World’s greatest father-in-law to be honored for ground-breaking research

I  was informed this morning by Aaron Phaneuf in the development office of the CSU College of Veterinary  Medicine and Biomedical Sciences that the development committee, after a long search, found something to name after my father-in-law almost 16 years after his passing. His work transposing human radiology to veterinary was done in the ’50s and ’60s. It couldn’t be the Radiation building, or any building for that matter. That requires a monster donation, which I don’t have. It will be a nice honor to Bill in the Flint Animal Cancer Center wing of the teaching hospital.

Title, and I hope this is correct is the William D. Carlson, DVM, PhD, Radiation Physics Laboratory. I think it sounds better than a building name.

Here is the eulogy the late Dr. Ed Gillette wrote in the American College of Veterinary Radiology Journal, memorializing this part of his life and work.

In Memoriam: William D. Carlson, DVM, PhD (1928-2003)

Bill Carlson was one of the founders of the American College of Veterinary Radiology. He was one of five members of the organizing committee for what was then called the American Board of Veterinary Radiology (ABVR). The ABVR was developed by the Educators in Veterinary Radiologic Science (EVRS) which was organized in 1957 through the efforts of W. Harker Rhodes and Bill Carlson to bring together those veterinarians in teaching institutions who had a primary responsibility for radiology. It was a stated objective of that group to establish a recognized specialty in veterinary radiology. In 1960, the EVRS selected the initial members of the ABVR organizing committee. In addition to Carlson, they included Rhodes from the University Pennsylvania, W.C. Banks of Texas A&M, M. K. Emerson of Iowa State and G. B. Schnelle of Angell Memorial Hospital. Carlson served as secretary-treasurer of the EVRS and as vice-president of the ABVR. The organizing committee was recognized by the AVMA in 1962. The first examination was given in 1965 and final AVMA approval was given in 1966. The name was changed to the American College of Veterinary Radiology at the request of the AVMA in 1969.

Bill Carlson was a major influence on veterinary radiology in just ten years of active involvement. His students during that time were: Al Corley, Dick Dixon, Ellis Hall and me. They were four of the six candidates who took the first veterinary radiology board examination in 1965. The other candidates were Charlie Reid from Pennsylvania and Jack Alexander from Guelph. Other students of Carlson’s who became diplomates later were: Joe Morgan, Lou Corwin, Jack Lebel, Jim Ticer, Tim O’Brien and Mark Guffey. In the early ‘60s, Bill had an old Cadillac which he would load up with his students and head for Chicago and the EVRS. They would sometimes start out from Fort Collins Thanksgiving afternoon to arrive in Chicago Friday evening. The EVRS met Saturday and Sunday. The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) began Sunday evening with the famous film reading session. Bill and his students packed a room or two in the Palmer House where the RSNA and the EVRS met for several years. Carlson’s students and their students developed radiology programs at Florida, North Carolina State University, Louisiana State University, Missouri, Tuskegee, Kansas, California and Sydney, Australia. A significant portion of the current membership of the ACVR have some connection with the origins of the program at Colorado State University. Carlson spent considerable effort promoting veterinary radiology in various meetings and conferences all across the United States and internationally during that ten year period. Carlson’s ‘‘Veterinary Radiology’’ first published in 1961 had 3 editions. He had well over 100 publications in veterinary and other journals.

Bill Carlson received his education from grade school through veterinary school in his home town of Fort Collins, Colorado. With the support of Stuart A. Patterson, M.D., a Fort Collins radiologist, Bill was admitted to the radiology residency program for physicians at the University of Colorado Medical School in Denver. During that same period, Carlson completed work for a PhD in the University of Colorado, Department of Radiology. The chair of his dissertation committee was R. R. Lanier, M.D., the head of the department. A member of Carlson’s committee was Theodore Puck, the eminent biological scientist who first described a radiation survival curve for mammalian cells which had significant impact on radiation biology and radiation oncology in subsequent years. Carlson’s dissertation was on dose fractionation studies in mouse tumors and normal tissues. His objective was to study some of the underlying relationships of the Strandquist curve. He observed some of the differences that were subsequently explained by Withers and others. He completed his PhD in 1958 although he had begun work full time at Colorado State University as Professor of Radiology in 1957. By the early 60’s, he had attracted major funding from the United States Atomic Energy Commission, the National Institutes of Health and several private foundations. Carlson had a significant influence on the development of the biomedical science research program in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The College was renamed Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences during his tenure. In addition to research grants, Carlson obtained a grant from the United States Public Health Service to train people in the radiological health sciences. That provided funding for additional faculty in radiation biology, radiation physics and veterinary radiology. Many of his students completed PhDs in that program in addition to receiving training in veterinary radiology. In 1962, he obtained funding from the U.S. Public Health Service for the Collaborative Radiological Health Animal Research Laboratory which provided support for the department for 40 years. The size and scope of the program that he was building lead the University to recognize it as a department in 1964 and he was its first Chairman. The department which began as the Department of Radiology and Radiation Biology was subsequently renamed the Department of Radiological Health Sciences and more recently, the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences. Its second chairman was Max Zelle who had been director of the biology division of U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. The third chairman was M. M. Elkind perhaps best know for describing ‘‘Elkind repair’’ of radiation induced DNA damage.

