I wrote this post awhile ago, and it’s geared toward shelter work, but in light of Dr. Yin’s passing, I thought it prudent to reshare. When Dusty was 10 weeks old, and she had to be euthanized, our vet started to cry. And then she apologized for crying. She apologized. I smiled grimly and handed her a tissue while Joe told her, “I’m sure you didn’t get in this profession to kill puppies.” So often, we get mad at our vets, because we have to blame someone for the life being lost. So often, we forget that they are hurting too. When one of our dogs has had to be euthanized, or died, we always make a point to send a thank you letter to our vets with a picture of our dog tucked inside. They gave them brilliant care while they were alive, the best. And we want them to know we appreciate them, because so often, they go unappreciated. Please remember to be kind to your vets. They didn’t get into this profession because they like getting up at two in the morning when your horse is collicking or because they enjoy euthanizing animals they’ve gotten to know throughout their lives. They didn’t go through six plus years of school and face grueling, 12 plus hour clinicals because they hate animals. They care, they really care, and deep down, they hurt when they can’t heal. RIP in Dr. Yin.
Author’s Note: All of the dogs featured in this blog have been adopted, with the exception of Lizzy, the first photograph.
I read an article awhile ago about compassion fatigue in animal welfare, and though the article was geared toward shelter workers, it struck a chord with me as well.
I often find ways to discount my feelings. I’m an expert at building emotional barriers to distance myself from traumas in my life, of which I’ve had an unfortunate number, but recently, the distance that I thought I was building is starting to cave in on me. As Joe put it, “You’ve been putting all that in the back of your mind and now the back of your mind is full and it’s got nowhere to go.”
The nightmares started about three months ago. I’ve suffered with night terrors all my life and I go through phases when they are…
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