Sunday, November 23, 2008

An open letter to animal owners on Saipan

So here I am sitting in the Honolulu airport, getting ready to leave for Saipan. Honolulu was the site of my most recent continuing education seminar. Veterinarians are required to get 15 hours/year of CE (Continuing Education), to stay current on recent medical advances. I was amazed to find that last year I logged 81 hours of CE. This year I managed 35 hours.
This postgraduate education is expensive, but well worth the effort. I made a commitment to myself (and to my patients on Saipan) to relieve pain, suffering and disease. This is not possible without constant reading, instruction, and association with those that know more than I about this continually evolving profession. This is a commitment that I have gladly made and gladly kept.
Many of the diseases that we treat with little concern today used to be untreatable just a few years ago. I am continually learning new approaches, new medications, new surgical procedures that ensure a long, happy, life for my patients.
I love my profession and the part I play in making the world a better place.
God, in his infinite mercy, foresaw the need for a trusted and non-questioning companion to fill the deep void in the human soul. This void cannot be filled by human contact alone. This is why He blessed us with the human-animal bond.
My dogs and cats don't question me in any way, shape or form. They are happy to see me regardless of where I've been or what I've done, and they never question my motives, even when I do something that is unfavorable to them. Their love for me, and my family is 100 percent non-judgmental, and unconditional.
They have accepted my shortcomings, and deficiencies without feeling the need to give any “constructive” criticism. Their love and acceptance has helped me to develop into the kind of person that I have always wanted to become.
They watch the house at night and when I'm gone so that my own kind (humans) don't hurt me or take advantage of my absence to relieve me of my possessions. I sleep soundly thanks to my pets. I sleep soundly when I'm off island and Susan is home alone, thanks to my pets. They are truly a salve to my soul, and continually add to my peace of mind and sense of well being.
In short they give me the 3 A's (Acceptance, Approval, and Appreciation) that all humans want and need to feel complete within themselves.
They demand nothing in return.It seems to me that the least I can do is to give them the care that I should want to give to such a valued companion. If not I am a thief by taking something that is given freely and then refusing to return the favor, even to the point of illness and death. Some people know what I'm talking about, and some, sadly, don't.
It has been my privilege for 30 years to care for the animals of this world. It has been my privilege for the last seven years to care for the animals of the CNMI.
I hope to continue in this role for the next 20 least!
Just thought you'd like to know.
Ed Tudor, DVMvia e-mail

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