In addition to being department chairman, he served as President of the Board and acting director of the Colorado State University Research Foundation. He chaired the University Biological Science Task Force committee which made recommendations later implemented for major restructuring of the University for its emerging role as a major research University. In 1968, he became President of the University of Wyoming and served in that role for the next 11 years. He finished his career as the Associate Administrator of the Office of Grants and Program Systems with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Bill Carlson was one of the ‘‘good guys’’. He had a great sense of humor, incredible energy and a great deal of ambition. In the very first conversation I had with Bill after arriving in Fort Collins in 1959, he said Colorado State was a great place for opportunists. That proved to be true for both of us. Although Bill was very competitive and could rise to anger, he was very careful about how he expressed those emotions. In high school, Bill was quarterback of the Fort Collins football team. A teammate of his told me an opposing lineman had once knocked Bill flat on his face and shoved his head in the mud. Bill jumped up, smiled at the defensive player and said, ‘‘You rascal, you’’. That must have been far more infuriating than if Bill had called into question the legitimacy of his opponent’s birth.

Bill received many awards. The one I think he was most proud of was the William E. Morgan Alumni Achievement Award. That is the highest award given by Colorado State University. Dr. Morgan was President of the University when Bill was a student. Bill was active in student government and became good friends with Morgan who supported his development at CSU. Bill and his wife, Bev, were married in 1950 while Bill was still in veterinary school. They had two children; Susan, a nurse and health educator and Earl, a veterinarian. After Bill’s retirement, he and Bev moved to Denton, Texas to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren. Earl and his wife, Mary, also a veterinarian, live in Bill’s grandfather’s house in Fort Collins in which Bill and Bev began their family. He was very proud of his family and he was proud of his role in the development of veterinary radiology. Bill enjoyed visiting Fort Collins from time to time to visit with Earl and Mary and do repairs on the old family home. Occasionally, we would have lunch and talk about the old times. Everyone I’ve talked with about those times agree that those were the good old days.

He will be missed.

Ed Gillette
Ft. Collins, Colorado
Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 2004 45 (3), 277–278.

Way to go, Wild Bill! I miss you and Earl each and every day.

How much is enough?

Euthanasia is a gift we in which we vets can release suffering animals. But vet med has changed so that many clinics no longer do euthanasias. Why? Because a specialty now is euthanasia at home or a special homelike facility. Veterinarians specialize in humane euthanasia, taking special care to take care of the family.

I still do euthanasias, but my method in cats is different than other vets. It is much simpler, and easier when a sick and old cat’s vein is the diameter of dental floss.

All vets anesthetist the patients first, I am sure. Then they put a catheter in a vein. Then into the sleeping cat goes the solution. I don’t need a catheter. Horses, yes, dogs, some, cats, no. The problem is, euthanasia solution is as thick as sludge. You draw it up in a syringe with a large needle. Then, I switch out needles to the smallest regular needle, not an insulin needle, for instance. With a sleeping cat, it makes no difference which needle size you use, but if you use the large needle, you do need a catheter so the vein won’t blow.

With the smaller needle, you can hit the smallest vein, and the cat dies just as humanely as the catheter method.

There are many solutions used. The oldest one was deemed inhumane, T-61. It is no longer made. It was horrible when used on an awake animal. It was ok with a sleeping patient, such as one on the operating table that was not to be recovered.

The two solutions now are Beuthansia D and Fatal Plus. Now think about Fatal Plus. What is the plus after fatal? Anything more that needs doing after the animal is dead? I think more vets use this product. In the movie “Gifted”, the little girl’s one-eyed cat, Fred, winds up at a shelter. It is his last day, and the girl’s uncle breaks into the room where a technician or vet is getting ready to unnecessarily kill the three cats of the day, and rescues Fred. On the Mayo table, there is a  bottle of blue solution, Fatal Plus.

I don’t get it. I don’t know what’s after life that needs “Plus.” I guess I’ll wait until someone from the company reads this post and explains it for me.

Warm day, unconscious dog

After I ate breakfast today and read two papers (skipped yesterday [I mean the day] to sleep,) it was only 11:30. Ivy kept putting her head in my lap, one of her dog signs for “I want exercise.” So, we went to the dog park.

