As a veterinary specialist, I have been fortunate to practice specialized veterinary medicine and surgery for strangers and for colleagues, who allowed me the privilege of caring for their own pet. I have dealt with both the positive and negative outcomes of their companion animals. This is an emotional side that I have kept at a distance.
My family has been blessed by a wonderful companion and family member who, for 15 years has always brought happiness, laughter, and smiles to our faces whether she was chasing hummingbird shadows, barking at nonexistent objects intended to stimulate our other Jack Russell Terrier, Tobie, or attempting to crawl underneath the covers at night to sleep. This latter maneuver usually resulted in a brawl with Tobie, who was already under the covers.
These simple joys, and an endless list of other memories, bring immense pleasure to the life of a professional practicing veterinary medicine, and were sometimes forgotten with the rushed and harried nature of our profession. Even when we experienced 14-16 hour days, there was never a time when I returned home from a long day where our eldest JRT, Annie, was not waiting with a smile, a wag, and attempts to be patted and loved. Annie was loved and she knew it. She taught me of the significance pets play in our lives. She will be truly missed from our family.