Jason Goodwin D.V.M
Growing up an only child in an overworked single parent household can be difficult on both the child and the parent. Fortunately my mom had a love of animals and there was always a dog and cat (or some variety thereof) around the home. Over the years these wonderful creatures provided the companionship, love and an unwavering loyalty that I can only hope I was able to reciprocate. It was the memory of these lost childhood companions that helped me realize I wanted to become a Veterinarian.
I graduated from St. George’s University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2008 followed by the completion of a small animal internship in Connecticut. After my internship I worked as an ER Veterinarian in Pennsylvania before moving back to the Pacific Northwest in 2010. Up until recently I had continued working as an ER Veterinarian and in the fall of 2013 I started working part time for a company that provided in-home Veterinary hospice and euthanasia services to the greater Seattle area.
Working as an ER Veterinarian I had helped many families say goodbye to their beloved family members and being able to offer this service in the comfort of one’s home was not only an important step but a very rewarding one. From this experience comes Gentle Hands Cherished Paws in-home Veterinary hospice & end of life care services and it is an honor to be entrusted with such an emotional and heartfelt life event.
Tory Gannon L.V.T
As a child, I always felt like I had a leg up on my peers simply because I always knew what I’ve wanted to be when I grew up- a veterinary nurse (or technician as they are called in Washington). I wanted to be the one taking care of the critters I loved and nursing them back to health, which is probably why I spent most days bringing home whatever furry, scaled, or feathered friends I could. In an attempt to curtail this behavior, my mom made the decision to let me adopt the dog that would shape the veterinary technician I would become even further. Maggie’s patience, gentle demeanor, and complete adoration for living demonstrated all of the important things about life to me. After 12 years together, Maggie’s time with us came to its inevitable end and she taught the lesson of loss.. Maggie had many experiences at our family veterinarian, but none stuck with me like the day we said good-bye to my sweet girl. Dr. Campbell said all the right words of comfort and even shed a tear for our family’s loss, but even her overwhelming empathy did little to ease the sensation that there has to be a better way…
Fast forward 10 years, through a degree in animal technology, multiple internships, 6 years as a diagnostic imaging technician, 2 years in the emergency and critical care department and I witnessed time and time again, the fact that there had to be a better way to say good-bye to such loyal and devoted family members, a way full of peace and dignity for both the family and pet. After working part time for a company that provided end of life care, I knew I’d found my calling and in 2016 Gentle Hands Cherished Paws In Home Veterinary Euthanasia & End of Life Care was born and I knew that this was the better way I’d been searching for since Maggie.
In hospice, we stop poking and prodding in hopes of curing the ailment, and instead focus on comfort and finding meaning and joy in the golden years. The focus shifts from quantity of days left to quality of life being lived. You see, the term quality of life hits home for me, not just because of what I do, but also because I struggle with it at times. At 23, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and have spent more than my fair share of time being poked and prodded. I know how it feels to be defined by my condition and my patients have a way of reminding me about the important things… going on long walks, being beyond happy to see the people I love walk through the door, chasing squirrels, basking in a sun beam, or simply smelling the roses. While I’m supposed to be helping the patients that come my way, they help me just as much if not more. I can’t tell you the number of soulful brown eyes that have looked into mine at just the right moment to give me strength when I needed it, which is why I am able to override the heartache that can go along with such emotional work. They deserve the very best, they deserve, peace, they deserve dignity, and honor because nobody will ever love you the way your pet does and why it is always an incredible honor and humbling to bear witness and help families through such a difficult time.