and the drive time.
“It’s about comfort,” he said. “At home, your pet is familiar with the smells and sounds. A vet clinic is filled with other pets’ smells. It’s filled with other noises, like barking dogs. It’s typically a shiny table where the pet will be elevated. A lot of the time, it’s not a veterinarian. It’s a technician. At home, you can take your own time.”
Twyning’s vets serve mostly dogs and cats but have handled other species too, from snakes to parrots.
In Marietta, Georgia, 73-year-old Linda Sheffield went in a different direction last year when her rescue poodle, Timmy, fell ill with a collapsed larynx. She consulted animal communicator Nancy Mello, though she didn’t let on that Timmy had been diagnosed and was on strong medication. With Timmy showing no outward symptoms during four or five video sessions, Sheffield made the decision to put him down.