My Name Is ... Dr. Kim Bruce

Veterinarian specializes in in-home euthanasia

Posted 2/4/19

Surrounded by love I specialize in in-home end-of-life care for pets. It's an up-and-coming service that not a lot of people know about. The pet is surrounded by their smells, on their couch, in …

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My Name Is ... Dr. Kim Bruce

Veterinarian specializes in in-home euthanasia

Posted

Surrounded by love

I specialize in in-home end-of-life care for pets. It's an up-and-coming service that not a lot of people know about. The pet is surrounded by their smells, on their couch, in their home surrounded by the people who love them.

We're able to spend a lot more time with the families. In a clinic, families are limited to the appointment time. Losing a pet is so hard to do in public. I go on their time frame, their schedule. I make sure their baby is as comfortable and calm as it can be.

'Never thought I would do this'

When I was in veterinary school, I absolutely never thought I would do this. I wanted to do it all. I became the designated chicken doctor at my old practice.

They don't teach much about euthanasia in vet school. It's an art. It can go beautifully if done right. I want it to be as peaceful as can be. I remove the stress of a car ride, of leaving home, of coming to a vet hospital.

We're not supposed to look like a veterinarian, because some animals have a vet phobia. People ask before I arrive: You don't wear a stethoscope, do you? I'm an unassuming guest.

Things worse than death

You have to get over the stigma of it being a failure. Euthanasia isn't necessarily giving up on your pet. It really is a humane choice at times. There are things worse than death.

Some are harder than others. Kids get me every time. Sometimes I cry with the families. You have to detach yourself a little bit from what's happening, but I see it as a gift. I'm helping these pets.

A sense of peace

So many of my families feel such relief that their pet isn't suffering anymore. The anticipation is worse than the appointment itself. It's my job to calm everybody down. I walk into a room and it's a ball of stress, and my goal is to bring a sense of peace.

Even if I work in a practice again someday, I'll take the communication skills I've learned from this job with me forever. Right now I can't see feeling as fulfilled doing anything else.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is, please contact David Gilbert at dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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