I could tell by the tone of his voice, something had happened.

I was attending the North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando. I had been at the Conference since the proceeding Friday and received the call from my ex on the following Tuesday. I would have been back home by then but ended up staying an extra day due to some equipment purchases.

“I have sad news. Vee Vee died Friday night.”

“What?! Why didn’t you call me sooner?”

“There was nothing you could have done. She didn’t eat her dinner Friday evening and went to bed as usual. She passed away in her sleep.”

“I still wish you would have called me.”

“I know, but there was nothing you could have done and it would have ruined your time at the conference.”

Six months earlier, I diagnosed Vee

Vee with pulmonary hypertension resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Secondary to her condition, she had an enlarged heart that in time would fail. We started her on medications that help the condition and maintain her quality of life. With some dietary changes and cutting her walks back to a couple of times a week instead of every day, she was doing fine. We discussed adding other drugs to her regiment but opted against it. We knew her condition would worsen and she eventually would succumb to it. The decision was made to keep her comfortable while maintaining her quality of life for as long as possible and practical. Our efforts in doing so were successful.

Vee Vee did what so many cardio-pulmonary cases do: they do very well until they don’t. Jim was right, there was nothing I could have done, but I will forever second guess that conclusion.

The only thing left to be done is pull up her electronic record and classify her as deceased.I have tried several times, but find the finality of the act too difficult. I will get it done in time. Just not today.