Friday, June 5, 2009

The question that needs to be asked

There has been such a whirlwind of activity here as we try to find the remaining cans of the old formula food, but as busy as I am, I really can't afford to just stop at this.  The question that needs to be asked is "How could this happen to my dog?"  

This food is supposed to be a prescription product, sold only to veterinarians for resale to those whose dogs need it.  

If you were diabetic and dependent on diet for your health, you would expect that a prescription product, available only through tightly controlled channels, would not be arbitrarily changed by the manufacturer in a way that fundamentally alters its contents.  To the best of my knowledge, we have laws in this country that protect us from such harm.  

Yet, apparently, when it comes to our pets, whom many of us consider to be family members, there are no laws that protect us.  

I don't want to make this an issue about money, because it is not about money for me.  It's about Louie, my companion and friend, and how he has suffered and may suffer again.  But it did take money to pull him through this illness and bring him to his present state of good health.  Now, with one arbitrary change, we stand a chance of losing him and incurring additional veterinary costs along the way.  I find this almost unbelievable.  

These costs are costs I bear because I have made a promise to my friend to take care of him for as long as I am able.  Louie himself has no voice, so I have no choice, even though I am not a person of great means.  He is that special to me.  But these are costs I should not have to bear, if we lived in a world where the health of animals is respected more than it is in the world in which we live today.  

Far more important than the monetary cost is the cost to the quality of our lives, the stress and difficulty of knowing that my dog is in danger and there is ultimately nothing I can do to avoid having to make changes that could cost him his life.  And the difficulty that he bears, as he becomes ill again, as I try different foods that may sicken him in my quest to find something he can eat.  I do this because I have no other choice.  

It should not be this way.  

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