Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How Did My Generation Screw-Up So Badly?

On raising children. I know not across the board, but overall, the adults that were raised by the early boomers are lacking something. I am bringing this up because of my dealings specifically with veterinarians who are now primarily from this age group.
Veterinarians, as well as the economy, have put me out of the horse business. You can't breed horses without a knowledgeable, committed vet. My long-time vet retired three years ago and it has been an awful experience for me since. I have settled on someone who is OK, as long as I don't raise horses and hopefully don't have an emergency during off hours.
But what really brings this to my frontal lobes is Bill. It was evident yesterday morning that Bill was dying. I called the vet clinic in town that I use when necessary. I have had dogs euthanized in the back of a pick-up, in the back seat of a car, in the back of my Jeep. In my front yard and in the aisle of the barn. This clinic has stopped coming to the farm, so I intended to carry him to the back of the Jeep and have them put him to rest there. When I called, I was told they wouldn't do that anymore, I needed to bring him into the clinic where they would shave his leg and insert a IV catheter. My dog was in life-ending distress and didn't need the stress and fear that their procedure would cause him. Moving him more than the one time to get him to the Jeep would have been cruel. 
There is a lack of judgement and critical thinking. As well as empathy and compassion. It is all about procedure and money. I have placed veterinarians into the place of my highest disgust. They deserve this place because they, in general, hide behind the facade of doing what is best for the animal, but if you look closer you will see that the under-lying motivation is money.
Bill spent an hour and a half dying because of the rules. In the end he went without much ado, but he gasped for breath much longer than I wanted him to do. It costs more to euthanize the new way and it put the vet outside for ten minutes to come to the Jeep. As I was told, it is just too much effort to do it as I wanted. If these young individuals were capable of it, they should feel deep shame.

I have edited this to add, cost was not a determinate, but the stress that would have been put on Bill. I'm not sure I made that clear. My reference to cost was directed toward the ever-increasing  procedures.


  1. One of the things that I like about Brazil, is that everyone is not super paralyzed by 'procedure' or fear of a lawsuit etc... I have had neighbors (who are doctors) stop by the house when I met them at the mailbox and mentioned the girls were sick. One even looked at Sienna's lung x-rays in the kitchen window and prescribed me an anti-biotic right there.

    Of course the law suits have enforced some important responsibility on the part of business which I admit is lacking here in Brazil, but it is nice to see a culture where 'common sense' and helpfulness are more common than 'following procedure' for no good reason.

    I am sorry that Bill had to suffer for a simple lack of common sense and a helpful spirit.

    Once again, thinking of you during this difficult time.



  2. Ashley, I understand what you are saying about regulation, but in this instance that isn't the problem. It's not that a vet couldn't do as I wanted, but that they wouldn't. It didn't fit into the business plan. It wasn't convenient. In the end, after putting Bill through all I was told I needed to do, if I had done it, Bill probably would have died in their clinic on his own as he did here. But, with much more stress added. They never would have found a vein that would have sustained a catheter, but Bill would have been put through the misery of their trying. This is where the lack of critical thinking and judgement comes in. I know not all animal owners are as aware as I am, but at the very least I could have been told to bring him in and if they at that time saw that he wasn't as near the end as I said he was, they could have made a judgement of how to proceed at that time. But judgement is the key word. Well there are many key words, but we'll go with this one.
    I think we will need to get a shotgun and learn how to use it. My 120# dog will not be able to be carried into the clinic when his time comes.
    BTW, this clinic is exactly 3 miles away. They used to come out, then it went to bring them to the door and now it's bring them in.
    There is a little more history to my disgust than this, it goes back a few years to hearings I attended regarding a lay tooth floater (equine dentistry) and what I saw and heard coming from the MN Veterinarian Assoc. That bad taste has lingered. I really never have had much good thoughts about small animal vets, but when I saw what is happening in large animal and what that means for people like me who have large numbers and are used to being respected by the vet as a knowledgeable person, I have lost any illusions I may have had.

  3. I understand more now your situation. Sorry to hear that these guys really did not try and help you : (
    I don't know if you are joking about the shotgun, but my father laid to rest at least two of our dearest pets when their 'time' came in order to avoid just the trauma and fear associated with taking them to the vet. My Dad knows a lot about guns and how to be careful with them etc... and though I had a problem with it when I was younger, I really think that our dogs suffered much less than they would have with the whole Vet experience. Our dogs were also big 'farm' dogs and hated the vet.

    Once again so sorry about this matter....


  4. No, I wasn't joking, but the problem is, neither of us knows how to do it. I don't have a problem with it, because done right it is quick and merciful. But if you don't know what you are doing it could be a horrible disaster.


I really appreciate the concept and sentiment behind awards, but I cannot participate in them anymore. I have too may and I have not got the time to devote to participating properly. To all who have honored me, I am grateful but I don't have seven more things to tell anyone about myself! And I'm a terrible passer-oner.