Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Make It Count

Jitterbug thwarts work efforts.

Life doesn't always hand you roses.

Perhaps it is the  perspective of being  a veterinarian? In one work day a veterinarian will see the miracle of  joy that is the abundant fervor of a puppy intent on simple play and the excitement of each new person juxtaposed by the family who visits to say their final goodbye to their beloved family member of many years. Those who are immersed in everyday life and death know that there is no script, no fairness, and no guarantees that life won't deliver a fatal blow around the next corner.

Magpie finds a good spot.
My  husbands parents are elderly and facing hospice and long term care for their bodies that are tired and unable to  fight cancer and disease any longer. The real life reality of a short calendar and the few precious weeks or months that they have left is a hard fact to face, never mind accept. We are old enough to have accepted that death happens and lives leave your life in  unexpected and heart wrenching ways. My husband came home last week with the news that one of his co-workers had just passed away in his mid forties from cancer that had been diagnosed a few months ago. This man  is younger than my  husband and had been a valued employee and good friend for many years. His death was abrupt and hard to accept. Our nature is to categorize those things we find difficult to make sense of. For my husband this disbelief manifested in resolve to do the following;

Valentine's Day 2016 breakfast.

"If I am diagnosed with cancer and told that I have three months to live I want you  to know that I am going to say "screw it to a lot of things!" His proclamation of the life he wanted to live and the regrets he would have if the hour glass was running low probably sounds like something many people would say.

Kisses in the snow. Jekyll and Charlie live in the moment.

How would your life be different if you won the lottery? Or, if you were given the news of a terminal disease? That's where my husbands head is at now.

I know he is struggling with how to live a life that makes him happy and how to accept that life can be cut short.

It was late in the evening after a long day in the clinic when he told me how sad he was to have lost his friend. His day of phone calls, multi-million dollar budgets and the weight of a title in a large corporation where he is responsible for huge assets that took 40 years of hard work and an impeccable work resume to attain are very different from my day to day general practitioner responsibilities. I exist at the individual patient level. He exists at the global corporate level. I see life and death and  every aspect of every patient in between everyday. I got used to death a long time ago.

First puppy vet visit, Frances Jane, selfie.

"If I have 3 months to live I would live the life I have now." 

Mac preps for his neuter.
Hold on tight to those you love and take time to cuddle.
If you love pets and want to make a difference in their lives please join me on We are a free pet centered platform dedicated to helping pets live longer, happier, and healthier lives by educating and empowering their guardians.

I can also be found on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, and at the clinic Jarrettsville Vet, in Jarrettsville Maryland.


  1. One thing I have always told my daughters "Life is an everyday adjustment". We need to value life to it's fullest, both for ourselves,friends,family,pets and life around us in nature. I also read a quote a couple of years ago which has stuck with me and it's about people getting older. "Never complain about getting older because many people never get the chance."

  2. I love your blog and look forward to seeing it in my inbox. Thanks for your thoughtful words. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, make the most of the next minute you have.