Wednesday, November 23, 2011

And we call ourselves humane?

     Last year I read (my bad) some of the comments readers had left for my book "My Best Friends Have Hairy Legs" on Amazon.com.  I was crushed by how mean some of them were and very nearly took all of my books off the market.  But then I realized that of the 22,000 people who took advantage when it was offered for free, less than 10 of them actually had anything hateful to say.  And those that did, really didn't matter because they just didn't "get it."

     The purpose of the book wasn't to reveal all the gory details of abuse (verbal, emotional, physical, and yes, sexual) I've endured from other people.  If I had spent much time on those people, and times in my life, it would have been giving them more of me than they deserved to have... and they had already had enough of my thoughts and time. 

     So for those who were disappointed because they didn't feel I had been abused enough... I only hope and pray that you never have to experience any of the things that I chose not to share.

     I wrote the book to talk about surviving.  To talk about forgiving.  To talk about healing.  I wrote to purge myself of the burden of carrying those memories around with me, and letting them continue to control and manipulate me even though the people themselves were no longer in my life.  I didn't write to entertain someone.  I didn't write to seek someone's approval.  I wrote because I knew that I was not the only person to ever endure those things, and if just one person found hope in my story, then baring my soul was worth it.

     There was also a comment from a veterinarian who felt that I hadn't done enough (or rather spent enough money) to save my pug, Tink.  That comment probably angered me more than anything and I hope that her patients and their people have sense to find a new vet who is compassionate enough to realize that sometimes it isn't about spending more money, it is about quality of life.

     Tink was in terrible pain her entire life, enduring two surgeries on her bladder to remove stones within a year.  After the second surgery and because it took so long for her to recover from it, I made the decision to find an alternative that was going to be more humane than just getting her cut open once or twice a year.  Because her bladder stones (some the size of my pinky nail) were being caused by her liver not functioning due to shunts, I researched (and spent money) on foods for her that had less 'fillers' and were naturally made.  The last six months of her life, I spent almost $3,000 trying to make her comfortable since there was no 'cure' for her condition.  I found a holistic vet who tried aqua pressure - similar to acupuncture but with B-12 shots - Chinese herbal medicines because her liver could not detoxify regular medicines, dehydrated natural foods, flower essences, and massage.

     Ultimately though, I made a humane decision to end her suffering because I could see the pain in her face and knew that trying to keep her alive was selfish and cruel.  It wasn't about not having enough money to 'fix' her.  It was about realizing that sometimes we just need to be grateful for the time that we've had, to cherish the memories, and to let them go.

     Sometimes, it is the quality of life that is most important... not the quantity.  Tink had six years more than she might have otherwise had, and they were good years.  I have no regrets for my choices except that perhaps it would have been easier ON HER if I had done it sooner.  But I don't regret the money or time I spent trying to ease her pain. 

     So for those 'animal lovers' who think that my decisions to have animal companions that I adored put down when their pain became too great was selfish and based on finances... I only hope and pray that one day if you are suffering and in pain because of health issues, that you might also have the choice to choose quality over quantity.

And this is what we think of your negative comments...

2 comments:

  1. Blessings - & what courage you have!
    One dear friend had a dog that was part coyote, & very shy around most people. My wild son was one of the few she 'liked' outside the family.

    After many years of trials & joys, the dog sustained an injury (leg?) & they took her to the vet - my friend described how she climbed in the car herself (very unusual - she usually ran & hid), & when the vet described the Herculean surgery they 'could' do - in another state, she would whine; & when the vet said the most humane other option was 'putting her down' she would wag her tail .... this happened several times over the course of the visit, & they did decide to do that - reluctantly, but feeling she made HER wishes known!!
    This friend has also survived much abuse of all kinds, & often has rescue dogs - BIG dogs, & does so much for her 'hairy legged' friends, too!

    Many blessings!

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  2. Thank you Dia! Our companion animals do know so much, and try to communicate with us as much as we allow ourselves to be receptive. My big dog now has a tendency to smile and laugh when my husband and I are cutting up in the kitchen.

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