Welcome to the Wednesday Coffee Hour here at Street Prophets. This is an open thread where we can talk about what’s going on in our worlds. BlueJessamine, your usual Wednesday host, is unavailable today so I’m filling in for her.A couple of weeks ago, I took my dog to the vet for her yearly shots and health examination. As she does every time before she gives one of my animals their rabies shot, Dr. Birch asked me if I wanted the one year shot or the three year vaccination.
When the choice between the two vaccinations first became available about five or six years ago, I remember asking the vet what the difference was. I could see the appeal of a three year vaccine for some people - not having to worry about taking your healthy dog in to see the vet (not a dog’s favorite place in the world) every single year would be a definite plus. But I worried that a 3X stronger medication might have an adverse effect on an otherwise physically sound dog. Dr. Birch explained that the two vaccines are basically the same thing and that, especially for dogs like mine who aren’t likely to come into contact with wild animals that might be carrying rabies, the 3 year shot is probably effective enough and the safest choice. She even mentioned that more and more vets are coming to the conclusion that immunizing dogs more frequently than every 3 years is probably not a good thing. The only difference in price would be that the state mandated registration is slightly higher for the 3 year tag than for the 1 year tag. So, anyway, after that conversation several years ago, now whenever the vet asks whether I want the 1 year vaccine or the 3 year vaccine, I automatically respond, “The 3 year shot, thanks.”
However, when I gave her that answer a couple of weeks ago, Dr. Birch looked over her glasses at me and with a big smile said, “Well, you’re being mighty optimistic! You do realize Louise will be 15 years old next month... don’t you?” I have to confess that her reminder sort of took my breath away momentarily. Even though Louise is almost as active as she was when I first adopted her as a puppy, I haven’t been able to completely overlook her graying muzzle and her wintertime arthritis. In the last few years she’s also developed cataracts in both eyes and a dry eye condition in one eye that she has to get treated for twice a day. She was only 10 months old when I took her to her first vet visit with Dr. Birch and it’s hard to believe that it took place over 14 years ago. Louise has been such a constant fixture in my life since I got her; it’s hard to imagine my life without her. Everyone I know knows her or knows of her. Whenever I run into friends I haven’t seen for awhile, one of the first things they ask is, “How’s Louise doing?” She's really smart and beautiful and she always makes a positive impression on everyone she meets.
Is it optimism that makes me assume Louise will still be here 3 years from now or am I just in denial about her signs of aging? I haven’t always had a tendency to look at the bright side of things. When I was a little kid I was quite a worrier. I worried and lived in dread about anything and everything under the sun going wrong. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized I was spending too much time obsessing over things that were totally out of my control. I don’t know how old I was when I finally stopped living in fear and imagining the worst case scenario for every little thing but I have to admit that it wasn’t that long ago. The one thing I am clear about though is that I know it was just a choice I learned to make. It hasn’t changed the outcome to events in my life but I don’t sit around brooding about things anymore and that’s definitely led me to have a better, less stressful life.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it
will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung
And now for the usual Street Prophets question: Anything good for supper tonight? Mine will probably be a big salad – I have some tomatoes I need to use up.
According to BlueJessamine, it’s Booby Wednesday and this is a Public Service Announcement: Self exams can save lives!