Death: the podcast

Hosted ByDr Arian Elfant

New Orleans has a unique relationship to death: we have a ridiculously high murder rate, we party at funerals, and we end up above ground. Death: the podcast tells the stories of personal experiences of death - fear of it, laughing at it, life-changing brushes with it, dealing with lost loved ones, and our own inevitable and unknown heart-stopping moment. Through confronting death we learn what it is to be alive.

Decisions of the Heart – Death: the podcast – It’s New Orleans

New Orleans veterinarian Dr. Rachelle Biondolillo dedicates her days to saving the lives of pets. But she also finds herself being called on to end life. When she ventures into the territory of end of life care for pets, Dr. B. – as she’s known to her clients – is no longer just a veterinarian with animal care skills, she’s now navigating the waters of the emotional and psychological bond between pets and people.

You don’t learn people skills in vet school. And no two people/pet euthanasia cases are ever the same. In what is a never-ending learning experience, Dr. B. relies on her own understanding of the emotional struggle of letting go of life and friendship to provide the best care she can to pets and people.


Dr. B. finds herself striving to strike a delicate balance: to make the tough decision that will end life “just before” an animal’s suffering begins. Dr. B. is passionate and committed to being the voice of the pet, while also honoring the role of the human family.

As Dr. B. says, “Everyone wants that extra day.” Whether that ultimately becomes a day of pleasure or of pain is sometimes a decision based on science. Other times it’s a decision of the heart.