Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thank You

I wanted to thank everyone for your supportive comments regarding Making an Unpopular Call. I almost didn't tell my story because I was afraid people out in Blog Land would judge and condemn me too. However, you all have restored my faith in mankind. The good outnumber the bad. I just find it so ironic how if we euthanize elderly people who are suffering, we go to prison, while if we don't euthanize our pets within a time range that someone else thinks is appropriate, we are scorned. I'm not saying it should be one way or another -- just that sometimes we as humans don't make sense.

The experience with Monty dredged up old wounds regarding the death of my father. My mother had been taking him to his doctor, telling her something was wrong with him, and the doctor just kept dismissing his complaints as being symptoms of old age. When my mother described his complete personality change, the doctor prescribed treatment for depression. Then I visited my parents after not seeing them for six months and could clearly see that my father was dying. I checked him into a hospital where it was discovered that he had cancer in just about every organ and every bone in his body, including a brain tumor that affected his personality. My mother and I got hit with that same question, "Why did you wait so long to bring him in?"

The answer to that question was that my father was a private person so he didn't complain openly about how much pain he was in, my mother was friends with his doctor and believed in her, while I lived 400 miles away and was not informed of my father's illness. It's perfectly logical, but not an answer I would have provided to anyone who asked us such an accusatory question.

Two completely different stories, but both resulted in that loaded question that has no purpose other than to lay blame and guilt on the loved ones. I figured there would be a handful of people in Blog Land who would try to tell me when the best time would have been to euthanize my dog, but you made me proud. Not a single person pretended to be a holier-than-thou know-it-all. Thank you for that.

I just wanted to respond to a few comments. I've been taking my pets to this vet clinic for about 14 years. The reason why they don't know me personally is because the staff keeps changing. Each time I go in, I get a different doctor, a different vet tech, and a different receptionist. I used to be able to get in for appointments on the same day I call, but with so many people moving into our area, that vet clinic is a madhouse now. They told me to just bring Monty in, because they didn't have any available appointments and everyone on staff had to work through lunch anyway because it was such a busy day. Everyone in that office seemed haggard and angry about being overworked. I'm planning on looking for a smaller, more personable private practice where the staff sticks around and is willing to get to know clients on a first name basis.

I'm not very good about confronting people. Every time I do it, it backfires. One time I confronted a supermarket manager for stocking his shelves with baby food that had mold on top of it. He got really angry and said, "What do you want from me? You probably pulled that moldy baby food out of your own kitchen cabinet and are trying to get money out of me with false claims."

I was aghast. I said, "No, I just bought this baby food yesterday. Here's the receipt. I want to exchange it for fresh jars, and I want you to take all the expired baby food off your shelves."

Another time I talked to the manager of our local swim center, because I was annoyed that I was paying for a half-hour swim lesson, and my daughter's swim instructor kept starting class 10 minutes late and ending it 5 minutes early. The last straw was when my daughter nearly drowned because the swim instructor was too busy flirting with her boyfriend to pay attention to her class. A lifeguard had to rescue her. I thought the manager would support me, but he started making excuses for his swim instructor, telling me to give her a break because she's been having a hard time lately. Again, I was aghast. My child almost drowned, and he's telling ME to cut HER some slack?

Somehow every time I confront someone, they turn it around on me and try to convince me that I'm the problem. Therefore, I don't expect that anyone at the vet hospital would take any complaint I have seriously. It's the Nevada way to protect one's own at all costs. Customers don't matter -- only friends and employees. That vet hospital gets so much business that they couldn't care less if they lose mine. I'll still let them know why I'm leaving, but I don't expect to get any satisfactory results out of it. I find that nowadays, people get away with much worse behavior either because there are no consequences or because we're raising a society of sociopaths who just don't care. I know I should have delivered the consequence myself at the time I was being treated disrespectfully, but I was pretty listless, overwhelmed and overstimulated during the experience. All my thoughts and reactions were delayed. My sadness and humiliation weren't replaced by anger until I was long gone.

