Friday, July 2, 2010

To Err is Human

A comment below mentioned that even vets make mistakes... And that's completely right. None of us can say we've never made a mistake in our lives- heck, even with our pet care. How many times have we made a decision that looking back, we can see we screwed up? I know I've done it. My learning curve with kitten care was on stray babies with no one to care for them, but me. I had to try- even if that meant losing them- because to not try sentenced them to certain death. I am glad to say, I saved more then I lost, but my time handling those tiny babies was on a harsh learning curve.

That being said, however, I always tell people- the sign of a good breeder, cat or dog, isn't how they act when everything goes great- it's how they act when things go wrong. How they respond, the actions they take... Because in life- things do go wrong!

And I think that is a sign of a great vet too...

I think they need to acknowledge the mistake that was made and ensure it does not happen to the next PRAA baby that comes in their door- cat or dog. And I think, from the staff I met, that they are completely capable of ensuring this never happens again. This hospital does not seem to be sloppy, but mistakes DO happen. Mistakes that cost lives.

So we shall see what they say... I am hoping that I can report that they responded in a responsible manner and that will allow me to release the anger that I am harboring inside. Oh, it conflicts with the feelings of warmth I had towards the staff- I do think they are good people. Which is why it's so hard to push this issue, but if I don't, who will? Do we really need to wait for a 'next time', for another person to have the same thing happen to them? And would the next person even realize a mistake has been made?

Out of all of the people following Neala's story- only one person slammed me for questioning the fact that Neala was released Wednesday morning. Yet, even the veterinarian agreed, after he saw her xrays, that I was right in returning to the vet hospital and for checking her back in. I think something we, as regular Joe Schmoes do,- we discount our own feelings and instincts in regard to our babies.

Over the short course of Neala's life, I thought she would teach people only about Persistent Right Aortic Arch, but she has taught us so much more. She teaches to be valiant, to be brave, to keep purring even when life seems grim; she teaches us to trust our instincts and to keep asking questions- even if the professionals do not see what we are seeing. She teaches to love with all of our hearts, no matter what the cost.

It seems as though weeks must have passed by since Neala left us, yet it was only yesterday. The emotions are still very raw, though, but I feel as though time is passing too quickly.

Anyways, but to err is human, to forgive is divine. I'm not feeling too godly at this moment. I think for forgiveness, I need someone to take responsiblity and to admit their mistake. Otherwise, I will always harbor this knot of anger in my chest over this situation.


  1. I really hope that you get an appology from the vet but I'm not going to hold my breath.
    I lost my first dog because the vet used too much anesthia when he cleaned her teeth. The assistant called and explained the error and when I got there to pick up her body the vet totally changed the story and asked for payment.

    I don't know if you are familar with Muppet story but her Mom went thru multiple vets with conflicting opinions and horrendous bills to get her surgery to fix her ears.

  2. We just wanted to send our heartfelt love and prayers for your loss of your beautiful baby Neala. We also wanted to Thank You for sharing her story and for all the other kitties lives that you have and will make a difference to.

  3. I just read the other post on how Neala died and that is just terrible or worse than terrible. You would think they would know what to feed a little dog like that especially after surgery. I can't believe they fed her at all that soon. Give her some fluids with nutrients in them. That is just nuts.
    We are so sorry and I have felt terrible about it all. Sending lots of hugs and tons of purrs from all the kitties here.

  4. Yes mistakes do happen, but when you pay a top specialist you don't expect them to make mistakes. Mistakes cost lives in the vet and human medical world. Were you able to bring her home to bury and have a little memorial for her? Unfortunately we have two beloved sphynx that have passed and they are buried in the yard with aflowering bush over them. We can visit them anytime we want and we have a beautiful memorial in the way of a flower bush. We also lost a Sphynx kitty that we never got to meet. His name was Shrek andhe was a copy of Spot. They would of beent he cutest brothers with their blue spots and matching toupee markings and tails. But he had a blockage and died before we were able to get him. It is so very ahrd to lose a beloved pet. They have their own personalities and behaviors, they are part of the family. They are like children with 4 legs. Maybe a burial and memorial would help with the pain of losing such a sweet girl. You can out her favorte things inside a beautiful box and wrap it up with something equally beautiful and then wrap that in a plastic bag so it doesnt get wet and bury it and plant something in her memory. I wish I could say something to ease your pain and heartbreak. Have a blessed weekend.

  5. we are praying that the vet will do the right thing and admit a mistake was made. i know it will mean so much to you if this happens. sometimes people are too afraid to stand up for what is right, what they should do and they end up doing the wrong thing (or nothing at all).

    one of the things that touched my heart when my kimiko passed away was that the vet specialist, who had just starting treating her, sent me a sympathy card. he had taken the time to fill the inside of the card with his handwritten condolence note. i later got a card letting me know a donation had been made in kimiko's memory to further research in feline healthcare.

    we will be keeping your family in our prayers.

  6. We hope that closure can come for you in the way you need. I don't think ANYONE should criticize your need for closure. We each seek it in our own way.

    Our heart still break for you in your loss and we will keep you in our purraryers...