Thursday, October 31, 2013

Veterinarian Woes

           A while ago my favorite dog magazine put out a call for readers to tell them what they looked for in a vet.  I have to say that my response was a litany about my favorite veterinarian that no longer practices in our area, but I didn’t really let them know what I actually look for in a vet.  I guess I never really thought about it.  Until now.

See, my dog has lumps.  He’s been a lumpy boy for some time now.  I’ve had dogs all my life and the vets I’ve taken them to have always said “fatty tumor, leave it alone”.  I have always had a doctor that I trusted and listened to me, at least as an adult pet owner.  When I was a child and just out of school I was still in fear of the vet.  They know so much more than I do. 

However, with age comes knowledge and with knowledge comes questions and new fears.  I have lived with this dog for ten years now.  I have known him since he was five weeks old and woke up with him in the middle of the night for barefoot walks in dewy grass so he could learn to pee outside.  I searched high and low for him when his beagle nose led him away from me into the danger of the streets and other dogs’ yards. 

When he contracted mange and no one knew what it was, I found a vet that did and he was cured.  And we loved this vet for six years, until he just one day up and retired and moved away.  Shock, fear and anger are STILL with me!  And for the last two years we have been shopping around and trying new veterinarians, wanting to find THE ONE again.  It isn’t going to happen.

So I’ve made the appointment, I am arming myself with knowledge and I will make sure that what is done is done with respect and care in the best interest of my dog.  This doctor is going to have to understand that I am an extension of my dog, that I speak for him and want only the best for him.  I don’t consider him a god and I will question him if I don’t understand.

And maybe, just maybe, someday down the line, this doctor will be “the one”, the one that we trust our animals lives with, the one we miss when he’s on vacation and we make ourselves wait for him to get back instead of going to another doctor (unless it’s an emergency), the one that we tell all our friends about so they know a good place to bring their own fur babies.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All We Can Ask Is "Why?"

This Nevada school shooting is really bothering me.  I feel so bad for this nation.  We have entitled ourselves and our children to anything we want (we deserve, we think) and if we don’t get it we get mad and get even.  I don’t know why this happened.  I can’t even pretend to get in this boy’s head, this twelve year old boy, and try to figure him out.  And he’s not going to be around to answer any questions.  And his parents are probably clueless too.  Unless he left a note, or he was going to counseling.  I really have to wonder if his parents didn’t see something coming.  I know when my daughter was a teenager and even now, I can tell when she’s ready to boil over.  I can see and feel the simmer before she blows.  I can’t do anything about it because she is an adult, but I also DID do something about it when she was a child.

Here are some things that I think contribute to the shoot-em-up society, in regards to children:

1.             Video games.  You can say that they are just games, but when children commit crimes psychologists are the first ones to say that their brains are not totally developed and they are highly impressionable.

2.            Medication.  Not theirs, yours.  Either they are taking it or see you abusing it.  And they think it’s ok, because it gets you through the day, or the hour, or the last five minutes.

3.            Red Bull.  I’ll probably get in trouble for this but I’ve seen a ton of kids drinking this and other highly caffeinated drinks that will get them going, screw up their sleep cycles, make them cockier, etc.  When I was a kid even Pepsi was kept away from us.  Only for the adults.   In previous posts I have mentioned living a sheltered life, so this was probably not true for a lot of kids.

4.            Access to the internet.  I don’t care how many stops you put on your computer, phone, tablet, etc – the kid will always find a way.  You look at what they do on the internet?  Riiiggghhhttt.  And I won the mega millions last week.  You do realize they know how to erase history and clear cache before you look over their shoulder, correct?  What they see, and what they post, and the fact they feel they can say anything makes them extremely dangerous.

5.            Children’s rights.  Yes, it’s good that we can help the children who need it, but has your child ever said “You can’t put your hands on me!  I’ll tell the police!” when you’ve threatened to spank?  They teach that first thing in school now.  It’s supposed to teach them that their body belongs to them only and no one should touch it without their permission, but what it really teaches them is that they can get away with ANYTHING because you are afraid to get in trouble yourself.

6.            "Everyone’s A Winner" mentality.  Kids have to understand that not everyone can win and handing out awards to all does not help our children.  This melds into the theory of bettering oneself.  If you think you’re going to get an award anyway, why do better?  Why push yourself?  These kids are bored out of their minds.  They don’t have to figure out anything – all they need is technology and they are on their way.

