Stephanie Burgis
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Calming down, and other topics
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Thanks so much to everyone who commented on the last few entries! I really, really appreciated the support. Today Maya is still restless and uncomfortable, limping much more than usual, but she's also visibly doing much better than yesterday, which is a huge relief. Patrick has already posted about our concerns with the medication she's been prescribed (especially as a long-term solution - and some of the possible side-effects are pretty horrendous), so we're not at all convinced that we've found the right solution yet. One of the hardest things about having a pet is the need to make medical decisions based on our guesses about how they might be feeling. Based on the look of Maya's shoulder joint, she "ought" to be in pain; on the other hand, she's an alert, high-energy, exuberant dog who's constantly flying around the room, jumping from place to place and bouncing off the walls. much pain is she in, really? And what compromises is it worth making, in terms of the rest of her health and comfort, to try to fix the pain that we guess she might be in? I don't know the answers yet.

But she is doing better today than yesterday, and I am starting to feel calmer and more capable of figuring out the right answers, in time.

As I calm down, I'm starting to get excited about EasterCon - and what a great excuse to do things like, oh, just to be totally wild and crazy...get a hair-cut! And: buy new clothes! (Well, okay, there is actually less of an excuse to do the second one...but I might at least buy a couple of new tops that really fit.)

And I just signed a petition that is really worth signing (a non-political one this time): the petition to eliminate the live-animal lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. This is an issue that is close to home, for me. When I was a kid, my best friend's mom was a veterinary student at Michigan State University. She was absolutely horrified by the procedures that were considered customary at that point. (For instance: they broke one healthy young dog's leg, over and over again, so that the vet students could each practice setting it. Then they planned to put the dog to sleep, having used up its usefulness. Thank God, my best friend's mom, helped by one of the professors, managed to persuade them to let her adopt the dog instead. I adored the dog, Hummer, who was sweet, loving, not-surprisingly shy, and had developed a habit of really awful seizures because of her traumatic ordeal at the vet school's hands.) Because of the work my friend's mom and other students did, MSU changed their procedures to allow students to learn with models and simulations instead - which was proven to be at least as effective for training veterinarians.

You can sign the petition here.

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