It’s better to be a pet than a human being

One of our whippets badly injured her eye recently, the result of chasing deer through the woods with her companions.

The deer inevitably got away unscathed but poor Roxy was not so fortunate. The damage which was traumatic blinded her and so to relieve her from extreme pain it had to be removed. Now a week later she is back to her old self and full of beans, the loss of her eye seems to be of little concern to her.

I do not relate this sad story as a warning against allowing dogs to chase wildlife through the woods; that would be impossible, nor do I believe there is a moral here. It is because once again I have witnessed the amazing care and consideration that was received by one of our dogs from the vet, the eye specialist in Worthing, and the veterinary nurses who helped her through her ordeal. Throughout the process of care, prognosis and the removal of her eye, both Roxy and I could not have asked for better care and consideration.

I know we are a Nation of animal lovers but I do wish someone would tell me why it is that the medical care delivered to our pets and our farm livestock is of a higher standard than that which some hospitals, care homes and care workers hand out to the elderly, frail and confused.

The national newspapers are awash with shocking stories of poor care, abuse, neglect and a total lack of humanity which is regularly handed out to the elderly. This is not yesterday’s news, it is happening every day. They do not receive the basic dignified standard of care expected in some hospitals and care homes, or even in their own homes.

Only last week a friend of mine found herself in the A & E department of the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, she spent nearly five hours waiting for an elderly lady she had accompanied to be treated for a broken leg. At the weekend a local newspaper announced this hospital and the Princess Royal Hospital are at crises point. Departments are full to bursting and the staff are run off their feet, which health bosses blame for delays and poor care.

It goes without saying there are some wonderful people working in the health service but far too many are not.

There are too many instances where patients and elderly have to cope with poor standards, filthy wards, neglect and a total lack of care.

Surely something is very wrong when whistle blowers are sacked for reporting bad practise; too many nurses and care workers lack compassion. It is hardly surprising that the NHS and the system of care for the elderly is broken and ‘care’ is off the agenda.

The future looks grim for the elderly and indeed in some cases the terminally ill.

It is a sad reflection upon our country knowing it is better to be a family pet or farm animal than either of the above.

At least they are treated with care and dignity and when their lives become intolerable we are able to release them from pain and suffering which is more than we can do for our loved ones without the threat of being locked up. It’s a funny old world.

Carola Godman Irvine