Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy did justice to his name

February 12, 2009

As my cell phone rang, I was transformed back to my own responsibilities as a small town vet to my clients and their pets.

"It's Mr. O dear — Happy's not eating still. Do you want him to come in this morning?" my wife responded. "

I took the phone sensing with gravity. Mr. O was a wise and noble elderly citizen who lived with his wife in southern Leavenworth County. His wife was afflicted with long-standing illness, and their 9-year-old golden retriever Happy was near and dear to them. But he suffered from a rare cancer and had recently taken a turn for the worse. From recent tests, my hunch was the cancer may be spreading to his abdomen.

As I spoke, I knew I had to choose my words wisely and sincerely. I urged them to bring Happy in that morning for more treatment to sooth his dismal condition.

One impressive thing about both this client and patient was their humble optimism when all looked tough. Earlier in the week when Happy was in his tail wagged steadily whenever we were near him. So friendly was he, his rhythmic beat against his kennel walls could be heard throughout the clinic. Mr. O was a trusting respectful client, whose presence brought a quiet confidence and peace.

Mr. O said the dog was uncomfortable and not eating. “I hope we can be of help to him, he's such a good dog.”

Mr. O and his dog Happy drove off that morning, as I continued to tackle my morning. But only a few days passed before Mr. O dropped by to let us know that Happy died that night in his sleep. Mr. O thanked us for our care and left. My eyes welled up with tears. What a great pet who was so fortunate to have such a great owner and master. No wonder he fit his name so well.

When I look back upon all the pets I’ve had the privilege to own and treat, I am amazed at their devotion, dedication and love they show us. Celebrate your pets today. Enjoy and revel in their contribution to your life.

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