In The Comfort of Home provides house call pet euthanasia service for the Capital District communities of Albany, Troy, Saratoga and Schenectady and surrounding regions. They schedule appointments during the day, but also try to be available (usually within 1-3 hours) evenings, weekends and holidays for family wishes or immediate care.
Dr. Roger Blankfein agreed to do a five question interview; the first in what I hope are many interviews for this blog.
1. How long have you been offering in-home euthanasia services?
I’ve been performing home euthanasia for years, but prior to starting In the Comfort of Home, its been limited to clients by special arrangement, as a favor to my friends, and my own pets. Its because of these experiences that I decided to start this service. Everyone is so grateful to be given the opportunity for a peaceful goodbye for their pet where the pet is surrounded by loved ones, where they are comfortable and not frightened. It truly is a privilege and an honor to be asked to perform such a sacred task.
2. Do you only service cats and dogs?
Though we are called on mostly for dogs and cats, we are able to serve most companion animals. Unfortunately, we are not equipped to handle large farm animals.
3. When do people typically call you?
We get calls from people who want to discuss their pet’s condition who need help determining what their quality of life is like, making preparations and figuring out what to look for when it is time. People do also call when they need immediate assistance, and we really try to be available round-the-clock for them and come on short notice. Between Dr. Blanchette in Clifton Park and myself in Delmar, we have good coverage over the whole greater Capital Region both geographically and in availability.
4. Have you ever disagreed with someone’s decision to euthanize their pet and turned them down?
Those cases are few and far between. In a vast majority of cases, people are especially attuned to their pet’s condition and are making the decision out of the pet’s best interests. I’ve learned over the years, that there are many factors that people outside the family cannot understand and should not judge. These decisions are made after considering many things and there are a variety of “budgets” people have. Budgets, not only financial which are obvious enough, but emotional, physical and time budgets – it can be exhausting in all of these parameters. Almost everyone would sacrifice tremendous amounts for their pets, but after a point, it is no longer realistic.
5. How do you cope dealing with so much death and sadness?
I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t affect me. I’ve been through it myself personally numerous times. But I have to keep in mind that these are the times that are hardest for owners, and they call me to help them. I have to do the best I can for them by doing the best I can for their pet. Of course it saddens me to see families undergoing so much pain. But I take my satisfaction in knowing that I relieved so much suffering and prevented so much more. Again, mine is a sacred duty and I take it very seriously. An owner whose dog I recently euthanized while he held him in his lap told me, “I can’t see how that could have gone any better.” In a time and place that is so difficult and emotional and, by its very purpose, tragic and heart-wrenching, that is as good as it gets and what I strive for every time.
If you find yourself in need of In The Comfort of Home’s services please visit their website.
Is there someone you’d like for us to interview or something else you’d like to ask Dr. Blankfein? Please leave a comment!