When I look at Sally

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When I look at Sally

I see an elderly lady

Struggling

I see too many cats

A big heart

Trying to save them all

I see a veterinarian

That carries the same big heart

That sees a cat

Stuck in a situation

Seizuring, unable to stand

Skin and bones

Head twisted almost upside down

Ears full of infection and parasites

Feline leukemia virus taking over.

Elderly lady doesn’t comprehend

Just sees a life to save.

Veterinarian. Sees suffering and a life that should be let go. Knowing the home it would go back to would put her in a kind of cat hell where she too would want to live but would cycle through periods of being sick and then sicker, then back to sick again.

Ah but what do I know…

Sally. A constant reminder to not always take the easy (?) way out. To go with your heart.   Giving up not an option every time.

The profession of Medicine is truly a calling and to treat it otherwise is a tragic mistake.

Decisions are made and then you live with them. Good or bad.

You die, you live.

What is the determining factor?

Money can never really be the reason.

I understand it on purely profit driven business level. But what is profit, if not life? At least trying for a really good life in oneself.

There are always places where letting go is right.

Over the years I’ve found two places it’s not. 1. In any young patient. And 2. Anytime there is hope by someone, be it the owner, the doctor or the patient. Hope is the life saver.

I can remember times (countless) that someone comes in for euthanasia and we didn’t do it that day and I see the pet back a year later or even two years later or even five years down the line… and it’s like that thought (euthanasia) never happened and the patient is doing fine.

So Sally, with her head twisted and unable to stand, having uncontrolled tremors, a severe respiratory infection and feline leukemia seemed the perfect candidate for euthanasia.

But she was young and the owner didnt want to give up.

My two golden rules flashing like neon signs in my brain.

So we kept her, treated her with antibiotics, gave her fluids, treated her ears and killed all the fleas and dewormed her.

Every day the owner would call and ask how Sally was doing. And surprisingly Sally was getting better. Despite my poor prognosis. Sally was a tough one.

After 2 weeks Sally could go home. But only if the owner could keep her in, not around any other cats. She still had a head tilt and vestibular signs and wouldn’t be able to defend herself or be able to run and jump or climb to safety. Plus she had feline leukemia which is contagious to other cats and suppresses the immune system putting her at risk of catching every other viral or bacterial disease present in the elderly woman’s colony of cats.

This was impossible for the elderly owner so we offered to keep her , find her a home and not charge her for her time with us.

I love looking at Sally.

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For all the reasons why I should fight for them and for myself.

It’s not about money or about suffering or about ego or pride.

It’s about the gift of life.

Precious, precious life.

It’s about the will to live, the desire to help, whether you are the eldery lady with too many cats or the veterinarian that gets paralyzed about what’s the right thing to do at that critical decision point, when you honestly can say you don’t know what the outcome will be with treatment but you know what will happen when you inject the euthanasia solution.

I alone can choose if you live or die.

That’s a tremendous responsibility and one that I love Sally for.

Because she proved me wrong.

‘What ifs’  are crushed by the spirit for the life that is clung to.

Sure she had some very hard days but the worst were before she ever came to us.

I’m confident she does not recall or worry or stress or have flashbacks of being so sick.

Over those mountain tops and through the valley she did go, never looking back, just looking for help and no one to squash her hope.

And we did it! We stuck by her side, helping her along the way, hoping with her and we were all successful.  Sally is healthy and active and getting fat.  The only reminder of her illness is a slight head tilt and a permanent squint from the nerve that was damaged when she was so sick.

I love looking at Sally.

There’s a million reasons why.

One day maybe I will find the words to explain it.

 

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Listening

The dirt was moist from the recent storm. Humidity almost 100 %. The second day of December and still no break from the ugly, wet heat of North Florida.

There was a large hole in the ground next to what appeared to be a shallow grave. Sent here on a tip, I took the shovel and started carefully moving the dirt to see what it may have hidden. DSC_0483Sweat started to roll down into my eyes, I wasn’t finding anything so decided to take a break and crouched down at the base of a large oak tree. Mosquitos buzzing in my ears.

It felt like something touched me on my back, I reached back to see if I was sitting that close to the tree, but the way I was leaning, there was at least a foot of space between us. I started to feel a little scared. Why am I out here all by myself, in the middle of the woods with mosquitoes and spiders and now something brushing up against me that I can’t see??…shit, fuck, piss as my ex-husband use to say.

