General Etiquette > Techno-quette

That is not the time or place for horror stories! (Warning: Pet death mentioned)

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The TARDIS:
I have an online friend, "Chip" who recently had his beloved dog Wilma euthanized after she unexpectedly came down with severe health issues. He did try everything to save this animal and things were looking good until the last vet visit where, tragically, it was discovered the treatments weren't helping as much as expected. They were prolonging her misery. Chip made the decision no pet owner wants to make.

Chip wrote a full description of the decision and what he witnessed in his online journal after returning home from the vet. Wilma went to sleep without a struggle and the kind vet let him stay with her. He wrote how she wagged her tail until the end. No suffering, just peace and simplicity as she journeyed over the Rainbow Bridge.

I wrote a comment sending condolences for his loss, as I knew how he adored that dog. She was a rescue dog who lived fifteen wonderful years with Chip.

Not an hour after Chip posted, "Cassandra" responded by posting about how Chip was lucky Wilma went down so easily. Cassandra wrote all about her dear dog "Jake" and his euthanasia going wrong ten years ago, complete with details about convulsions and "agonal breathing" that went on and on for several minutes. Chip offered her his condolences, yet Cassandra kept responding with more and more graphic details until Chip ceased responding to her. He sent me a private message saying he couldn't keep reading about that and the commentary was causing him a lot of distress.

Neither of us responded to Cassandra after she tried to make it all about her. What I'm wondering is: should I have said anything to her? I can't now, as Chip waited a few days and deleted her comments as they were too difficult for him to read every time he went to check other responses to that journal. Still, I wonder if I should have politely cut her off and told her to back off.

Was I wrong to stay silent?

Piratelvr1121:
No, I don't think so, only because I get the feeling that saying anything to her wouldn't have gone over well. 

sweetonsno:
Because this was Chip's online journal, I think the onus is on him to dictate whether or not a person can comment on his posts in a particular way.

Softly Spoken:
I will agree that she showed poor judgement at best and it was a horrible way to respond to someone sharing their grief. But should you have said anything? No. She posted on Chips journal, so it was up to Chip to deal with her. Of course if you care about him you would want to defend his feelings, but he was able to handle it himself.

If she was clueless enough to think posting like that was acceptable, then I doubt any comment from you would get her to see the light. She would likely have gotten defensive and it may have escalated - online "conversations" like that usually do. :-\

If you wanted to help Chip you could have added a post reaffirming your support and how glad you are that his dog went peacefully - basically the online equivalent of ignoring her horrible comment and bean dipping.

My thoughts are with your friend - I had a similar experience with my cat of 16 yrs - it was hard  :'( but she went peacefully and wasn't in any more pain.

Just be there for Chip and try to forget that horrible Cassandra.

The TARDIS:
Thank you, you lovelies! I spent too much time worried about my own silence.

I sent Chip a quick 'virtual hug' yesterday, letting him know I'm thinking of him and Wilma. He was grateful for it.

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