In the last post, I blogged on what one can do to deal with the difficult financial issues attached to dog cancer care. In this one, I would like to widen back, to help with some of the more personal issues about the subject.
To be sure, the real-world money issue is a basic, real one. Yet, there is more to this story. It involves your perspective, your viewpoint concerning treatment of canine cancer.
So many times the experiences we deal with are colored by the lenses through which we perceive the events at hand. The color of these lenses influences what we experience.
So lets look at it a little, since we all want a better experience, regardless of the facts as they stand.
One way to shift the color of our lenses is by allowing ourselves to widen back. It is so important, for a moment, to extract ourselves from discussions of the cancer, the odds, survival times, side effects, life quality, and age issues, at least temporarily. In the pause we allow ourselves, we get a brief window to look at the bigger picture.
Sometimes we can lose sight of the forest for the trees. The anguish that we feel when our loved canine family member has a life-threatening disease can be impossible to deal with . I have had many dog lovers focus on the cost of care and torture themselves with guilt at being unable to afford it.
Many times what is really going on is that we just don’t want to lose someone we love. It is that simple. We are not ready for this. We don’t want this.
And in fighting this awful, sinking, desperate feeling, we look at the money stuff. We focus on the costs instead of really letting the honest truth out.
For many this truth is, “No, not yet. Not now. I am not ready for this to be happening.”
Does this sound familiar to anyone? Thoughts like these sort of float around in our minds under the radar, and they color everything black.
Believe it or not, simply allowing the experience of the honest truth about how you feel can really ease the burden. And the amazing thing is, sometimes you will get glimmers of grace in the middle of this darkness.
One definition of grace is “The exercise of love, kindness, mercy, favor: disposition to benefit or serve another.”
We can always rely on one compass which will serve us in good stead in caring for another. This compass is compassion. I think it is pretty interesting that the word “compass” is in “compassion”.
When we just do what we can to exercise love, kindness, and mercy to our dogs, this compassion will lead us to happier days. I am not talking about just thinking about it or talking about it to someone. Instead, try taking time, on a regular basis, to do something.
Simple kind words, a loving massage, a bowl of (low sodium) chicken broth, a car ride to a sunny field, a home groom with a soft brush…all of these can help soothe both of you.
You and your loved dog.
Thinking of you,
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
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