It’s me Poetic Ice again, and this volume isn’t like the others. It’s more serious. Every technician has probably been through this and understands what this post is about. With that said, let’s get into it.
Loss of a loved one
The cute little five year old rug rat pictured above is my own Dachshund named Diva. The queen of cuddles, the craver of chicken, and the bane of bath time! My dachshund was never a dog, she didn’t get the memo. She was a person who had an enormous amount of hair.
I got her from my sister after my then fiancee begged, pleaded, and finally convinced me to get her. She was the first serious mutual commitment we had together. She meant the world to us. She also came at a time when I was taking vet assistant classes so she was my study buddy/test dummy. I learned a lot with this pup at my side. After getting into the Veterinary profession and learning a lot about our long friend I took every possible measure to prevent her from having any kind of back issue. I gave her plenty of controlled (safe) exercise, gave her a good diet to prevent excessive weight gain, and TRIED to prevent her from jumping on everything possible. For five years I had this battle won. She was the healthiest little runt around.
But a couple weeks ago my word changed, as my efforts proved all for naught. I to this day don’t know how my puppy was hurt, but she must have had an accident outside playing because she started showing signs of Intervertebral Disc Disease. Her back was hunched and she couldn’t lift her head up. I took her to my job to get her examined and the diagnosis was made. The normal treatment track was taken then. Muscle relaxers, steroids, and pain medications. Strict cage rest and leash walks only. For the next three weeks we played the awful game of wait and see. Every day she would either scream in pain all day, or seem like she’s getting better. All the while no matter how much pain she was in she would wag her tail and be happy to see my wife and I. No matter how my pup felt she was trying to he happy for us. This made it all the more worse being a Vet Tech. I knew nothing short of a surgery I couldn’t afford would help her, but I’ve seen pets take this route and improve. That just wasn’t the case this time.
Her condition kept worsening so my wife and I made the hardest decision we’ve ever had to. We brought her to my job to be relieved of her suffering. Thanks to my amazing coworkers this was easier, but it was still hard. It was hard as hell to do. I’ve done this process from the other side for years, and have probably become somewhat desensitized. That scar tissue of desensitization was ripped off and I was a fresh open wound of emotion again. My wife and I are still reeling from the event. I’ve even been affected at work. I witnessed an emergency humane euthanasia, and felt like I was going through it all over again. Whatever edge I had over the years is gone currently. The pit of my stomach held a feeling I couldn’t understand until writing this. It was a feeling of despair from not being able to save my own pet, yet I clock in everyday to do just that for others. But that isn’t it, it’s the despair fighting against my passion for this job, and the love I had for my own lovable Diva. It’s a moment of intense sadness that’s combating against years of joyful memories and experiences. sadness and despair that will turn to lessons in life, and won’t leave me defeated for too long. My Diva wouldn’t want that, if she found me like this she be busy shoving her wet nose in my face and licking me non-stop.
But it still hurts… and It’s one major thing Vet Techs Don’t Like.
-If you have experienced a loss of a loved one, my heart goes out to you. I pray you get through your dark times, I hope we get through them together.