This seems like the friendliest way to vent a little frustration out. I listened to it three times this morning and have things ordered in my brain a little better.
Frustration isn't necessarily anger, usually anger is easier to deal with. We have a dog in kidney failure, one we watched being born. She was part of an 11 puppy litter from a pregnant dog we rescued in a snowstorm. In a 24 hour period we gained a black & tan coonhound and her 11 puppies, this was almost 13 years ago.
I know there are those of you out there who've walked this kidney disease/failure road too. The first thing to go is the dog's appetite but they fool you. There are good days, so-so days and terrible days. First we always try the vet recommended K/D prescription diet that we know the dogs will never eat. Then we trot out every treat known to dogdom to whet their appetite. If they are small dogs we've had great success with using commercial human baby food in a syringe to sort of "prime the pump" but if they are large dogs, that isn't a viable option. Then we start with cooking the dog's food and that is usually works great for a week, two if we are lucky. Then begins the on again, off again...all the while our beloved dog loses more and more weight.
We aren't fools...we know what's coming...if we let ourselves, we could probably even predict when it will come. The frustrating twist is that dogs are different than humans and can't tell us specifically when they want to give up. They are bizarrely strong even when they are starving they keep going. The eyes are bright and alert, the tail wags and they continue to run and play with the other dogs. People without dogs don't get it. They think the dog should be euthanized as soon as the meals are missed. So...the trial and error of dog meals is only one level of frustration and an additional frustration is people not understanding that if the dog isn't giving up, we feel we can't either.
Don't get me wrong. We are strong enough to make the gut-wrenching decision to end the dog's suffering when it becomes apparent that the dog has decided they are suffering. WE HATE IT WE HATE IT WE HATE IT. There are so many frustrating layers to the decision and we feel guilty beyond measure that cost even enters it. Not the cost of the euthanizing, that's the least of it. The cost of the special meals that end up being divvied up among the other dogs because the sick one won't eat them. The costs of the vet visits to tell us the inevitable, the blood tests that indicate what prescriptions to try next and the costs of the prescriptions that the dog never finishes because the end comes first.
The biggest cost, bar none other is the cost to our hearts. The roller coaster ride plays out the same way every time. It is said that all magic comes with a cost, so does including dogs and cats in our lives. The cost is tremendous and if you are in animal rescue long enough you start to wonder how many little pieces of your heart you can afford to lose. As long as they share our lives though, we accept the responsibility that comes along with the joys they do bring.
It doesn't however ease the frustration. Today's music selection doesn't make it go away but it and the writing does put it in perspective as well as knowing the unconditional support we will receive from those of you who understand.