It struck me today that language and words are odd. Sometimes I believe we use a completely inadequate or incorrect word when we describe things. This is not the fault of the language, It is our inability to use it correctly.
I took Echo in today to have her spay procedure done and the irony of how we refer to it in our culture actually upset me some when I took a moment to think about it. When we take our dog in to get spayed/neutered we say we are getting them “fixed”. To fix something implies that it was previously broken or inferior. An intact animal is not either of these things – in fact I think they are the opposite – they are vibrant and full of life and the ability to reproduce and pass on that life to another tiny being is beautiful. When I go to pick up my little Echo this afternoon with her tummy full of stitches and her insides jostled with parts removed – she will not be “fixed” she will be broken. I will have taken something from her that she will now never be able to experience.
This is not to imply that I don’t agree with spaying and neutering your pets. I am for it, it just still causes me to pause and think about her loss. The strange thing is, when I took my male dog in five years ago I did not blink an eye and it did not bother me. I think because I am female it struck something closer to my heart when I dropped off Echo today. Motherly instinct.
She will recover, and it was the right thing to do in her case. She has a tiny umbilical hernia that her breeder informed me of prior to her coming home. In all other respects she is completely healthy and the hernia has never seemed to bother her at all but it is recommended not to breed dogs with this health condition as it can be passed on to the offspring and be more severe in them. On cause of this, puppies were never in her future from the start so it seemed best to go ahead with the procedure to prevent any surprises in case she somehow came in contact with an intact male. I simply wish there was a better word to describe these operations than “fixed” – as there really was nothing that needed fixing.