Veterinarian helps in time of need

To the Editor,

Recently, I was faced with a heart-wrenching decision concerning one of my pets, a 21-year-old cat named Barry. Throughout his life Barry was an active, friendly and loving cat, but then I had noticed a significant change in his behavior. He slowly had become extremely disoriented and began to vocalize throughout the day. Obviously, his age was factor as his health began to decline, but I continued to try to comfort him. However, when he began to wail as though he was in excruciating pain, I knew I had to make a decision that is extremely difficult for anyone who has a pet.

Although it was a Sunday, I decided to call Dr. Mark Ferris at his home to seek his advice. I have known Ferris for many years, and I have utilized his services for my pets when he practiced at the Chester Veterinary Clinic and, later, at the Hilltop Animal Hospital in Paris, Pa. I also knew that he had dedicated the last two years by helping pet owners with end-of-life decisions in their own homes. Although I was emotionally distraught, I knew in my heart that it was the right time and place to say goodbye to my loving friend, Barry. Ferris came to my home right away, accompanied by a veterinary technician. When I was ready, I held Barry in my arms and said my goodbyes. We then let him pass away peacefully in the privacy and comfort of our home.

I am so grateful that Ferris was able to help me in my time of need. My family has had many pets in our home for the last 45 years. During that time, it always was devastating when we had to make the difficult drive to an animal hospital to seek end-of-life services for one of our pets. I am thankful that even on a weekend, I was able to use the services of Ferris in my home. I hope that pet owners become more aware that in-home services like those offered by Ferris are available and might help the difficult and heart-breaking experience of saying goodbye to their pet a little more comforting and, perhaps, more meaningful.

Sharon Dragisich