In the past two weeks I've had to make a couple difficult decisions. I don't like making difficult decisions. And the deciding factor in both decisions was my dog. Am I crazy? [Wait. Don't answer!]
The first biggie for me: I changed veterinarians. For someone who has 12 different veterinarians in her phone you wouldn't think that would be so hard. Surprisingly it was! I had a relationship with the vet's staff, and it hurts when you break up. But after that whole OCD thing last fall I lost all confidence in the vet clinic. (Details here. I don't want to go into it. I'll just get all pissed off again.)
It was a nice clinic. The prices were quite reasonable, the staff was great, the hours were convenient. I've known the owners (animal advocates but not vets themselves) for years and really like them. My favorite vet left and the new one just rubbed me the wrong way. Jedi didn't like her at all. Hubby and I went back and forth over who to take the dogs to, but eventually went back to our original vet from 6 years ago. This was hard, because that's the guy who put Pepper down -- and that brought back a lot of sad memories.
The new (old?) vet has a one-man operation right around the corner from my house. I like him. Dr. H is compassionate and knowledgeable, but he's also a no nonsense kind of guy. Better yet, he's a German shepherd guy -- he's owned them, loves them and understands all their quirks. I learned this when I brought Logan home. I walked into the office with this skinny, sickly dog and said "I know he's heartworm positive. I know he looks rough. But he's a great dog and I had to save him." Dr. H looked at him, and with absolutely no sarcasm in his voice said "Of course you did." But Dr. H's fees are higher, and his hours aren't as convenient for my schedule (we share a couple days off). It was a tough decision to move. Especially after spending over $500 in the past month on annual exams, shots, tests, meds, tags and an ear infection that turned out to be nothing.
An even tougher decision is the one that I finally made yesterday: I turned down a job because it would conflict with my dog. As I've alluded to before, I'm burned out, and just "done" with the job that I have. This week I was offered a job with the sheriff's office. It's a behind-the-scenes admin position, and something I think I could do for the next 20 years. The pay is less, but there's room for advancement (unlike here). However, even if they offered more money I wouldn't take it because of the hours. 12 hour shifts would be tough on Jedi, and prolonged overnight shifts (which I was pretty much guaranteed) would prohibit training classes, dog shows and screw up my/his sleep schedule.
A dear friend pointed out that I've wanted to show dogs for 35 years, and saved for two years to buy a puppy; it would be a shame to throw all that away just so that I could get away from this job. It was essentially the "Put On Your Big Girl Panties" speech. And she was right. So for now, I'm staying in a job that's making me miserable so that I can have quality time with my dog after hours. Meanwhile, I'm praying that something better comes along -- hopefully soon.
So how about you? Have you made any difficult decisions for the sake of your pets? Was it worth it? Please share. Misery loves company. -- K