There’s more, there’s always more.  Maybe you’ll add to my list.  I think we need to go back to the fifties, or even the forties.  Whenever kids went to classes for manners and how to behave in social situations.  We’ve lost that.  I think even people my age could use it.  These things were taught because they were important.  Not for fun, not for credit.  It was something you needed to become a productive member of society.  I think we need to start paying more attention to the people around us instead of our smart phones.  If you see someone in distress, take a moment and see if you can help.  Smile at the person in line behind you.  Make small talk.  Show your child there is more to your life than them.  Show them there’s more to their life than you.  Take away the video games and technology and bring them outside.  Show them parks and zoos and museums.  Walk by the water or in the woods.  TALK to them.  Make eye contact.  Make them respond to you.  Be quiet with them.  Be still with them.  It may be exactly what they need.  Let self-confidence be their weapon of choice.  Please, for their futures as well as our nation’s.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Tissue For My Issue?

Last night I went to bed angry and slept fairly soundly.  Actually, I slept better than I normally do when all is right with the world.  Why would I go to bed angry?  There is a good answer for that and here it is.  I had a friend.  I had a very good friend.  When I stopped working with her we would talk and visit once in a while.  When I worked closer to her I would stop down on my lunch hour maybe once a week, or two.  She never came up to visit me although her time was more flexible than mine, but that didn’t matter.  At one point she just stopped talking to me.  I went in to visit and she was curt and uncommunicative.  I still have no idea what I did, but for the longest time she ran from me.  Stayed in her car when I pulled into the parking lot after her or turned her head if she drove by me as I walked to the office.  Just last week she and her husband ran a stop sign at the end of the one-way street because had they stopped our cars would have been next to each other.  She un-friended me on Facebook.  At first I thought she deleted her account but when I looked she was still friends with everyone else.  I got the picture and although it hurt at first I chalked it up to live and learn, one cannot hold another as a friend if that other person doesn’t want to be.

I left work last night only to be followed by her and with her was a mutual friend.  I looked in the rearview and saw them while I sat at the light.  The only thing I thought was that wasn’t it nice that they were still so close.  Yes, a little sarcastically, but what else can I do?  I knew they were still paling around.  Whatever.  They stay a good ways behind me and we take the same route.  When I get to my village I pull over at the post office and she does too.  I think to myself that this will be interesting, but I put on my sunglasses and walk at a normal pace into the post office.  I get my mail and walk out.  I don’t look at her car.  To me she is invisible, and worse, a stranger.  I don’t know her anymore.  I get in my car and start it up.  She pulls out from behind me and honks.  Both of them wave.  It takes everything I have not to give her the finger but the woman in her car with her is a friend of my mother’s, and someone I used to scrapbook with and I respect her more than that.

I get home and I post on Facebook something along the lines of “Don’t expect me to wave and honk.  We’re not friends”.  I get a bunch of likes and I don’t use names.  When I pick up my boyfriend later I tell him what happened.  He asks me if I spoke to her and I told him no, that she never rolled down her window, didn’t yell from her car, didn’t get out or make any effort.  He was glad I ignored her.  He didn’t think she needed to be acknowledged since she hadn’t done the same for me the last year and a half.

Later he gets on Facebook.  He sees my post and he gets all “Why did you post that?” attitude.  I walked away.

Later he asks me if I’m mad at him.  I tell him no and go to bed mad.

This morning after I’ve had some time to think I ask him what his problem was with the post I put on my wall.  He told me that I shouldn’t put anything on there that I wouldn’t say to her face and since I wouldn’t it shouldn’t have gone up.  He said that I’m not that time of person, implying that that person is an idiot.  I told him that it isn’t often that I put things like that up but I do and I AM that sort of person.  And now I’m really angry.

I could roll ten different things I’m mad at him about into this and make him into a complete jerk, but he’s not.  But after ten years I have to wonder if he knows who I really am.  I basically have the attitude “live and let live”.  Whoever you are is who you are and maybe I like you or I don’t but it’s your life, not mine.  I do this with him all the time because he is definitely a lot different than me.  He, however, is very judgmental and I feel it a lot even when it’s not aimed at me.  I basically start an argument with him before I can stop, challenging his views.  I am trying to stop that because I know I can’t win and it just causes hard feelings.  If I walk away I’ll forget about it.

After all this, what really bothers me is that he thinks I should be a better person, when I’m trying to be the best person I can be already.  I’m tired.  I would like to tell everyone to go jump off a cliff.  I would like things to go my way.  I don’t.  They don’t.  And sometimes I vent about it.  Here it is.