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Shitty morning. Carried through on a responsible decision. In my latter more ‘conscious’ years I’ve tried to follow the picked-up advice of a woman’s magazine psychologist responding to a reader’s angst-filled enquiry over a moral quandry. The psychologist responded by posing the question: ‘What do YOU really think?’ The reader was advised to find a quiet place and make sure that whatever decision she reached was her decision (not everybody else’s) based on what she really really believed within herself was the right thing to do. Hah! Easy to say. So why is is that having brought Paloma, our mantle Great Dane female (yes I know bitch is the right word) who thinks she’s a hyperactive retriever, to be spayed this morning I feel as if I’ve personally killed a whole litter of unborn pups? I had a major wobbly at the vet, had to talk it all through again so that I remembered why it wasn’t a good idea to breed with her. Our beautiful imported puppies who struggled to settle into South Africa, the recurring struggles with stomach bugs (unhygienic chicken carcasses?) and mysterious ailments, the constant antibiotics, the supplements and the probiotics that live in our fridge(the best on the market for humans), the four changes of dog kibble, the wonky hips of our harlequin male and Paloma’s puzzling small stature compared to their prize-winning parents, and not to be forgotten small local veterinary practices that no longer offer after-hours services (no call-outs) so if our precious Paloma needed a caesar we’d have to rush her off (probably after midnight) to a strange vet at a big practice in the northern suburbs that we’d have to drag out of a warm bed etc. etc.  Had to fight off a severe dizzy inclination to load her back in the car and drive home. Sometimes common sense and sentiment are in total opposition. Our family has had generations of Great Danes, going all the way back to the 2nd World War. I can almost see those chunky knobbly-kneed beautiful mantle and harlequin puppies we dreamt of introducing into South Africa. Couldn’t help sparing a thought for all those young girls and women who make a life-and-death decision to abort their own child. How come what you know is the right thing to do for everyone concerned so often still feels wrong?

PS. Should I use a word like ‘shitty’ in a public blog? I don’t swear aloud if I can help it and I only let my characters ‘use profantities’ if it is an inescapable part of their personality but blogging feels like venting to a diary so I’m letting it stay for now…