Time in waiting rooms is usually spent leafing through old magazines and getting irritated because the doctor is running late. This has not been the case at Washington State's Vet Med Hospital. It is a large waiting room and though somewhat sterile, it's filled with comfortable couches and chairs and even TV.
It is a place of high emotion. Some tragic as was the case our first night there a week ago. A woman came in sobbing that her dog had been hit by a truck and she was sure he was dead. The staff got him on a gurney and brought him in and sure enough he was gone.
Hub hissed at me to leave well enough alone when the staff left her to take the dog away. Filled with empathy that night in particular, I hissed right back that I had him to console me but she was all alone and proceeded to where she was sitting. She fell against me and sobbed out the story of the entire ten years they had been together.
Already on shaky emotional ground I cried right along with her. The staff returned to talk with her and I took my leave.
Yesterday was a mixed bag. There was the student with Jackson, a sweet natured pit bull pup who was there for shots and to set up a neutering. There was the lady with the Great Pyrenees puppy who wanted to visit everyone everywhere and did to everyone's delight.
There was the lady who brought in a cancer stricken cat. Her son was dying from pancreatic and liver cancer. The cat was his and she was determined it was not going to die before he did.
People talk with one another. Whether their pet is healthy or gravely ill they empathize. You can feel it filling the room. And once in awhile something wonderful happens.
A blind Golden Eagle is brought out for a fresh air break and a chance to spread his wings. I wonder if they do this as a way to hearten the underlying sadness. It sure lifted my spirits, if only for a short time. It was a joy to see life had triumphed in a place where it often does not.