Monthly Archives

November 2015

The Ginger Cat

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The Ginger Cat didn’t have a name, so I referred to him by the colour description on his cage card. There was one other adult cat at the Humane Society that summer. His name was Sam. He was a brown tabby with emerald eyes. I cleaned and fed the shelter cats every day. Whenever someone came in looking to adopt one, I would show them around. Most people wanted a kitten.
I would tell prospective owners,
“He is quiet and gentle and very careful about covering up his business. You never know how a kitten will turn out, but I can tell you these adult cats are great.”

Then one day – success! Someone adopted Sam. But in the weeks that followed, many kittens went to loving homes while The Ginger Cat remained. He was never really interested in food, although he ate well enough. He would walk the length of his kennel, turn and walk back, his motor running, his eyes locked on mine. His routine was always the same and all he wanted was my attention. It was more than half way through the summer, when the shelter manager Pat, took me aside during my lunch break.
“We cannot keep him much longer. It’s our policy – it isn’t humane to keep a cat locked up in a cage for months. I’m sorry, but he’ll have to be put down if we don’t find a home in the next 2 weeks.” she said.

That night at our kitchen table, I told my mom about my day.
“Do you think we could bring him home?” I said.
“Yes. But Dad’s got to say yes too.” she said.

The next day, my dad arrived at the shelter just before closing. I showed him around and then we headed down to the cat room. My dad stood there in his dress shirt and tie, The Ginger Cat like a baby in his arms. He couldn’t look away.
“OK.” he said.

My mom named him Beethoven. He loved to lay on his back and roll from side to side, begging for someone to rub his belly. At the end of the summer, I went off to university and Beethoven stayed behind. He spent the next fifteen years with my parents. Whenever I came home for a visit, he loved to just sit and look me. I swear he was the most grateful creature I’ve ever met. And for all the times I heard a ‘no’ from my parents, I am forever grateful that they said yes to The Ginger Cat.

Saying goodbye!

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Saying goodbye!

Saying goodbye is never easy, and I and my colleagues have all experienced this emotional ride.  We know the pain and how hard it is to say goodbye to our best friends, our family member we call our pets.

My heart always breaks when we have a euthanasia, as I know the pain the family will feel and go through.  The pet is ready to leave, whether it’s an ongoing illness, or an old frail body that cannot get around without feeling pain.  We are the emotional ones, the ones that will feel the loss for months and even years to come.

I know it’s been over a year since I lost one of my babies, yes I say babies, as that’s how I feel about my dogs.  Miss Twinny was my shadow, my Velcro dog, my sweet precious baby.  She had come into my life 6 years previously, a rescue from a terrible situation.  She and her partner Fluff had been rescued from a shelter in South Korea. They came to me not knowing how to live in a home, not knowing how to do stairs, or use the backyard.  It was a battle, but so worth it, they had come such a long way to find love, and they found it at my house.

Miss Twinny used to gaze at me from across the room, I would often look up to her soft round eyes gazing at me.  She would follow me everywhere, and I used to joke she would follow me to the end of the earth to just be near me.

Miss Twinny got very ill, very quickly and with the help of bloodwork, we were able to determine that she needed an ultrasound, and then a visit to a specialist.  Miss Twinny had an adrenal mass, and there was a chance if she had surgery that they could remove the mass.  She was booked for her surgery on a Friday morning, I said my goodbyes as I looked at her frightened little face in the hospital in Toronto. She was worried, as she was unsure of her surroundings.  I trusted the staff and Doctors there and knew she was in good hands.

Miss Twinny unfortunately went into respiratory distress the morning of her surgery, I got the call and was able to make it in time for her to crawl into my arms. I was told there was nothing that could be done and that I should say my goodbyes.  That goodbye was so hard, but she did manage to crawl into my arms and look at me for the very last time with her soft round eyes as I said my goodbye.

