As we embark upon the disruptive digital transformation to adopt new cognitive technologies, bots, artificial intelligence, automation and 24×7 business models, try not to lose sight of what really matters most in your life. Always on mobile devices, email, social media, and constantly changing technology leaves less time for you to be human, love and be loved.

I chose to share the following tragedy with you in hopes that it may help someone, somewhere, someday…

This is not like any other blog that I have written in the past nor do I plan to post more like it. I’ll be covering Strata + Hadoop World news later this week.

Beware: Dental Benefits and Risks

Right now my husband and I are heartbroken and grieving. Our beloved pup Penny died from a routine canine dental procedure this past Sunday. Penny’s death was fast and unexpected. She was not appropriately prepared for canine dental. She did not die from anesthesia. Penny died after a dental cleaning from sepsis.

Sepsis is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. Bacteria from Penny’s dental work entered into her bloodstream and it ultimately ended her precious life.

After researching dental death from sepsis, I learned many other dogs and even humans have died from it. Prior to this experience, I had no idea that sepsis was a known risk. I was only briefed on the anesthesia risks.

If you are considering taking your dog in for dental cleaning work, be diligent in health preparation and selective in who does the procedure.

There are usually more health benefits than risks for dental procedures. Unlike human dental cleaning, canine dental requires anesthesia and a thorough health screening prior to the appointment. To prepare, visit your veterinarian for a complete physical of your furry family member. The vet should check on your dog’s heart condition and run blood tests. They should also evaluate vital liver function, kidney values and red blood cell count. If your dog shows any signs of early kidney or liver disease, DO NOT proceed.

Dogs who have dental infections or gingivitis are often placed on antibiotics a few days before the procedure to avoid any complications. Although Penny did get a health screening, she was not given any antibiotics to prepare her immune system for dental. I did not know to ask for it.


Lasting thoughts…

My husband Kevin’s heartfelt Facebook post reminded me to never forget what matters most. If only I could go back in time, I would have drawn boundaries at work and seriously managed work/life balance.

Always feeling like I had to keep proving myself and needing to do whatever it takes to survive in this cold hard world, I have always worked excessive hours. It began when I left home and went to college.

After leaving home, I lived in my car until I could afford an apartment. At the time I indulged in coffee, donuts and a computer at work. I never wanted to leave work. Work was my hope and my refuge.

After earning enough money to afford room rental near school, I then justified extreme work hours to pay for college and rent. That pattern of justification continued for the next 20 years as the fear of living in a car again has never left me.

For most of my life, I have lived to work out of survival fear. In doing so, I missed out on too much life and too much love.

I failed Penny. Although I rescued that sweet girl and patiently worked through her fears, I assumed we would have many more years together. When she would look up at me working on my laptop with her big brown eyes. I assumed we would have many trips to the beach, walks in the park, and play time. I was wrong.

I need work/life balance. Penny’s death is my final straw. It is my wake up call.

In my husband’s words, “most days I log into Facebook and read the political discourse and wonder why I am still on social media. Then a day like today happens. For all those that have reached out, I am eternally grateful. As the next two months become dominated by political ads…remember what is important…not the President, not Congress, and except as it impacts taking care of your family..not even work. What is important is family, friends and some quiet time to find your own happiness. Because in a very short period of time, it can all change.”