Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ode to Abby

Last night, with a mind full of confidence on a looming chemistry exam, having nailed most of the questions, being able to adequately describe how to do the math and get the right answers, I headed home. I was pretty excited - 90% without hardly trying, imagine what a 100% would feel like with some more effort!!

In the dark of the laundry room, it was a little too still for an area once filled with a happy, yappy little dachshund. I guess the good Lord decided He needed her more than me.

She'd been sick for 1.5 days, I'd called the vet to ask when would it appear to need emergency intervention. Told to remove food and water for 24 hours and see how she was. Sadly for my son and I, she didn't make it 8 hours beyond that call. The guilt is immense; my thoughts of redoing more chemistry problems tossed out the door with eyes that could barely drive her to the vet for necropsy and cremation. Her body still warm to the touch; my own guilt creeping in between every mitochondria.

The necropsy showed she died of pancreatitis and gastric hemorrhaging. She suffered. Had I had any inkling it was life threatening... more guilt. That little dog used to bat one of our great dane's nose when she'd come in with happy jubilation. That little dog used to curl up inside my lap, and try to lick my face with her now toothless mouth. Never one to complain, she was guardian of our house... we'd call her the "alarmist" our great dane the "enforcer".

Abby was a true gem. Dachshunds are sometimes known to be feisty, nippy dogs - ours loved everyone, and everyone loved her.

She is gone now and quite possibly medical school for me as I believe I failed the test. Not for one second do I believe Abby's sudden demise had anything to do with it and refuse to use that for an excuse.

Not everything is good in life - sometimes it just sucks.


Dalai said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Likely she didn't really suffer very long. Don't beat yourself up over this. You will certainly learn in med school that life is a tenuous gift at best. Cherish those close to you, human and canine, and celebrate the time you have with them.

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thank you for the kind words.

Path201X said...

I too am sorry to hear about the loss of your dog. But please don't give up your aspirations for med school!

Nick said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your dog. They trully are the most noble animals on this planet. In regards to your exam, try to keep a good perspective on things. You've been acing the quizzes and doing well on the labs. It would be highly illogical (insert Treck nerd comment) to think that your hard work hasn't translated into the test.

Jacqueline said...

So sorry for your loss. We had to put one of our dogs to sleep a few months back so I know how you feel. Sending you huge hugs.

Rest in Peace Abby!

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thank you everyone. I do appreciate the warm thoughts.

My utter dismay over little Abby's demise is that if failed to take care of the most helpless and innocent, how in the world will I do as a doc?!

I wish I had known how serious it was; in retrospect when I saw her hypotensive back, I assumed dehydration and gave her water. It was the exact WRONG thing to do for her.

Had I known how serious it was, even when I called the vet on Tues, had I not been so overly worried about my chem lab quiz, I still might not have saved her life but at least Abby could have been mercifully put to sleep.

The little, stoic, innocent companion suffered.

Beyond the sadness of her death, is the knowledge I could have stopped her suffering. That is beyond disconcerting for me.

Path201X said...

I have another take on this that I'm going to apologize early for if it offends you. It is tremendously sad the circumstances surrounding your dog's death, but it's exactly because of this experience that I believe you'll be a better Diagnostician/Clinician in the future.