To Be A Dog

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So far, I have shared my life with 6 dogs and met thousands over my career. Still, it isn’t enough. I was born loving dogs. From candles on a birthday cake, to pennies thrown into the fountain at the local mall, every wish I made was for a dog. I just wanted a dog. I just needed a dog.

A dog will sit by your bed when you cry and nestle behind your knees when you are cold or lonely. A dog will demand that you play. A dog does not care about your clothes, your hairstyle or your accomplishments. A dog only cares about being – with you. They teach us how easy love can be.

A few years ago I wrote this poem because sometimes … I just wish I were a dog.

To Be A Dog

Wouldn’t it be nice
if someone gently stroked my hair,
a kind and loving touch
to soothe away despair.

Wouldn’t it be nice
if someone looked me in the eye,
spoke the words, I love you
no hesitation in their sigh.

Wouldn’t it be nice
if words had no meaning;
stupid, bad, wrong, should’ve,
it would take away their sting.

Wouldn’t it be nice
if I were my friend instead of foe,
no longer in the ring
calling the action blow by blow.

Wouldn’t it be nice
if I could plop myself in bed,
fall asleep inside warm blankets
without a worry in my head.

Wouldn’t it be nice
if I could freely give a kiss,
to a heart that would accept it
awash in honest bliss.

Wouldn’t it be nice
to be free of mind’s thick bog.
It all boils down to this;
I just wish I were a dog

The grey muzzles!

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The grey muzzles!

I for one love the oldies, the grey muzzled sweeties that frequent our veterinary hospital.

As we get older, and we all do, we take the steps to help maintain our health for as long as possible. Whether that is through regular fitness activities, and a proper diet that keeps us healthy and fit. However, people are not the only ones who have to make certain changes and adjustments as they grow older. Our pets too require the types of needs and attention that many humans go through, such as maintaining a healthy diet, following a regular exercise routine and keeping up with annual veterinary exams.

In fact, due to improvements made in pet nutrition and supplements, along with the development of many medications which fight against common pet diseases, the life expectancy of household pets has doubled in the past fifty years.  Understanding the common symptoms and signs that come with the pet aging process cannot only help you to take steps towards improving your pet’s quality of life,  it can also prepare you for what is ahead in the senior years.

Yearly exams are so important, especially as our sweet seniors age.  This is when any concerns or health issues can be caught early.  We at Brock Street Animal Hospital love helping our Oldies but Goldies as we call them.

I know myself, that jumping out of bed isn’t as easy as it was 10 years ago, sometimes I have to roll out..lol…hey, that’s another story to tell.

Oh, and November is Adopt a Senior month, so if you’re thinking of adding a new member, consider a sweet grey muzzle.

 

It’s all about the smile !

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I decided last Friday to smile all day, which included smiling when I was on the phone and greeting clients and patients coming in.

Now, to be honest being Friday was an incentive to smile more, but I actually felt I made a difference that day.  As a receptionist in a busy Veterinary Hospital   we are the first to interact with our clients.   The one’s that set the mood, the feel of our hospital.  I am always polite and cheerful, but last Friday I was rocking it.  I felt not only good about myself, but good about everyone around me, it’s contagious.

I had a spring in my step, if I could have I would have danced to the music playing on the radio, and maybe I will tomorrow.  I also thought of the sad people, the angry people and felt sorry for them, I thought to myself, I hope they can smile soon and feel better.

I had also spent a good part of my day researching blogging, and I know that added more excitement to my day.  I am so looking forward to getting this set up, and myself and Hayley for sure will be writing our hearts out.

Our hospital can be an emotional roller coaster at times, and I am going to make an extra effort to stay upbeat and smile.  I know it will help me, and I hope it will help my colleagues and our clients.  Being sincere is important, and I can truly say that I am.  When I smile at you or laugh with you, I mean it!

This world is sad enough, let’s all make it better by smiling, it will change how you look at things.

I am smiling now, as I just wrote my first blog, and I do believe I rocked it!

www.brockstreetanimalhospital.ca