So I decided to take my camera and look around at the scene. I may not be able to find a murder weapon, but I will try to find something to make my time out here worthwhile.

I stood in the middle of aDSC_0360, all beautiful big oaks. Virgin oaks I like to call these, not a drop of 431983_651202204894115_1281380658_n hanging from them. I find that so interesting since nearly everywhere else you look,nearly all the oak trees are covered in spanish moss. What makes this particular plot of land so unique (or polluted) that spanish moss chooses not to come here?

I tried listening to the trees, seeing if they would give any clues. Most of these trees would have been here back then. Two murders. One in 1977, the other in 1989. I was unsure of their connection, but I was certain these trees were standing here and would know something about both of them.

I sometimes feel trees are like elephants. Their memory would be picture like and solid, without ever forgetting. How to talk to the trees… I’m sure most people would think I was DSC_0248 for thinking this way, even I think I am crazy. Crazy is not always a bad thing and I will continue to open my self to receiving anything that may help solve these murders.

As I continued to be quiet and listen, I started to feel sick to my stomach. I didn’t know if it was the heat or the length of time I crouched for (getting too old for that) or if the sickly feeling was a message I was receiving from the energy around me.

Very slowly I walked, observing.

A really beautiful, refreshing, cool breeze came across my face.  Anotherdsc_0957_2.jpg  coming. I looked down and stared at the ground, and saw a DSC_0367 under the leaves. A very tiny bone. I took a stick and gently elevated the leaves. It was a tibia from something very small. Probably a baby rabbit. And then I saw the femur.

So I kept looking for more bones. I didn’t find anymore bones but I did noticed there was a lot of DSC_0376 in this kind of circular pattern all around the final resting place of a tibia and a femur. I looked up. DSC_0378Imaging some type of bird, either an owl, hawk or crow had eaten their meal up there on a big branch.

Ahhh, one mystery solved, maybe the trees are talking to me.DSC_0394

My struggle with the sloth

This morning, the runner girl in me was quite stealthy…I woke up with no desire or motivation for exercise what so ever.  If it wasn’t for the giant Golden Retriever staring me in the face at 5 am, I probably would still be laying there.   I was completely exhausted and setting myself up for all kinds of excuses to not run the  10 mile run I routinely do on wednesdays.    I had to go to the health department to get a rabies shot.  I wanted to be the first one there so I wouldn’t have to wait..and then I had originally planned on going running on the way home.  The sloth was wide awake and ready to sabotage runner girls efforts with any and all excuses.

I didn’t give the sloth too much acknowledgment, which is something I have learned to do, kind of ignore that voice and just watch those excuses go by without getting too attached to them.  So I took a shower and started to get dressed.  Runner girl put on running socks.  The sloth skipped over the sports bra and picked a regular bra…Runner girl knew that wasn’t an issue because there is an entire running outfit in the car just waiting…Runner girl then pulled a running shirt off the hanger…the sloth laughed inside…you know how hard it is to put a sports bra on underneath a shirt in a parking lot…Runner girl just kept getting dressed, ignoring the sloth.

Sitting at the health department, waiting for my turn, the sloth started visualizing driving straight home to hang out and eat breakfast and have coffee with the dogs.   Runner girl started negotiations with the sloth.  We can just go for 30 minutes, no big deal.  The sloth said nothing.  The rabies shot came and went and it was still early.   Runner girl was beating the sloth and the sloth being a sloth, gave up the fight.  Putting the sports bra on in the parking lot was really easy, running 10 miles was easier then ever and going home and enjoying the much deserved breakfast was just perfect.

Just remember, your body can do whatever you have trained it to do…so can your mind 🙂  photo 3

It’s always a new day

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New..

Every day is a new day.

I get to drive to work at the most beautiful and refreshing time..as the sun rises.

Often I will see these amazing scenes and have to pull over to take some pictures.  I am in awe of the planet we live on.

I am so glad that I can be in the moment to appreciate the beauty of life.

It’s always a new moment 🙂

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Cee’s fun foot challenge: Bare Feet or shoes..

When I think of shoes, I think of horses..

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but on this trip, on the airport shuttle, I saw these feet and couldn’t help but take a picture of them. I never think about how my own feet look, as in presenting them to the public.  I’d much rather cover mine up completely so no body can see my bare feet..but if you are going to wear sandals, how nice to make your feet presentable and something pretty to look at.  Thanks airport shuttle lady for making the ride worthy of a photo!  And for making me look at everyones feet on that bus that day…

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Shoes 🙂