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In loving memory of Smokey: 8/8/08 – 8/4/12. May your death not be in vain.

I very rarely get political about something, at least not publicly. I will fight tooth and nail about dog training, but I stay out of gun control, international relations, welfare, the health care reform, same sex marriage and foreign wars. It’s not that I don’t have opinions, because I do, it’s just that I don’t like to stir the political pot. Like I’ve said before, I’m pretty non-confrontational and I would rather work to change the things I care about in quiet, behind the scene ways instead of big, grandiose, loud ways. That’s why I like the law, that’s why I love my job. Do I think the justice system needs help? Sure do, I deal with it every day, but I would take the justice system over the political machine any day.

But here I find myself.

A lot of people probably don’t think that legislation regulating and controlling what information your veterinarian acquires (and more importantly discloses) is a big issue. A lot of people probably think that my preface doesn’t make much sense all things considered. I’d like to respectfully disagree.

Smokey wasn’t “just a dog”. Smokey was a member of my family. Smokey was my hero. Smokey was the closest thing to a child I’ve ever known, or may ever know, who can tell. Smokey had a really, for lack of a better word, shitty life before we rescued him, and it’s not right that he finally found happiness only to have it stripped away from him because of something a veterinarian believed.

I don’t know what belief my vet holds, truly, deep down. Maybe our vets just don’t know, maybe they truly believe what they’re saying, that these vaccines aren’t killing our animals. Maybe the vets are right and the vaccines aren’t killing our pets. But vets are scientists right? Here’s a science experiment – my dog was perfectly healthy before he was given his annual vaccinations. The next day, he was reacting terribly. Two months later, he died. Why aren’t the vets asking why? Why are Joe and I the only ones demanding to have some answers? What is the big secret? If you know the answer, if you can explain to me why Smokey just all of a sudden up and died then TELL ME! If you don’t know the answer, then maybe it’s time someone required you to FIND OUT, before this downward spiral of hiding behind the vaccine companies gets too far out of control.

Now, I don’t mean for this to be hate speech on my vet. I ADORE my vet. We brought them a thank you card after Smokey passed. They did a marvelous job, as did the emergency vets. You can see it in his medical records, the vet refused to take no for an answer when the lab said they didn’t have Smokey’s blood work back. He got it done, because he knew he had to. I just wish I had seen that kind of brilliant passion and concern before Smokey got sick. I also know that there are a lot of things changing all the time and it’s hard to keep up on all of them, no matter how educated and well trained you are. But I think vaccines are a key one, at least for family veterinarians and clinics. They administer these things every day, why shouldn’t they know everything about them that they can?

It’s hard to admit you’re wrong. I personally hate admitting I’m wrong. That’s one of the things Joe and I respect the most about our vet. He stepped up and said, “Yes, I’m sorry.” Not all vets, not even most vets would do that.

I agreed to cosponsor the petition below to say just that – we respect you, we appreciate you, we think you’re wonderful at what you do, and we want you to keep doing it, but please, please tell us what it means to vaccinate your dog, cat, horse, guinea pig, whatever, the good and the bad, so we can make informed decisions for our pets before it’s too late. I didn’t go to vet school, but you did, please share your information with me as best as you can and as much of it as you can so I know before, so I don’t have to feel this guilt ever again.

Please read, sign and share this petition widely. It’s time to put an end to the ignorance.