Thursday, 19 September 2013

Quality Of Life Issues

Mary, disabled, safe and happy?
It has always surprised me when lay people and professional nurses and doctors alike make a snap judgement about a patients' " quality of life". If years working with spinally injured individuals have taught me anything, it has taught me that life may not deal you the cards that you want and deserve, but it's a life that can be lived.
Yesterday a couple called around to collect a cockerel. He was one of the " refugees" and so was surplus to my requirements and was the second one to be re homed this week. The couple had a dozen of their own hens so were glad of a new leader.
On the way into the field, the couple stopped to look into the rabbit hutch by the gate, and both expressed surprise when they spied Mary sitting quietly behind the chicken wire eating a pile of dandelion leaves.
The husband asked about Mary and I told him her story, but he shook his head.
"Poor thing" he said " it's not much of a life!.." I would have pulled its neck"
I found myself starting to defend the fact that Mary had been saved but thought better of it, so I just shrugged ... He obviously thought I had done the wrong thing
The wife leaned over and cooed at Mary and she asked  " are you going to let it go?"
I told her that I couldn't because of her damaged leg and the husband tutted a little more
He was seriously getting on my tits
I went to collect the cockerel
When I returned the husband asked me how much I wanted in payment for the rooster.
I thought  about it and said I would take a fiver
He was unlucky
Before he started commenting about Mary
I had decided to give them the cockerel free of charge

79 comments:

  1. Let's hope that when that fellow gets a life-threatening physical condition - such as cancer or angina, his family pull his neck to put him out of his misery.

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    1. I used to think otherwise, but I have to rethink now.

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  2. Let's hope that when that fellow gets a life-threatening physical condition - such as cancer or angina, his family pull his neck to put him out of his misery.

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    1. Let's go one better, Yorkshire Pudding, and I do hope this is not in bad taste: What would this fellow have done had he himself sired a not so - physically or mentally - perfect specimen of the human race?

      U

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    2. No I understand the argument ,
      And I have culled seriously ill animals here several times
      But Mary's injuries seemed survivable
      And of course I felt responsible for her given the fact her injruries were inflicted by my dogs and my cat

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    3. I also assume that when you saved her, you couldn't know if she'd be permanently disabled. Animals are much more adaptable than we are, and have far fewer expectations of life. At any rate, I hope Mary gets some extra dandelions for earning you that fiver.

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  3. Serve the old bugger right!

    LLX

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  4. Does Mary let you handle her at all?

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  5. SOME people! Good on you to charge him!

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  6. lots of people just don't get it!

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  7. It's his loss -- in more ways than just a fiver...

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  8. Did I shoot Charlie when he dragged himself home whining pitieously with his bust shoulder and dislocated front leg? No, of course I didn't, I looked after him and you should see the way he races around all the space his new home offers!

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  9. £5 worth of carrots for Mary then :-D

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  10. So glad you got some satisfaction. Like Kath suggested, Mary can have some very nice treats for those £5!

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  11. John, you should run the stock market.

    Bullish,
    U

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  12. Who are we to say what is a Rabbit's 'quality of life'. She's probably just happy to be alive!

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    1. ...and maybe she just is existing
      Perhaps that's we all do

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    2. William seems to think she is having a good time anyway!

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  13. Who are we to say what is a Rabbit's 'quality of life'. She's probably just happy to be alive!

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  14. I would have charged him as well. "Not much of a life" is still a life that can be lived, as you said.

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  15. She seemed happy enough to me when I saw her, and I bet she's even happier now that she's got her new pen :-)

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    1. She's put on weight too

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  16. Lucky Mary was found by the right person.

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  17. Mary is safe, well looked after, has shelter, food and water. I would say she has a better quality of life than a lot of rabbits. She also has the doting William when she wants a bit of company.

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  18. Jolly well served him right....don't get mad, get even.... :-)

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  19. I think you were right to save her and give her a chance... but she probably could do with a companion, as rabbits aren't by nature solitary creatures. I appreciate that if she's injured, it's going to be a bit difficult introducing another.

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    1. Good point. Perhaps I need to look for come company for her
      Perhaps a guinea pig?

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    2. Please don't put a guinea pig with her. They really shouldn't be housed together. Rabbits can often inflict very nasty injuries on cavies.

      In my experience rabbits living together often fight, unless you provide a neutered male as company for her...she may put up with him, but not always.

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    3. See below
      ,any other ideas?
      Remember she has a nerve damaged leg

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    4. She has William. I'm serious. He can pass his time in adoring observation and Mary occasionally leans over and kisses him on the lips.

