Archive for January, 2009

A Teenager’s Perspective

January 30, 2009

My 16-year-old daughter was asked to write an impromptu speech in her rhetoric class about something that stirs her passion. She gave me permission to share this with you. I’m not so sure that all the traits she inherited from me are necessarily admirable. However, when it comes to her feelings about animals, I’m pleased and proud to report that the nut doesn’t fall too far from the tree!

“A dog, a friend, a keeper of all secrets, one who holds no grudges and does not judge. Have you ever said that your dog is your best friend? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t throw my best friend into the streets when times got tough. However, some people do.

First of all, we can mutually agree that the world is going through an economic crisis. People are forced to make life-changing decisions about what can be afforded.

But then, is it the heater, the car, the cable television, or the dog that goes? (I know sounds crazy right?!) Sadly, this is truth. In these times of struggle a dog is commonly thrown out the front door. The minor case of arthritis suddenly becomes the dog’s worst nightmare when the cost of medication cannot seem to be met.

Priorities people, priorities! How do things that keep us lifted in times of struggle suddenly seem impossible to manage? Yes, if worse comes to worse, and you are a victim of the next Great Depression, you just might end up living on the streets in the middle of winter, shivering so badly you can’t even speak. However, in the midst of this cold darkness, at least you’ll have your dog by your side to provide you with the love and warmth you need to make it through the night.

The point I’m trying to make is that when times get tough and not everything is affordable, most people look past what is most important, when in reality, a dog is priceless.”

Dr. Nancy Kay


January 24, 2009

When I first met my Boxer buddy Zack and his devoted mom Jan, they were a rather intimidating pair. Both were distrustful, angry, and poised to bite – Zack with his teeth and Jan with her words. Zack wasn’t used to strange people getting into his “personal space.” I was able to approach this big beefy boy only when he was securely muzzled. I viewed Jan’s anger to be a normal stage of the grief process- not surprising given that she’d just received some awful news about her four-legged best friend. Zack had lymphoma, a cancer involving his lymph nodes, spleen and liver. Jan and I spent a few hours over the course of those first few days discussing the potential risks and benefits of treating Zack’s lymphoma with chemotherapy. That was just over one year ago.

Since the diagnosis, Zack and Jan were frequent visitors to my office. With time Zack transformed from a “Boxer bully” into a trusting, gentle boy- as if he somehow knew that all of our attention was helping him continue to feel good. He seemed to eagerly anticipate his quota of dog cookies, lots of attention from the nursing and reception staff, and the full body massages (physical examinations in disguise). Jan was able to let go of her anger, replacing it with tremendous appreciation. Lymphoma therapy provided a year of wonderful quality time for Zack and Jan. They recreated together by way of mountain climbing and Jan showed me pictures of Zack “smiling” while relishing the great outdoors. The stories I heard suggested they were profoundly enjoying each other’s company.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to this special and unforgettable patient of mine. With Jan by Zack’s side, I administered the euthanasia solution and he experienced a quick and peaceful passing. His ashes will be spread along the mountain trail where he and his mom enjoyed so much time together this past year. I feel incredibly privileged to have been along on the journey.

Dr. Nancy Kay

Veterinary Services Tax – The Governor is Listening

January 19, 2009

The Governor is listening!  We need you to take action again and register your “opposition”… It’s simple and effective.

Call the Governor’s office at 916-445-2841.
Select your language choice.
Press “5” to leave your opinion on a current issue.
Press “1” to select the issue of extending the sales tax to veterinary services.
Press “2” to “oppose” the Veterinary Services Tax proposal.

January 15, 2009 Budget Update:

Yesterday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented his 2009-2010 “State of the State” address to the California State Legislature.  This speech came on the heels of the release, on December 31, 2008, of his 2009-10 State Budget proposal which continued to include a proposal to tax veterinary services.

The Governor has expressed great frustration that, despite the fact that he has called several sequential “special sessions” of the legislature, a compromise has not been reached by Democrats and Republicans.  In the last two weeks, there appears to be some movement with the negotiations.  However, due to the sensitive nature of the discussions, and in an attempt to prevent outside forces from impacting the discussions, the “Big 5” (Senate & Assembly leaders) has been relatively silent with regard to the specifics of the issues currently on the

With  little information leaking out of these confidential “Big 5” meetings regarding the Governor’s tax proposals, we must assume that the veterinary tax remains “on the table” for discussion.  Therefore, we are requesting that CVMA members continue to express their opposition to the Governor’s proposal to tax veterinary services by calling the Governor and your local legislator today.

Updates will continue to be posted at

If you have any questions, call the CVMA office at 1.800.655.2862.


January 7, 2009

When I wrote Speaking for Spot, my hope was that this book would enhance the quality of life for dogs everywhere.  Little did I know that at least one dog named Pandy interpreted my passion literally.  This little Labrador opted to enjoy Speaking for Spot as a chew toy!  Apparently this isn’t something terribly new to Pandy’s human who seemingly took the demolition of books and glasses in stride. Unfortunately, I do not address the topic of literary foreign body within Speaking for Spot.  Perhaps I shall incorporate it into the second edition!