Graceful Aging, Graceful Exits is an experiment in "interactive" publishing on the world wide web.*
Rather than publishing this manuscript into a paper book, or even an e-book, I have chosen to post it, in its entirety, on the world wide web, where it can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection for no additional fees, no special logins, and no blinking, distracting advertisements.**
I have created space for readers to post comments, and space for those comments to remain posted. I am attempting to put blog technology to good use; a place where those of you who are actually providing hands-on day-to-day care for aging companion animals can share your experiences, contribute ideas, and support each other.
shannon nakaya, dvm
* Graceful Aging, Graceful Exits is protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any part of the manuscript without the permission of the author and the LLC is a violation of copyright law.
** Okay, almost no advertising. I do promote my first book, Kindred Spirt Kindred Care. And I do promote Blind Devotion, a story and very useful guidebook for people with vision impaired pets that was written by Cathy Symons who also voluntarily contributed to this manuscript. And I do mention other relevant book titles and products that I have found to be useful in helping companion animals to age gracefully; however, none of these are paid advertisements or endorsements. Aside from book sales of KSKC, I do not get any financial support, kickback, or gifts from sales of any product mentioned in GAGE.
As with any self-help or do it yourself or guidebook such as this, there is always the potential for misinterpretation and/or misuse. There is always the potential for someone to extract a phrase from my work, apply it in a different context, and use it to justify an action that I wouldn't myself advise. At some level, the risk may be even greater because I do not tell people exactly what to do; I merely provide information and suggest things that they might consider. Empowerment requires a leap of faith that they who you empower will not use it inappropriately. In both Kindred Spirit Kindred Care and Graceful Aging Graceful Exits, I choose to empower the humans who truly do care about their animal companions and desire to make informed, thoughtful, and selfless decisions on their pet's behalf. I hope that my sincerity as an advocate for the animals and the human-animal bond comes through and that the cases where that tone is misconstrued and misused are rare events at best.
This text is by no means a substitute for veterinary evaluation, assessment, and treatment. This text is meant to help people provide supportive and nursing care for their pets. Particularly with middle-aged and older patients, however, I often enough meet people who assume that their dog is "old" and therefore, whatever is ailing them must be bad and incurable. It would sadden me to learn that someone has skipped over a professional assessment and unwittingly short-changed their animal companion a straight-forward medical solution.