I've been keeping an eye on Midge to see how she's handling having her buddy missing. She normally ignores me and hangs out with the boys, but she's been following me around lately. I'm not sure if it is because she knows I was the last person Monty was with and she expects him to reappear around me, or if she senses my sadness and is trying to take care of me. I call her "Nurse Midgey" and "Doctor Midge", because she becomes very concerned when her people are not themselves. She spends a lot of time licking us and cuddling up to us.

In the meantime, I've got plenty of other things going on to keep me busy like training Gabbrielle and fixing up my photography studio. My daughter has been living with other families in China this summer while on an internship for work abroad university credit. Our communications have been limited, so it will be good to have her back home this evening and hear all her stories of her experience. I'm so proud of her. While I've never been outside the United States, she just made all the arrangements to go to China, paid for the entire trip herself, embraced the people she met along the way and learned both the culture and language while there. Call it a crash course in survival. She's so brave.

Again, thank you for your supportive comments. I didn't even know that many people read my blog. I feel so loved.


Jeni said...


Anonymous said...

We aren't all sociopaths, LOL. Give Midge a good snuggle and don't be so dang hard on yourself!

last fall I had to put one of our dogs down. He was old, deaf, and had been partially paralysed for 12 years. Then suddenly one morning he couldn't stand. It happens that way.

fernvalley01 said...

As Jen said Hugs to you and family .

Mrs Mom said...

Yeah.. well... we love you to NuzMuz. Wish I was closer- I'd have a thing or three to say to that clinic on your behalf ;)

Belly Rubs to Dr. Midge from us please, to say thank you to her for taking such good care of you all.

Crystal said...

Aww, you definitly did the right thing, and if everyone keeps quiet about stuff like that, it will just get worse. I agree with you that our society is going downhill and everyone is trying to protect themselves.

Grey Horse Matters said...

As for your experience with the staff at the clinic. Maybe it's just best to put it behind you and concentrate on happier things.

Have a good weekend. I'm sure it will be great to see your daughter again.She sounds like a lovely young woman. I can see why you are so proud of her.

Canadian Housewife said...


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Your daughter rocks! Mature beyond her years. I hope you or she will share some of her experiences in China after she gets back. I'd love to read about it, and I know my twinling Jem would, too. He's asked me to get him Rosetta Stone so he can learn Japanese. He's already got a dream of visiting Japan in the future. And I can;t wait to see him fulfill his dreams. :)


sue said...

Dear NM.. I am absolutely horrifed at the way you were treated with regards to Monty... SHAME SHAME on that vet clinic, and pardon me, but I would move away from them so fast you could see the dust fly. To be any thing less than supportive is disgraceful on their behalf. AS a dog trainer for the past thirty five years, I have been asked several times "what is best way to handle a goodbye"... my answer... "your way is the best way".... no one should EVER be judged on how they handle such a tough decision, or when that decision might have to be made. I think back over the last 18 months when I said goodbye to my dear Moxie.. IF that could be called a good experience it was, and I just wish the same could have been for you. There must be other vet clinics in your area.... please do not be so hard on yourself.. you loved Monty and he knew that, you did your very best for him in any situation and he knew that too... please friend, take a deep breath and know that you did everything right for yourself and for Monty.... and please accept my sincere sympany and many hugs....

Katharine Swan said...

NM, I agree with your decision to look for a smaller practice. There is no excuse for a clinic, no matter how busy, to be so nasty to people. If they don't have the time to be nice to their clients, how are they going to have the time to be nice to the animals?

And you know what, I completely understand what you mean about standing up for yourself. It's dang hard. I've gotten a lot better at it as I've gotten older -- I was a shy, timid pushover when I was a kid -- but I still have a lot I could improve on. It's easy to give advice, but much harder to do it!