Wednesday, April 29, 2009

too human to be humaine

It's the weirdest things that make you realize your mortality and how you treat others in this world. My parents put my dog, Zoey, down this week. She was a 15-year old Labrador/Springer Spaniel mix that was my best friend and will always be my puppy. She was suffering from arthritis in her hips for a long time, had lost most of her sight and hearing, and was just miserable.

On Friday afternoon, my mother called to let me know they were taking her to the Vet to be put down, which hence ruined any chance of me getting any further work done while at my job. They ended up getting some anti-inflamitories for her, but apparently she had a stroke or seizure overnight and was much worse over the weekend.

I went to their home on Sunday for my father's (69th) birthday celebration. They kept her in the garage overnight since she was messing inside the house, and I went to see her right away. I immediately started crying; she was on her bed covered in my dad's flannel jacket shivering. She hadn't touched her food or water and I don't know if she knew it was me or not. You had to lean right next to her so she could hear you, and I kept telling her how good she was and I loved her through my tears.

As I re-entered the house, my mother and fiance saw my face and asked if I was okay. I begged them to put her out of her misery since I couldn't stand to see her suffer like that. On Monday, my mother called again to let me know they had her put down since it was just too much. My father, who was against putting her down at all, was the one who took her to the vet and is taking her passing rather hard. I'm just glad she's not suffering anymore.

My career right now is working in the Hearing Care industry, which requires me to work with the elderly on a daily basis. I see people who are in their 80's, 90's, and more that are still youthful and living life to the fullest. I also see people in their 70's that are suffering terribly.

My question: How can we put animals down when their suffering, claiming it's the "humaine thing to do" but allow our elders, our family, to suffer for years under the cloud of medications and being in a semi-conscious state and that's okay? I know that if I were in so much pain and had a terrible quality of life, I would want someone to do the same for me as we did for my Zoey.

The terrible truth about this is who is the one who would put these elderly out of their misery? It's the same with the death penalty: people are for it, but no one wants to be the one to insert that needle. It's ok on someone's conscious to put an animal down, but if it was their mother suffering and asking for relief, they wouldn't do it.

I know I would want to do the same for my parents, but I don't know if I could do it myself. I would want the best for them regardless. I welcome your thoughts on this, as with all my writings, and appreciate everything you all have to contribute.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

disciplinary action

Last night I returned from class and got ready to do the reading that was required for my other class the following day. I had my book, hi-lighter, notebook, and was settled into the couch for some hardcore studying. My fiance started chatting about kids and somehow we got on the topic of disciplining. He thinks that giving the kid a smack on the butt if they do something wrong is fine, where I think that there are plenty of other options before resorting to any kind of violence.

This escalated into an argument, and I'm still confused as to how it happened. (Usually I'm the one that ends up getting emotional and upset about a topic and he fends for himself while I try not to get mad, but this time it was the other way around. It was weird being the calm one for once.) First of all, we don't have any children yet and I hope to wait until after we're married next year (and possibly after I graduate college) before we have our first child, so I didn't know why this was such a pressing issue... I never did find that answer out, but here's how it went:

At first he made it sound like if the child does something wrong, the first thing he would do is give them a smack, but that wasn't the case... he was more of the notion that once you had warned the child a few times, you follow thru with a "threat" of a spanking and that teaches the child (even as young as two) not to do that action.

I disagreed, saying that violence begets violence, and if you start putting a hand to the child whenever they do something wrong, that'll teach them that when someone does something wrong to them, they can in turn smack someone else. I understand that this isn't always the case, but it's a possibility, isn't it? I think that there are plenty of other disciplinary actions that can be taken before resorting to violence, whether that is a slap on the butt or a slap on the face.

My fiance and I are both very strong-willed, stubborn people, so it was difficult to come to any sort of compromise. We ended up just both apologizing and saying that when the time comes, we'll talk about it and see what our options are, but it's not worth arguing at this point.

Any insight from my fellow classmates that are parents would be helpful... what kind of disciplining do you do? Is a smack on the hinder appropriate sometimes, or should that never be an option? Does early exposure to this kind of physical violence resort to violent behavior later in life, or is it completely unrelated? These are questions I've heard discussed by psychologists and doctors for years and there's still controversy either way. Your opinions are welcome here.