$6,000 dollars can buy you a lot. My car, for example, was $4500 when I bought it 5 years ago. It could pay almost a year of my rent or about a third of tuition and fees for a year of med school. $6,000 is enough to buy 6 “cheeses of the world” packages on Heifer International (meaning it pays for 6 heifers, 6 water buffalo, 6 goats and 6 sheep all of which produce…wait for it…cheese) How on earth, could someone pay that much for a dog’s hip? Especially someone who lives on loans?
Trust me, I struggled with the decision to do surgery. Even though it was clear that Piper was uncomfortable and unable to function at a normal 3 year old dog level, it was hard. Before medical school, I had gone on a service trip to Jamaica and had seen real need in the orphanages there. The memory of seeing how few toys and books there were for the 20 plus kids that lived there has stayed with me. How on earth could I spend that amount of money on an animal and not another human being?
I still don’t know a satisfactory answer for that question. I decided to do the surgery because I couldn’t stand seeing an animal I love in discomfort every day. It’s not totally satisfying, but I know I put my money where my mouth is and took care of something/someone I love. And I try and remind myself that often times there isn’t a right answer to what is the most noble or “right” thing to do- that it’s a personal choice and as long as you can be at peace with your decision then it’s the right one for you.