Monday, December 10, 2012

PD Interrupted

Last Friday was Federation Day for the Elementary Teachers of Toronto. I wasn't super-keen on going to the Toronto Congress Centre, but my colleagues offered to pick me up and there was some urging/pressure to attend because of the recent provincial labour situation so I planned to go.

Wilbur derailed my plans.

Wilbur was my pet skinny pig. On November 24, we took him (along with my school skinny pig Max and my daughter's rabbit Dolly) to the groomers to have nails trimmed. He was unsteady on his feet but we initially attributed his falls to a sore nail clipped too close. We observed him for a couple of days and realized that something was wrong. This began a series of visits to our veterinarian. Wilbur was put on anti-inflammatory medicine, antibiotics, and ear drops.  Instead of improving, he deteriorated further. Although he ate and drank normally, he lost a lot of weight. His droppings turned abnormal recently and we realized that we couldn't wait to see the vet again. I called my fellow teacher and canceled my ride. We took Wilbur to the vet on Friday morning to see what could be done. Our animal doctor told us that Wilbur was so dehydrated that he would have to be hospitalized for several days and that he would have to undergo blood work, x-rays and further tests to determine the root of his problems. We discussed all our options and realized that even with all these interventions, it was uncertain that Wilbur would pull through. We made the difficult decision to have him euthanized.

This is Wilbur when he was healthy (Orville is on the left)
This is a photo of Wilbur, taken December 2, obviously unwell.

Why am I writing all of this here? I already mentioned it on my family blog, Twitter, and Facebook, but I felt the need to mention it on my professional blog to justify my absence, to explain why I didn't / couldn't attend. I still went through with my afternoon's self-directed PD with another educator off-site, but life has a way of disrupting the best-laid plans. My loss was minor, compared to a wonderful kindergarten teacher that I wrote about here - her sister died suddenly of a brain aneurysm last week - or compared to the Swansea P.S. teacher who was killed while biking to work. School is important and so is professional development, but sometimes there are bigger things to deal with, and comforting my tearful son and daughter as they said goodbye to a family pet took precedence.

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