Friday, November 24, 2006

COPILOT! 1997-2006

Well, my friends, the inevitable has come to pass, and the great Copilot is no more. He shuffled off his mortal coil today at approximately 4:00 pm. A vein was found, the sodium pentobarbitol was administered, and the rest went pretty quickly (thankfully). Once Cope stopped moving, the vet, who will remain nameless (we'll call him Dr. No-Bedside-Manner) listened with his stethoscope for a few minutes and proclaimed that "she's passed."

Now there are a couple things about this statement that don't sit that well with me. The first is perhaps a bit inconsequential, maybe even a little petty, but I'm grieving, so humor me. Copilot did not "pass." He died. There's nothing wrong with that word. Dogs die. Cats die. People die. Protozoa die. They do not "pass." They die. This euphemism has always been a pet peeve of mine (I also take issue with "bless you." I'm very solidly planted in the "gesundheit" camp. I am, however, very much in favor of the above-mentioned "shuffled off this mortal coil" euphemism), but I realize that I'm in the minority on this point, so well, there you have it. I digress.

The other problem is that COPILOT WAS NOT FEMALE!!! You're a doctor of veterinary medicine, for the love of Pete, have at least a cursory glance at the chart before dealing with your patients! Jeez! I know this, and I don't even have letters after my name! And to make matters worse, at one point, he called me "dude"!!! I should say though, in Dr. NBM's defense, that he did manage to complete the task quickly, and with the utmost competence. Copilot did not suffer in his last moments. And for that, I thank you, Dr. NBM!

Any of you who were acquainted with my dog surely know how wonderful a companion to me he was, and I can assure you that he loved and appreciated anybody unlucky enough to find themselves at the sharp end of his fetch obsession (Lowrey...).

And check out that techincolor neck fur! This wonderfully abstract photo was taken from way down on the floor of my kitchen, in some kind of weird afternoon light.

He was such a good dog! He is sorely, sorely missed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tommy, Copilot's fetch obsession had no end, sharp or otherwise. That was part of his charm. Now that he has shuffled off his mortal coil, the fetch obsession will become more powerful than any of us could imagine. I look forward to finding a stick on my foot from time to time, and wondering how it could have gotten there. -LB

10:22 AM  
Blogger tommy said...

Well said, Lowrey! Copilot will surely haunt you, and Mortimer, well into the future!

2:52 AM  
Blogger Dr. Virago said...

Tommy, so sorry to hear about Copilot's death. Although I didn't know him, I know he'll be deeply missed.

And I share your issues with "passing" euphemisms. I also had an equally cold vet when I had to put Delphina down. It didn't go well at all, and I was sobbing, and the woman didn't even have a freakin' kleenex handy.

And human doctors aren't much better. My mother's last 5 months might have been a heckuva lot better if doctors had been willing to say things more bluntly and directly.

These are real life reasons why we English profs tear our hair out over euphemisms, cliches, passive voice, and vague language.

7:52 AM  

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