Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Canine mortality, fish conservation and dogs in cars

Phil in a rainbow
Yesterday a rainbow fell onto the floor in my study, and Phil sat in it. Of course, he is the pot of gold at the end of my rainbow.

How long does it take to get over the loss of a dog? Can you ever inoculate yourself against grief? I’ve never lost my own dog. I’ve shed many, many tears over the loss of dogs I have known, but not one I’ve lived with. I dread the day. As the companion of a senior dog its something that crosses my mind now and then. As a veterinarian who undertakes end of life care and euthanasia, canine mortality is something I reflect on daily.

It would be nice if this scenario turns out to be real.

A number of SAT readers sent me links to a moving article by SMH columnist and Broadcaster Richard Glover, about his grief following the euthanasia of his dog. He reflects on what he learned from Darcy, who died at the age of 15.

“Every dog has lessons to teach. They are experts, of course, in demanding love. Humans, quite often, seem to doubt whether they are worthy of love, but dogs have no such uncertainties. "Look at me, just look at me," Darcy would say and, as my eyes met his, it was impossible not to submit to his unspoken demand."What a good dog. What a handsome dog. You are the best dog that ever was."”

(You can read the full article here and there’s also this brilliant piece about how dogs are better at so many things than we are). [BTW Phil is totally fine and enjoyed a big walk this morning].

Phil nethers
If you find yourself sitting on a rainbow, why not tend to your nethers?

On a more immediate note...

If you’re interested in fish, animal welfare, conservation or all of the above you might want to sign up to the World Aquatic Veterinary Medical Association’s webinar on Aquatic Veterinary Conservation Medicine. The speaker is Professor Mohamed Faisal, from Michigan State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Agriculture & Natural Resources.

The talk addresses the stressors fish are exposed to, and pathogens that have decimated fish populations over the last three decade. Attendees will learn about the role that aquatic veterinarians play in saving fish species from extinction.

To register, visit here.

Would you like to help out Guide Dogs while participating in painless research? Got a dog and use any form of transport?

The study, “Cars and Canines”, is looking at how transport influences your relationship with your dog. To find out more visit or contact Dr Jennifer Kent, at The University will donate $1 for every completed survey to Guide Dogs NSW.