I weaned myself from that infernal Facebook zoo game last night with the express purpose of visiting the pages of my friends. Most are far better at posting on them than I am. A one sentence snippet of what I'm cooking for dinner doesn't strike me as being of much interest to anyone - so I play zoo.
I should check the pages of my friends more often though. Good, bad or indifferent, there is usually news. Last night it was bad. Both Bacchus's local vet and his cardiologist have both lost "kids" of their own in recent weeks. I'd not met any of the dogs but I found myself tearing up anyway. I know their Moms.
It got me to thinking about what wonderful, special people my veterinarians have been. I can't think of a one that I had a long term relation with that didn't develop into a first name basis. I treasured those who seemed to love my dogs as much as I did. Of course they didn't, not on the same level. It was my dog, not theirs. Empathy seems to come naturally to them, even though they see sick animals day in and day out and must harden to the losses that inevitably occur. It's that they love animals, pure and simple.
I don't know of one who didn't have pets of their own knowing full well that they too would one day lose them. Lucky dogs - and cats, horses, fish, mice, birds - whatever. They received the very best care in the world.
As the person belonging to my dogs, I had the responsibility for their well being and quality of life. We always sought the best vets we could find and in turn placed our trust in them. Sometimes it's easy to forget they too are people like me with the same sense of responsibility, the same fears, the same emotional range. What they have that I don't is the expertise to do more than I could.
I know that both these ladies did everything possible for their dogs. And they agonized, just as I did with Bacchus. This time I had the empathy because I still bear the pain of loss. As bad as it remains, I know Bacchus had the best care we could give him because of the dedication and guidance of both these professionals.
I just hope they know they are the best and nothing better could have been done for theirs than they gave. It has to be a question that occurs, a question that penetrates grief. Rest easy ladies. Your "kids" had the best Moms in the world. They surely knew it. You need to know it too ~ and believe it.