5 days ago
Monday, April 14, 2014
When I ran my animal rescue, I became quite close to my veterinary. Jim was a young vet and with all my animals, I am pretty sure even with his generous discounts and freebies, I helped put his son through vet school and made my retirement a bit more precarious.
He put strays back together for me stitching up wounds and putting pins in broken legs. He supplied medicines to cure mange and kill worms, while spaying and neutering the whole herd. Sometimes it was just he and I working on an emergency case after hours.
Now I am the type that will handle a crisis quite well up to a point but I do have limitations. If I see you screaming in pain with a finger cut off, I will find the finger, staunch the bleeding, comfort you and drive quickly but carefully to the ER.
My limitation shows itself as soon as you are on a gurney and the professionals take over. Then I really need to look for a soft spot to land for the world starts to spin and I am in crash mode. I am limited to only being able to care for another being's safety if I am the only option. I learned this time and again with the dogs.
If I found a dog on the side of the road alive but with part of its stomach hanging out, I could make it easily as far as Jim's exam room. Then I would search out a spot on the floor and get there quickly while it was still voluntary. Those times I usually carried on my end of the conversation lying prone on the floor as he tended my rescues. Rarely was I helpful. My work was done.
Jim was a neat story teller and was quick to poke fun at himself. He would tell stories to distract my case of the queasies as he patched up the pooches. These are just two of the stories he told me while I was holding the floor down.
Jim owned a miniature Dachshund he called Hot Dog. Hot Dog went everywhere with him and since a lot of his practice involved large animals, Hot Dog spent many a day on the open range. He was a pip of a little dog with no fear and had a sense of adventure.
Once after a long grueling day of testing cows for Brucellosis, Jim and Hot Dog returned home to sink into a soft recliner. As he sprawled to ease his weary back, Hot Dog jumped on him, ran up his chest and got in Jim's face.
The dog reeked which Jim hadn't noticed on the ride home as he was pretty ripe himself. Exhausted but knowing he couldn't live with the stink, Jim threw Hot Dog in the tub and gave him a bath.
As he was toweling him off, Jim realized the dog still smelled repulsive. He then opened the dog's mouth and realized that Hot Dog must have eaten something really disgusting and probably really dead.
He took the dog into the bathroom again and proceeded to brush Hot Dog's teeth. Finally, the pup was presentable.
It was later that night as he prepared to go to bed that he realized in his fatigue, he had brushed Hot Dog's teeth with his own tooth brush. It was fuzzy teeth for the vet that night.
The second story happened while he was examining a small terrier on the table. He held the squirmy small dog close to him as he inserted the thermometer into its rectum. He proceeded to ask the owner questions about the dog's symptoms while waiting.
He reached down to remove the thermometer but it was gone. At first he looked on the table and floor but it was nowhere. Now sometimes an animal will contract their anus and actually suck the thermometers into the rectum. (You just tried that didn't you?)
In horror, he figured that must have happened though the dog was so little he wondered how it could have completely disappeared. Nonchalantly he continued to question the owner while squeezing the anus hoping to feel it. Nothing.
His gentle probing of the abdomen produced nothing but an irritated terrier. Jim stood tall, sucked in a deep breath and prepared to inform Tiny's owner that he might to have to take aggressive means on their precious pooch to retrieve the thermometer.
While bracing for the owner's horror, he stuck his hand in his lab coat and felt something wonderful. Evidently the pup had expelled the instrument and it had fallen soundlessly into Jim's pocket.
The owners never learned of Tiny's near disaster but Jim did learn to never let go of a thermometer ever again.
I got the giggles much later when he was taking the temperature of one of my dogs and I noticed that the thermometer had a long purple string attached to it. The guy knew how to learn from error.
Pretty sure my episodes on the floor were the subject of stories told to others to make them feel better about their own queasiness. That is OK, I'm glad to be of use.
Do you have a limitation and have you learned to work around it??
at 5:17 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti