I saw something today that I have never seen. I wasn’t going to write about this but I feel I have to.
My daughter and I took our dog to the vet today. He’s had an ear infection recently and his ear is still red and itchy so we wanted to make sure his ear infection has not returned. They finished examining him fairly quickly and we were on our way. While we were standing at the check out desk, I observed the other customers in the waiting room. A mother and son were standing in line with pet supplies waiting to board their two dogs. They had that happy anticipating vacation look on their faces. There was a woman who was being dragged from the treatment area to the door by her big dog. She looked like she couldn’t wait to get out of there. There were two women sitting in chairs with their cat in a carrier. The cat was quiet and so were they. My daughter and I had our own things we were happy about as well. After I observed the room I noticed a husband and wife exiting a room. The husband was carrying a pink leash and the woman was crying. The woman nodded to the veterinary employee behind the desk who whispered “I am so sorry for your loss”. It occurred to me that while everyone in this waiting room was there for a specific reason these people where there to say good bye to their dog, a member of their family. My daughter and I just looked at each other and she squeezed our dog in her arms to embrace him. I felt so helpless. I thought these people would be gone when we walked out of the animal hospital to go home. Instead they were sitting in their pick up truck with red faces, foreheads touching and they were sobbing so hard their bodies shook. As a nurse, scenes like this are never easy but something we learn to deal with. As a dog owner, I am thankful ours is young and healthy but I truly dread this experience when it is our dog’s turn to cross the rainbow. Moral of the story, go home and give your pet a hug. Unfortunately they get sick and die just like humans. Enjoy every moment with them. They are family.