"People of certain ancient times appear to have been great virtuosos in the art of living, particularly skilled in the delicate science of being in right relations with everything, including animals." - J. Allen Boone, Kinship With All Life
Animal Hospice
Animal hospice care is emerging as a vital movement around the world as part of a re-imagining of our “right relations” with animals as conscious beings. Through the Animal Acupressure Training Academy, we are working with the leading animal hospice practitioners in the world to shape a new paradigm that integrates the best of Eastern and Western medical models to the end of life journeys of animals. Tom is a founder and board member of the GRACE Animal Hospice Consortium, whose mission is to expand the availability of hospice care for companion animals and support for their caregivers.

The Academy is in the vanguard of animal hospice through its approach of applying healing touch modalities in a program of continuity of care. The ancient wisdom of Taoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) allows us to address all aspects of a being—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—in gentle, non-invasive ways. With our focus on the whole being, we assist animals and their guardians in all stages of critical illness, aging, and hospice.

Our animal hospice class at the Academy is called “Dancing to the End of the Song.” It teaches that animal hospice can be, in the midst of inevitable grief, both a celebration of life and the passage of death. When there is no hope of a physical recovery, our animals still have a mental, emotional, and spiritual journey to make as they move toward the end of life. Accordingly, our work focuses on ways to enrich the last stages of a life’s journey for animals and their guardians.

We work closely with animal guardians to help them understand the stages of death and dying, to build a team of support, and to empower them in assisting their animal companions with compassionate touch. The typical reaction of guardians is a feeling of powerlessness when traditional medical care has reached it limit to heal their animals. They feel as if they have abandoned their animals. In this state of confusion and anxiety, animal guardians often prematurely elect euthanasia. When we teach guardians how to dance to the end of the song with compassionate touch, that helplessness is replaced by a deepening of the connection between the animals and their guardians. Walking the last stage of a life’s journey together can be a time of grace.

When fear and powerlessness are replaced by a compassionate continuity of care that involves the animal, its guardian and family members, there is a strength that emerges. When death is accepted as an inevitable and meaningful part of a life and a soul’s journey, coupled with a courageous and loving commitment to dance to the end of the song, there may be sorrow but there will not be regret for how we walked every step of the way with our animal friends.


© Copyright 2010 Tom Wilson, All Rights Reserved
P.O. Box 2278 Nevada City, CA 95959-1945
Phone: (530) 913.1309