Rescue Journal

the doubts

Carol  ·  Mar. 23, 2012

rescue is full of second guessing, full of doubts, full of mistakes made and is so full of those things that is not much room left victory dances. by the time victory happens (if it actually does) not only are you exhausted by the battles leading up to it but there are already new large and small battles forming up.

so today i look at percy..traumatized, not eating, not pooping with fluid dripping from his mouth and nose and i see a giant mistake suffering before me. maybe in a few weeks i wll feel differently, maybe i will be glad i did what i did and so will he.

and today i looked at daphne in her cage with her cone, with a tube to pump fluids in and a tube to drain it out again and i know there is still more trauma coming her way without an answer on if she will die or live.

let's face it..i only did right for both of them if they get to happily enjoy life for the next 15 or more years..but if i just put them thru hell for their last couple of weeks, i totally fucked up on them.

you absolutely cannot put a positive spin on this kind of decision making....i either got it 100% right or god forbid, 100% wrong.

anyway..the vet was here to see percy..the fluid dripping out is in his trachea, doesn't sound like it is in his lungs. he had more long acting antibiotic and pain med injections, and i have a couple of injectible doses for over the weekend if he needs. he did just have a poop so we just need to get him to start eating and then we can switch him to oral pain meds. the swelling and incision look good and overall..the vet is pleased.

the plan for daph is her iv comes out today but the urinary suprapubic cathetor stays in...she comes home to cage confinement tomorrow and then in a week or so we take her back for round two.

and i have to figure out how to get thru the doubting phase of loving and trying to do the best we can these two without feeling totally like shit.



I PVR'd the bionic vet today

Sometimes it is hard to watch as people seem to want to do anything they can for their animal.....and these cases are pretty severe.
He is always very good at educating them about when they might be getting to the point of doing more harm than doing good and he will not recommend treatments etc. He is pretty amazing as he values all animals lives and said that if they are living and are able, the should not be denied a chance. He is the first guy I have seen refer to them as sentient beings and appreciate them for themselves and their life spirits.

One thing he said today that reminded me of Percy was that his job is "to help life and help as long as there is hope......but not to help if one is only hoping". I hope I got that right from memory.....but it reminds me of this situation & your hope floats mantra.

Saints & the vets are helping because there is hope vs just intervening because you are hoping. I think that can help one know they are making the right decisions?

Best wishes Percy. Maybe an animal communicator can help him understand why he is going thru this? Maybe one could donate a reading?


Feel the same way about one of my cats that has had spinal damage since last weekend :(

jamie bryk

Carol, the doubts you are having with Percy & Daphne are the same ones you have with every one that presently calls Saints home and loved ones that have passed on. You are the rock that they all depend on because they know you love them unconditionaly. They are sore now, but thier love for you is still strong & true. All the humans in your life are there to support you in the hard times, laugh with you in the happy times & they also unconditionally love you!


Hi Kim

Could you please bring the pledges to the pub night.
I won't be going back to SAINTS tomorrow before the event and I do the deposits for the events I look after.


Family matters. Doubts be damned; family matters.

Strength to Percy!

Welcome Home Daphne!

Good decisions Carol. Thank you.


Off topic--- is it alright if I bring more pledges for Team House to SAINTS tomorrow morning? Or should I just bring them to pub night?

Carol--- of course you made the right choice. Think of the quote "the only real failure in life is the failure to try." My thoughts are with you, Daphne, and Percy.


Here's how I look at it. Unlike many, many humans would, you considered the health and well-being of both Daphne and Percy as if their lives had meaning. You considered them as beings worthy of anguishing over, doubting yourself over, questioning yourself over. In short, you treated them as family.

This is exactly how we should all treat our friends and family regardless of species. So, no matter what my mind you were 100% right because no choice you made came from a place of disregard or indifference. By agonizing over what to do, you are broadcasting to the world that the lives of a senior dog and a young cow have value. And, by golly, that's a message a whole lot of people need to acknowledge.

Might Percy and Daphne suffer through some awful weeks ahead? Very likely. And as Leila pointed out it's compounded by the fact that you cannot explain to them that there could very well be a positive outcome.
But all creatures pull in the direction of life and if they come out the other side to spend one more joyous day in the sun or one more peaceful day curled in your lap...well, then I think (and, it's true, I can't KNOW) that this is what Percy and Daphne would choose.

One of my favourite quotes which I think embodies a lot of what SAINTS is about:

"Don't just live and let live. Help let live."


Although surely not on the same scale as you have to make these decisions, we've all done that with our own animals...and know the pain of looking at them immediately after surgery and wondering/worrying/agonizing: 'did i do the right thing? oh that poor creature! what did i do to you!' And then they get better, and of course we did the right thing! (or if they don't, well... how could we not try? that's the hardest decision - and the one that's so painful at the end of their lives, isn't it?) These are very lucky creatures to have you in their corner...

another Doreen

Life in general is full of those doubts, mistakes, regrets, etc. Yours is just multiplied by the number of special animals in your care! If they were humans would there be any doubt that you would have to try to fix them?


My mom says we can't explain things to animals the way we can to humans. They don't understand what the vets are doing odd thing to them so the whole experience because traumitizing to them in a way it wouldn't to a young human going through similar procedures. I know we traumitized Lotus big time when she had her teeth pulled out in the summer. It wasn't even the surgery. It was all that medication we had to some how get into her. Our relationship with Lotus went totally back to the way it was when she first came here and she went back into hiding. She is just now (over 6 months later) back to normal. I kept saying to her you to don't understand this is for your good. She has never looked so healthy as she does now. She has a little tiny bit of fat on her and her hair looks incredible. I think maybe you go through this with the SAINTS (in a much bigger way) when they have to go through horrible vet care (unexplainable torture to them) to get them to come out on the other end in a better place.


I don't pretend to know didly-squat about cows/steers/bovines so I have no idea what their life-expectancy might be. If they live to be pretty old, like horses, then you absolutely had to try to save Percy... he's far too young to simply let him slip away. It may look ugly, and it might get uglier, and it might not even work long term... but you absolutely had to try... it's not like he's 30 years old and palliative care would be the best/only option for him. You have given him the chance to continue to be "the big dog" at SAINTS for many years to come.


No matter the outcome, you made the 100% correct choice in both cases. If you chose not to pursue treatment you would always be asking yourself if they could have had more quality life. Both Percy and Daphne are well controlled for pain and while they don't feel to shit hit right now they have a chance and hope. And you did that. You are a hero, crazy, but a hero ;)


Carol, your decisions are the only ones that always make sense to someone watching from a distance. You truly love and suffer with each and every saint you have. My prayers are with you and the crew and of course the wonderful animals. Hang in there!