Days like today…
It’s days like today that make it hard to be in veterinary medicine. Pets that are hospitalized here, long term become a part of our crazy little family. When our strenuous efforts feel like nothing. When we lose a patient, we send a small piece of ourselves with them. We’re all heartbroken and exhausted and through it all, the show must go on. There are other patients to heal, more compassion to share. We’ll all pretend that every brown dog that comes in doesn’t vaguely remind us of our lost friend. Years from now, we’ll come across his picture and smile. Euthanasia is the hardest part of the career. And sometimes it’s easy for us to rationalize that we are releasing our beloved pets from the pains of this world. But other times our blood, sweat and tears went in to saving this sweet soul. Sometimes wanting something isn’t enough to make it happen. I see the tears run down the faces of the owners, of my co-workers, and of the doctor. I’m overcome with a longing to fix what can’t be fixed. It’s frustration and morose and grief. However, the compassion we lend to the patients and clients is what drives us to get up everyday. This is why we’re here. Someday I’ll look back at that picture, amber eyes and a wagging tail and smile because I’ll remember my patient. Little nub wagging away as he trots around boasting the little fish toy we gave him in his mouth. I’ll remember that we all loved him for 3 long weeks and know that, in the end, we all did what was best for him and he loved us for that.
In Memory of Otto,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Vet Tech