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  20. As everyone can do
    ,

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  21. He'd probably have "pulled her neck" just to save himself the trouble of caring for her and nursing her back to health.

    Good for you for charging him for the cockerel. Heartless jerk.

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  22. Nasty man.
    Do rabbits and guinea pigs get on together ok?

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    Replies
    1. http://www.rabbitrehome.org.uk/care/friend.asp

      Perhaps not!

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    2. Oh dear, looks like you need another rabbit!

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  23. Mary looks bright.

    John your house shouldn't be a cottage it should be an Ark. As God says in the film Evan Almighty. Act of Random Kindness. Your heart is 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high.

    John the Ark Heart

    Some one should knit you a sweater with that on it. (not me I just make knots)

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  24. Aye agree with words above "Serves the bugger right!"

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  25. I heard a radio interview with a fellow (a British veterinary researcher, actually) who has just written a book about ways to improve relations between cats and their human companions. The interviewer asked the vet when he thought it was appropriate to euthanize an animal companion. The vet replied that it appears that animals live in the "moment" and if their quality of life is poor and there's little hope of short-term improvement, he recommended that that was the time to act--keeping the animal alive with heroic measures just did not improve the animal's life, and it certainly wouldn't understand that the human was trying to help it. It sounds like Mary's quality of life is pretty good with you, John, and she would not qualify for euthanasia according to the vet's criteria.

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    1. A good point Scott, well said

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    2. Scott put into lovely words what I could only think inside my head!

      Nancy

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  26. Who is he to make that judgement? Has he had rabbits etc before? I've owned everything throughout the years from ponies, cage birds, mice and hamsters to my last crazy collection of 3 chickens,33 rats, 3 rabbits, 5 guinea pigs and 3 Yorkshire terriers. Some of them had health or movement issues but none of them suffered a dreadful life and I always knew when to call it a day. I would trust you John more than anyone to make the right decision and Mary looks pretty sparky to me

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  27. I think you are absolutely in the right here John. Rabbits do not have our brains (such as they are) and as long as she is warm and well fed then I am sure she is happy. She cetainly looks it.

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    1. A lively debate on the quality of a rabbit's life..
      Who would have thought it?
      Thanks pat

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  28. Yay for you and yay for Mary!!!! She's a sweet little thing and I'm SO glad she's at your house rather than that man's.... I'm not sure I would have even given that cockerel... here's hoping nothing happens to him.

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  29. You did the right thing John by giving Mary a new lease on life......and a much better one at that. She will probably outlive most in the 'village'!

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    1. I suspect she will jimbo
      All,except the geese who, I have been told, will live well into their. Twenties

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  30. Well I had a guinea pig and a rabbit that lived happily together for years, Candy, the guinea pig absolutely doted on her big brother :-)

    I'm glad his snotty opinion cost him £5!!

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    1. Now, I am in two minds again!

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  31. If she is eating I would think she is not too stressed in her new life - food on tap, cosy hutch, no fear of foxes or cars to run you over. I imagine a happy bunny - has she a run to hop in or a visit with the chickens, although that might incourage a frantic dog / rabbit chase.

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    1. I have just been picking sprouts and peas in Bosoms and have watched William " stalk" Mary in her cage.
      She seems quite unconcerned with this behaviour and actually sniffs at him when he licks the mesh
      Perhaps , she is " happy" after all?

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  32. This is what gets me - people thinking animals are easily dispensible, most especially when they become an 'inconvenience'. With an attitude like that it makes me wonder why his partner ever wanted to hitch up with him.

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    1. Raybeard,
      Your statement was what I was hoping to read here. Euthanasia happens more often when the animal is more of an inconvenience to our lives and we make ourselves feel better about it when we say there was no quality of life. I hope to hell the day never comes when we have that option with more than our pets. We suffered some pretty rough comments when we purchased wheels for our Corgi, but to watch her run on the beach and play with the other dogs lets us know we made the right choice. Well said sir, thank you.

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    2. I too was thinking of you doc when I wrote this entry

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    3. Thank YOU, in turn, for that eulogy, Doc. I could write reams on the subject, but I'll only add now that I'm disappointed (to say the least) that a lot of this attitude is endorsed by most of the main religions (with just a couple of notable exceptions) on the basis that some 'God' created animals to be 'used' by humans, and that therefore their suffering is of little consequence, if any at all. Well, I just don't buy that - and it's one of the major reasons why I've no belief in Churches of the Judeo-Christian & Islamic 'varieties'. And the sooner those proselytisers see the incongruity in their idea of a loving Creator who permits innocent beings to suffer (even requiring them to be sacrificed or slaughtered distressfully and painfully!) the better.

