Sacred Gifts of a Short Life

Uncovering the Wisdom of Our Pet's End of Life Journeys

By all means buy it, give it to your animal-loving friends, and treasure it — particularly when that time comes.

– Robert Ellwood

Sacred Gifts of a Short Life chronicles the end of life journeys of several of Dr. Liz’s patients in a way that allows us to begin to see death from a perspective of both profound sadness and precious sacredness. It takes us on an exploration of some of the difficult questions surrounding the end of life journeys of our furry loved ones. It is honest, pragmatic, compassionate, empowering and refreshing. It addresses questions such as: Is it time? Should I pursue chemo, or radiation or not? Is surgery the best option? How do I know if my loved one is suffering? Am I just doing this for me? Is this selfish? Does my loved one have any quality of life? I feel like I am playing God. What right do I have to take a life? These questions are examined through the lens of specific real life examples.

Through these examples, we are inspired and guided to trust our “inner knowing”. We are invited to look beyond the ideas of right and wrong, recognizing that each decision must be based on the exact circumstances in the moment at hand. For most of us death is a very uncomfortable topic. It seems very foreign. To address this overwhelming fear we are reminded of the truth that death is happening in each moment. Any moment can bring the blessings of birth and death and the pain of birth and death. This is not a “how to” cook book to navigate these waters. Instead it is an invitation to live from Presence, inviting each unfolding moment to be the platform and foundation from which we find our answers.

Our pets lives are significantly shorter than our own. This is the gift they offer us. They invite us to acknowledge death, embrace it, dance with it, live with it and ultimately die into it. Sacred Gifts of a Short Life gives us the tools to navigate this journey. For those of us in the veterinary profession or those who work with rescues or in other animal support fields we see death up close and often. Without a good relationship with death, this can take a toll on our psyche. Sacred Gifts of a Short Life is designed to offer ways to help us open to a healthy and sustainable relationship with the mortality of others and also ourselves. This makes it a valuable tool for anyone who faces death, in other words, for all of us.

Death invites us to open to Love as formlessness. Birth brings Love into form. Both Birth and Death are essential for LIFE. When we find our way to fully accepting and embracing death on its terms we are gifted with a fierce Grace that opens our hearts in ways we never imagined possible. This book is an offering, to help guide us to allowing our hearts to be broken open by death. This makes more space for Love to flow, thus bringing a vitality to living that is irrepressible.

Animal lovers, veterinary professionals and those who work in grief counseling and bereavement have shared how profoundly grateful they are to have this book as a resource for those in need.

Roy Rosenblatt shares “Cast in the light of its author’s insightful commentaries peppered throughout, we come to see that we do have choices. And it is in the embrace of this shift of perception that Sacred Gift allows us to find our way to surrendering resistance. And by thawing our fears that holds back the love for our pet companions that is always and already here, we ease their burden and stir a healing energy in ourselves.”

Bernadine Cruz, DVM acknowledges “It will help me to better attend to the needs of my clients, their pets and equally important, me”.

Kathleen Ayl, Psy.D. Certified Compassion Fatigue and Pet Loss Recovery Specialist offers this high praise, “Liz is an amazing writer and a beautiful soul and this comes out very clearly in her book. Very few books impress me as this one has. I will be recommending it to my clients,and anyone faced with impending loss of a loved family member, as well as the specialists, veterinarians, and technicians with whom I work.”

Listening to the call of her heart from an early age, Dr. Liz Fernandez chose to pursue a life’s work based on what she loved. From as early as age six, she was passionate about animals and medicine. By age eight, she was clear that she would be a veterinarian. After graduating from veterinary school in 1982, she worked in emergency medicine for many years. This experience, and the loss of both parents within a few years of graduating, formed a foundation for seeing an abundance of end-of-life scenarios and the ensuing emotional challenges.

In late 2001, trusting the voice within to guide her, she was inspired to study Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Over a period of several years, she transitioned from the intensity of western emergency medicine to the intimacy of a holistic house-call and acupuncture practice. The patient demographic of this type of practice lends itself to the geriatric patient. Thus the emphasis on end-of-life narratives.

During this same time she was introduced to Adyashanti, a spiritual teacher with no specific religious affiliation, who offered a very clear and simple perspective about death. Resonating with these deep truths, she began to share this wisdom with clients. Most often words would simply flow unbidden from her lips finding a receptive ear that would immediately find comfort and resonance with the truth of what had been spoken. Witnessing these occurrences, she began to reiterate these ideas with others, to the same effect. More and more often she found herself surrounded with clients searching for ways to navigate these end of life issues.

The volume of these situations brought with it much sadness. After some soul searching she asked what this sadness wanted of her. The answer she received was to write this book. As if to reenforce this, more than one client literally shared with her that she should “write a book”! She said “yes” and this book was birthed.

Let Love Lead

A Book of Comfort and Inspiration

Let Love Lead is a booklet to share with those who have lost a pet.

36 pages, paperback, full color with picture-frame cover. Includes envelope for mailing.

(5) Booklets equals 1 Unit