For owners, house calls eliminate the need to persuade a panicky cat to get into a carrier, or for a geriatric, arthritis-riddled hound to take a car trip. For the vets, it also opens new options. At a clinic, "My choices for some diagnoses were to either recommend expensive surgeries or treatments or euthanizing," Turenne says. "I often felt, 'Why is there nothing in between?' Having a mobile practice took the burden off my shoulders, as it lets me offer hospice care."
That's what Turenne did for Ellen Johnson's elderly miniature dachshund, Rudi. When he began to have pain and difficulty walking, Turenne brought an array of services, including medication and acupuncture, to keep him comfortable. "We discussed it," says Johnson, "and agreed that our goal couldn't be improvement but had to be on making the end of his life as good as it could be."
Johnson says she made the painful call when Rudi became "basically an unresponsive rag doll just three weeks shy of his sixteenth birthday. Monica came to the house the next morning. She offered me life-extending options but said she didn't advise any of them. We both knew it was time to say goodbye," she says, tearing up. "It was as beautiful and appropriate an exit from his life as it could be. Monica was comforting to him and comforting to me."