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    4. Well said, Raybeard. I completely agree with you. Lily. xxx

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  33. Many agree with this man's perspective and feel that the same should be done with human beings. It's sometimes difficult for someone who hasn't seen it to understand just how dear a disabled life can still be, whether animal or human. The majority seem to come around at the end though. Oregon passed its death-with-dignity law sixteen years ago but the percentage of people who ultimately seek a lethal prescription is tiny while the percentage who USE that prescription is smaller still. And judging from the comments here there are a LOT of people who feel a disabled animal's life can be just as worthy. Bravo! Indeed, the charge of a fiver was deeply satisfying all the way around. xxx

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  34. She looks a happy bunny to me. I wouldn't have given him the cockerel at all and mumbled something about changing my mind & keeping him as a pet just to see the look on the man's face !

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  35. Seems like the gentleman should have not opened his mouth.

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  36. I think you would know if Mary was suffering.

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  37. lol atta boy John - and if he ever ends up in one of your wards... you might ask him if he wants you to "pull his neck" to end his misery if that happens...

    xoxox

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  38. I've seen suffering rabbits before and I can truthfully say, looking at that bright little eye, that Mary is quite content. :)

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  39. Doc took some of the words out of my mind - I was going to comment about the number of dogs I've read about who have had small platforms built with wheels so they could still get around on their own. I think it's wonderful when people treat their animal companions the way they would want to be treated themselves.

    Nancy in Iowa

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  40. I would of asked more money or refused to let him have the bird. There are so many nasty people who do not care for animals . If this rabbit is otherwise healthy it deserves a chance of life.
    Rosezeeta.

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  41. How can you look at her little face and think that?

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  42. She won't need a guinea pig or another rabbit for company if she becomes a House Rabbit....

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  43. Don't let that guy anywhere near Prof. Hawking! Talk about 'not much of a life'. Tut tut, indeed! LOL

    The man obviously has no perspective and you charged too little. Just hope the little cock doesn't have any accidents in future. Good on you, John.

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  44. Making assumptions about the quality of life of either people or animals is rash indeed. How can we possibly know the nature of their experience and whether it's ultimately a happy or unhappy one? Only they can know that.

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  45. Have I told you recently how much I love you?

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  46. "You know, you don't throw a whole life away just 'cause he's banged up a little." Tom Smith from the movie Seabiscuit

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  47. I think she looks quite contented! I have Charles le Baron a 3 legged cat who was just a tiny baby with a withered leg when we found him thrown in a ditch with a pile of kitchen rubble dumped by some pillock. He lost the leg but has a wondeful life with us, he doesn`t stray far but he`s as happy as a pig in muck here. My neighbour told me I shouldn`t bother to save him at the time. Yeah.....not!

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  48. As much as I agree with the general sentiment that animals are worth the extra work of saving them and taking care of their special needs, I believe this is a relatively modern outlook. It used to be hard enough for parents to feed and clothe and give shelter to their large families, let alone give special treatment to animals. Nonetheless, some did it - but I believe the prevailing attitude was that animals needed to earn their keep or the family could not afford to keep them around.

    My father, who I love dearly, and who is paralyzed on one side from a severe stroke, has been known to say of one or another of our cats, to "do away with it" if it is ill. Ironic, isn't it? Yet this is a gentle and kind man who never raised his voice or hand to anyone except to protect someone else's child from parental abuse ... it was just the attitude he learned, growing up in a family with eleven children and hardly enough for them to eat.

    I had a good chuckle about charging that man for the cockerel, though. If you can't educate 'em, penalize 'em :)

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  49. Many people would do the same as that man; but many would not.
    The rabbit's luck of the draw was it ended up in your yard, John.
    Happy Friday to you!

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  50. Mary emailed me. She said she's quite happy with the way things turned out, though she preferred the name Roland.

    Love,
    Janie

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  51. What everyone else said, you did what I would have done--Except I would have charged him double what you did.

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  52. YOU absolutely did the RIGHT thing and thank God those people didn't find Mary instead of you. I have a dog now with weak back legs and have already had "the quality of life" comments from a few. My dog is very happy and doesn't seem to even realize she has a problem. Her quality of life couldn't be better if she was in a five star hotel (actually she is in my house).

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  53. Hi John - I had a rabbit who had both her back legs amputated and lived happily for many many years after that. She had a good quality of life and lived to a ripe old age. She used to enjoy nibbling on strawberries and laying in the sun. I have always been grateful to the vet who gave her a chance as I am sure most would have just put her down. If she had been suffering I would have made a different choice but her life was good. xxx

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