After I wrote about the demise of my guinea pig, I received a note from the veterinarian. It was addressed to “The Hecht Family.” On the cover of the card was a picture of a guinea pig in a hand surrounded by pictures of other guinea pigs. On the back of the card it had the company’s name and said it was designed in memory of “Pig.” It therefore seems to be the company’s normal procedure to send a condolence card when a pet dies. Whether or not it is their normal procedure, I was very impressed. I only saw the vet one time – a week earlier – and they took the time to send a card.
The card was hand-written by the vet. She wrote: “My condolences in the loss of Macaroon. He was a sweet boy who was a beloved member of your family. I know he will be missed. Sincerely…”
I asked another pet owner and they said they received a card after their cat died. I asked the same person if when their parent died, did any doctor who treated them send a card. The answer was no. My father was seen by physicians, some of whom for a long period, and I did not receive a condolence card. I am not aware of any doctor who does send a condolence card.
As bad as it is to lose a pet, it pales in comparison to the loss of a parent. If a vet sends a condolence card, a fortiori it would be expected that the physician would do so.
I appreciate any comments, especially from those in the medical field who can explain this dichotomy.
The reaction to my article was not surprising. People who lost a pet related to my comments. I heard from owners of a parakeet, a cat, a hamster, and a dog. None of them mentioned that they ended up getting another animal after the first died. There are many reasons why they would not want to get another pet. Perhaps (a) they do not want to relive going through the anguish of losing another pet, or (b) getting another pet may appear to diminish the importance of the deceased pet, or (c) they enjoyed the experience and it is time to move on.
On the other hand, there may be a void or need that another pet can fill. When you are used to something it is hard to get over it. I have been asked whether I plan to get another guinea pig. It is too early to discuss whether I will get another guinea pig.
This is the third non-political article I have written in the last month. There are some people who for months have been bothering me to stop writing so much about the president, the Democrats, and other political issues. Among the reasons given is that people are sick and tired of reading about Trump and the Democrats. Based on the response that I received for this article as opposed to my political articles, they may be right.
Of course, in my absence, in the paper there still is a drumbeat of attacks against the Democrats and in support of the president. It is hard to sit and not respond. However, in many ways what is going on in the paper is what is going on in much of the country: People are tired of hearing the same things and have tuned it out.
I will try to continue to broaden the scope of topics for my articles. Like everything else, some people will be happy and others will miss the political infighting every week.