After working several years as established pet professionals, we found ourselves in the very place every pet parent dreads.
We had a beautiful five year old chocolate lab by the name of Lily. We rescued her at 6 months of age. She was a gentle, loving soul with expressive eyes. She lived for food and would do just about anything to have one more snack. In June 2010, she refused to eat and was very lethargic. Sarit, a board certified veterinary surgeon, examined her when he came home that evening. His expression became concerned. Within 24 hours, I was told my precious Lily had terminal lymphoma, and her life expectancy was 6-18 months with treatment.
The following year was extremely difficult. Chemo treatments, and the fact Lily was not responding well, left us emotionally drained. I lived in a constant state of anxiety. I learned I was experiencing anticipatory grief. This grief begins long before the actual loss. Sarit’s clinical nature and my emotional nature collided. As a veterinarian and pet loss professional, we encounter death on a daily basis. However, living with Lily’s terminal illness left us lost and confused. If two professionals struggled finding the support we needed, how would other families know where to turn?
The night Lily was euthanized was devastating, and oddly enough, a relief. We were heartbroken, and consumed by grief, but relieved she was no longer suffering. The event I had anxiously awaited had come and gone within minutes.
Through this personal loss, we felt there had to be a better way to address the dying pet and their families' emotional needs. Learning to live while saying goodbye. After years of planning, our dream has come to fruition.
We are honored to walk this final journey with you and celebrate the life you shared with your beloved pet.
Dr. Sarit Dhupa, BVSc.
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
Owner and Founder
Vivianne Villanueva, CPLP, CGC
Owner and Founder
Into the Sunset is the first brick-and-mortar center dedicated to all aspects of end-of-life care for the dying pet and their family. We are honored to offer this unique concept to pet parents facing the final journey with their pet. Into the Sunset will take the dying process out of a clinical setting and relocate it to a warm environment where highly individualized end-of-life care is thoughtfully and compassionately provided. This is done through education, guidance, respect and, most of all, without judgment.
Our commitment to you:
- We will educate you on the disease state and how it will progress until the point of natural death or euthanasia.
- We will offer our professional opinions, however, you will be the ultimate decision maker.
- We will respect, honor and refrain from judgment when your wishes are made to us.
- We will collectively create a treatment plan that meets your needs and beliefs.
- We will take extraordinary measures to ensure pain is being managed safely and effectively.
- We will provide a safe, warm and caring environment catering to the dying pet and their family.
- We will provide both center-based and home-based treatment plans.
- We will openly communicate with all members of the hospice team.
- We will commence grief companioning at the time of diagnosis or entry into hospice care.
- We will work with you to ease your fears and anxiety.
- We will provide customized memorialization and guide you through your grief journey.
- We will clearly and thoughtfully discuss finances with you.
Photos by Karla Ogilvie Photography.