Tessa: The other day I was at Canada West Veterinary Specialists for Reuben’s check-up. As we got close to the hospital Reuben got really excited as if he were going on a big hike instead of to the doctors. He ran out of the car and into the reception area where he was greeted by a posse of staff who all shouted, “Hey Reuben’s here.” They crowded around him and gave him big kisses while we waited for super babe nurse Jayne to come out.
As we waited for Jayne he sat there with his tail wagging and a big boner, a sure sign of happiness in my mind. There was a couple beside us and we started chatting. They had that worried, crazy look that Dave and I had a few short weeks ago. I asked them what was up and they said Princess was in for her second spinal cord surgery and I nodded knowingly. Of course. I get it. They asked about Reub and I told them about Reuben’s four surgeries. They nodded and shook their heads knowingly. They’re like our children she said.
Then when the beautiful Jayne emerged and got on the ground and started whispering sweet nothings into my sweetie’s ear, (Reub not Dave) he looked almost as happy to see her as he usually is to see me and it made me feel really good inside.
Reub and I were then ushered into one of the waiting rooms to see Dr. Enberg. He always says Trevor and introduces himself in that nice informal way but I can’t quite bring myself to say that quite yet. He’s still Reuben’s doctor and by calling him that I feel like I can hang on to that a little bit longer.
He did the usual things, felt his intestine, finger up the poop shoot and generally played with him on the floor calling him sweet things like here’s my boy. I looked at him and said Dr. Enberg have we turned that corner yet? And he paused and looked at me and without missing a beat or making me feel like I was stupid he consulted the sixty two pages of charts and medically things on paper and said well you know his surgery was then and his last this was then and he hasn’t had a reaction to the human albumin so I think it’s very safe to say yes, he’s turned a corner.
Wow. He’s turned a corner. I wanted to hug him and run out and grab Jayne and all the cute receptionists who act like Reuben is a movie star when he comes in. DID YOU HEAR THAT???? Then I realized that in a weird way I feel completely at home at Canada West. I feel surrounded by like-minded people…people who don’t give a second thought to doing everything they can to help animals.
Since Reuben has come home we’ve been confronted with different reactions. People are usually too polite to ask how much we paid for his life but it’s private health care and they can pretty much figure out half of the cost and even that makes them gasp. One person suggested that there were so many animals that needed homes from shelters perhaps we should have just done that.
I guess at the end of the day we all have to make our choices in these matters because animals don’t have the same rights as people do. Their lives are completely at the mercy of their owners and that makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I told Dr. Enberg I was going to miss them. I’m not going to miss Reuben being sick but I’m going to miss being surrounded by crazy animal loving people who get it.
Now I spend my days plotting and thinking about how I could be useful there. My mother suggested I become a vet. I think not. But it’s the kind of uncompromising commitment that I love so I guess I learned something from this experience.
My next blog will be about my mother’s visit. I can’t write it right now because she won’t let me and as it is I am only writing this one because Dave is keeping her temporarily preoccupied. Soon she will come and hunt me down and demand more attention or want me to paint her toe nails or get her another glass of wine or something. There is definitely something about distance making it possible to love some people more. But more on that next week.