Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Doggie Death Panels (Not!)
This public service announcement is brought to you by the Department of Inter-Species Aging and Communication. (H/T to Goose.)
This week is Animal Week on NPR's Fresh Air with the dulcet-toned Terry Gross. I know, I know, every week should be Animal Week, but, regrettably, we don't live in that kind of world. Anyway, Terry's first guest on yesterday's show was Dr. Nancy Kay (pictured above), a veterinarian who specializes in issues near and dear to the hearts of my legions of loyal fans: the difficult medical decisions humans are called upon to make on behalf of their companion animals as they age, particularly now that advances in veterinary medicine mean that unprecedented levels of intervention are possible for dogs and cats with cancer and other conditions associated with old age. Dr. Kay has written a book called Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happier, Healthier, Longer Life. Her Web site and blog are here. In the interview with Gross (a cat person, of course), Dr. Kay speaks movingly about her efforts to help humans think through questions of how much and what kind of care is appropriate, how to judge when an animal is in pain, and what an animal's experience of euthanasia is like. Moose got through the whole 30-minute interview without crying, though Dr. Kay choked up a couple of times.
Give it a listen, especially if you've got a sweet old bitch like me curled up at your feet. Dog bless you, friend, and know that you are not alone in the inordinate amount of time you spend worrying about how your animal companion is feeling and doing. Roxie's World is here for you, and, fortunately, so is Dr. Kay. Peace out.