Usually we don’t do the dog park on weekends, especially this Sunday, because the Broncos dumped another game last night, Saturday, instead of today. There are too many dogs and their idiot owners usually, but today’s crowd was pretty good.

Ivy’s orange tennis ball that came with her Chuck-It broke, and she doesn’t like other balls. So we walked around  the park, with her running and looking for balls and practicing tricks, and me practicing walking without my hips falling out of my jeans and landing on the ground.

We went home to find a text from Nancy, my 50-year friend. Would Ivy like to come to her house to play with their chocolate Lab, Roux? Roux is Ivy’s best friend, even though Roux weighs twice what Ivy does.

Ivy and Roux played non-stop, chasing balls, wrestling, going in the garden, getting thoroughly filthy; then came in the house to play some more. I hadn’t had lunch, so David, who had prepared mac and cheese along with croissants filled with pepperoni, mozzarella and some marinara sauce to boot fed me. Yummy. Thanks, David.

Ivy and I got home around 4:30. Ivy promptly went out to sleep on her patio for hours. One bark at 9ish, and she came in to go into a coma on the couch.

Now she’s up again, wanting to formally go to bed, ie, out to pee, “go to bed” “take it nice (Milk-Bone)” and she settles down. I want to stay up a little longer, as I am reading a really good book: “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Life.” Ivy is sitting on the couch with her head on the back as if looking out the window-except the blinds are closed.

I guess I can read in bed while Ivy sleeps, and Matthew begins his nightly round of loud meowing, trying to settle down on my left shoulder. Frank will come in later. Cowboy Joe, still losing weight, we’ll see in the morning for his meds.

All in all, a nice day for us, and for Ivy, a “two a day.”

Special thanks to my cousin, Kathy, Earl’s cousin really, for always remembering me and sending me a Christmas card with a letter and pictures. Her mother was Wild Bill’s sister, my beloved Aunt Elaine, so it is the other side of Earl’s family than the one that ceases to acknowledge that I exist. I called Kathy in New Jersey to thank her for always thinking of me, and we had a nice long chat.

A totally satisfying day.

Throw her in, see if she swims again

Good golly. After my book, Drinking from the Trough: A Veterinarian’s Memoir, was published two months ago, I sank into like a postpartum writer’s depression. Nothing came into my mind to write about. Jeez, doing this all again? What an idiot!

I have a lot of ideas, but I think it’s more of the quality of “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Then Judy, my coach, told me that November is a month to write as much of a novel as you can, minimum 50,000 words (a lot). I’m not a novelist, but my low expectations ought to make this fun.

May even spice up my mood to do something absolutely ridiculous for me. Don’t get me wrong, this is a serious competition, but one so awfully wrong for me, I’m going to have fun!

P.S. Read my book yet?

How to pre-order my book!

Drinking from the Trough, published by She Writes Press, is ready to pre-order. I can’t believe it-that’s seven months away!

Here’s how you do it: Go to Amazon. In the space to find things, type in Mary Carlson DVM. That takes you to the book cover. Click on the cover, and it asks if you want the Kindle version or the paperback. Click on one, and you’re done.

Also scroll down to see a short biography. This is getting fun, if not totally confusing.

The butt goes up

Well now I’ve seen everything. I came in the house after mailing Betty White a letter asking her to please write a back cover blurb for my book. We are both involved with Morris Animal Foundation, but at 96, I think she is focusing more on the Los Angeles Zoo and saving sea otters.

Ivy was on the stairs, with her front paws on the lower step, and sitting one step up. She knew I wanted to get by, so instead of turning around and going up, or going down by me, she put her weight on the front paws and hitched her butt up the stairs. She did this until she got to the top.

I think I’ve seen it all now.

Myra Kanter

The storm raging the East coast and a FB comment from a law professor prompted me to this memory.

When I was at Highland Park High School, at the end of the semesters we had a final exam schedule. You only came to school when you had a final. There was a special bus schedule. If you left the building, you could not come back in.

At the end of my first semester, the final exam schedule was fixed for January (this is before Fort Collins, and hurrying to finish the semester with the college students to get out early.) It also happened to be the time of the Great Blizzard of 1967.

Myra Kanter, a school friend who was a genius, finished her final, and went out to the bus area. With the snow and wind swirling around her and seeing no busses, Myra realized she missed the bus. She tried to get back inside, because the next bus was in an hour. School officials would not let her in.

First, imagine a Chicago blizzard. Then imagine a skinny genius with the sweet temperament actually standing in the raging snow looking through the door at the guard watching her suffer. There were no cell phones to call her mom, and even if she wanted to use a phone, she wasn’t going to be let in.

I have never forgotten that. It’s one of those memories I have stuffed in my brain. My friend, Linda, always says to me, “How do you remember things like that”? I don’t know, but I do.

