The Last Walk
Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives
The product of a lifetime of loving pets, studying philosophy, and collaborating with scientists at the forefront of the study of animal behavior and cognition, The Last Walk asks—and answers—the toughest questions pet owners face. The result is informative, moving, and consoling in equal parts; no pet lover should miss it.
"Decisions about how to treat an animal toward the end of her or his life are among the most difficult we have to make and it's our responsibility to do the best we can. Our companions trust that we will have their best interests in mind. In The Last Walk, Jessica Pierce considers all of the hard questions about sick and old animals. She seamlessly weaves in personal stories with scientific research to provide readers with an incredibly valuable guide--a must read--about when and how to end an animal's life in the most humane way possible. I learned a lot from reading this book, and I know others will as well."
"The Last Walk is an engaging tribute to the complexity of human relations to companion animals and the range of issues and concerns that arise for us as those companions' lives come to their ends. The nature of building relationships and forming families with companion animals who, in most cases, we know we will outlive, shapes those relationships in profound ways. Given the subject matter, it seems odd to say I 'enjoyed' this book--I was so moved by it at times that I wept--let me say instead that I was utterly gripped by this book and think it is a must read for everyone who shares their lives with animals."
"Pierce has made an important contribution to the small body of literature dealing with aging and death in companion animals. . . . While this will appeal to a fairly narrow audience, it should be required reading for every pet owner. Readers will identify with Pierce's feelings of ambivalence, and see something of their own pets as they read about Ody's antics and challenges. Recommended."
“The Last Walk is a book that all loving pet owners should read. Nothing will make the prospect of ending a good friend’s life any easier, but at least it can help those awful decisions feel less of a stab in the dark.”
“Using her experience caring for her elderly Vizsla as a springboard, Pierce, who is a bioethicist, explores the evolution of North American attitudes toward pets and their demise, while delving as deeply as she can into her own feelings as her dog Ody goes into decline.”
The Ody Journal, September 29, 2009–January 15, 2010
2: Into the Open
The Ody Journal, March 14, 2010–June 3, 2010
The Ody Journal, June 5, 2010–September 4, 2010
The Ody Journal, September 20, 2010–October 24, 2010
5: Animal Hospice
The Ody Journal, October 25, 2010–November 28, 2010
6: Blue Needle
The Ody Journal, November 29, 2010–December 7, 2010
The Ody Journal, November 29, 2011