Stay out of the northeast for a few days, Myra.

Save the date, my friends, I just don’t know what it will be!

I will be sending nice email invitations to friends, relatives, and colleagues of mine. You can’t save the date, because I don’t know it yet. The book publication date is August 28, 2018. I don’t know how many you are supposed to invite, and you have to have enough books on hand to sell and sign, but I want a big party. I’m one of those people who worries that she invites people to a party but no one comes. They will, and I think I do a reading. I’m used to speaking, as I had a full career in teaching, a business, and multiple volunteer positions. I broke my piggy bank and chose a publicity package. My VISA is now a limp noodle. Tax deductible. I bet I get a refund.

My book, Drinking From the Trough, A Veterinarian’s Memoir, is in publication right now. I can’t believe how fast She Writes Press, the publisher, moves the production. SWP promotes the works of women authors and puts together the book with their ace designers, while their partner in publication, Spark Point, does the men’s side, as well as all the publicity packages. I hope I got that right, I’m still a rookie. Spark Point also has webinars. I did one on the SWP side, and it was very informative. I’m just an idiot as to how to set the whole thing up, and whether you can listen to it later, not in real time. Need to get my head out of my *&(, because there is a publicity one coming up end of January.

I’ve chosen a cover with Judy, my writing coach, which will be done soon, then the cover designer does her thing. It is going to be spectacular! After that, another designer chooses what the book will look like inside. We don’t think of what it takes to be a readable book, but it is a big deal. Being as ignorant as I am, I just shut up and nod my head yes. The book is finished, has yet to be proofread, and I am so excited I often send Judy several emails at a time. Then she knows intuitively that I am excited.

With my risk of getting a bite wound (going to the total hip and trashing it) while practicing vet med, I no longer practice. I do keep all my profession memberships,licenses and malpractice up to date, read journals, and am available for charity work, and to be an extra pair of hands if needed.

Last week, I got an LLC, just to make my taxes extra work for my CPA, John, nicest man and fastest tax guy I know.

It is said that people have several careers during their working lifetimes, so I have a new career-full time author.

I think there is a reason for everyone, and perhaps fracturing both my hips, 13 years apart, has given me time to work at home, take care of the pets, and live in quiet companionship with the three senior cats and Ivy, my Golden doodle, who is now 15 months old.

Really creepy

My childhood friend, Marcy, disappeared off the radar. No one knew where she was after she took her mother from Florida, went to New Orleans, and ended up on the North Shore of Chicago where we grew up. She touched base with friends from her Highland Park days. Her mother stroked out and died .

It turns out that Marcy died last August in the Denver area. I didn’t even know she was in the state. My friend, Michael L., said the Arapahoe County coroner said the death was of natural causes. She was 65.

Fast forward to yesterday. There was an email on Marcy’s address. Anonymous, but the person, who of course said she was not Marcy, said she was handling the estate. She had read our letters over the last two years, and seemed gleeful that I stopped all communication with Marcy, and took her off my FB account.

I wrote back and asked, “Who is this?” We went back and forth with the writer getting more vitriolic about Marcy with each letter. I said I would not communicate without knowing who this was.

Then I got a FB note from Michael W., another childhood classmate. He said the writer was her sister, and was spewing hate to all Marcy’s friends. The sister and brother are over ten years older than Marcy was, but Marcy was stuck taking care of her elderly parents who were in their 90’s. Her mom died at 98.

I don’t know who put the fun in this dysfunctional family, but leave me out of it. I’m sorry Marcy had a hard life after being the most popular girl in school, but I remember us being good friends at Braeside School. I’d play at her house after school. She lived right across the street from Braeside Elementary.

We are taught to forgive those who do bad things to others. I’ll never know the truth about what happened, but that happens. There is only one person in the world I do not and never will forgive. Marcy’s sister, I forgive you, but leave me the hell alone.

John McCain, American

I wanted to write this while the good gentleman from Arizona is still alive. Unfortunately,  the clock is ticking for Senator John McCain. He has glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest of all brain cancers. No matter how long he stays with us, the tumor will take him in the end. Sooner rather than later, I think. It’s the same cancer Senator Ted Kennedy died from, and also Beau Biden, son of the former vice president, Joe Biden.

When that sicko now inhabiting the eighteen acres on Pennsylvania Avenue was campaigning, he said McCain was not a hero because he got captured. He “liked” people who didn’t get captured. He didn’t like McCain because he was captured and suffered five years of torture? Is that how people should judge others, and “like” them or not like them based on their success or failure?

John McCain has served his country. Period. He is a role model for all who want a life in the fishbowl inside the Beltway. I wanted to write this before, not after his time is finished. Don’t be afraid, John, go easy and be reunited with those you loved here on Earth.