Because We Care
A few weeks ago I had to take the heartbreaking trip to the animal emergency clinic in Lewiston at 7 p.m. for a life-threatening situation with my beloved cat Grizzle, only to have him die in my arms on the way. Many of you have had to make that very same agonizing trip with your pet, some with good results and some with the same devastating result as mine.
As a former employee of Bethel Animal Hospital, and the person responsible for developing their logo, “because we care.” I am disheartened to realize that those words no longer describe our only and most trusted animal care facility available to us.
We are lucky to have several veterinarian offices in the western mountains that take very good care of us between 8 a.m. and 6.p.m., but as we all know, nature and her animals do not live exclusively by “our” clocks and schedules. Animals live just for life, the bond is strong and innocent and that's why we cherish our relationships with them.
For our vets to let us down at the most critical time of need in an emergency situation is, for me, unforgiving. Are we not the same important clients and patients after 6 p.m.? Do we stop needing your reassuring words after hours? Many of us have hoped and prayed that our pet will “make it till morning” to bring them in for care. For me, it was already decided, but I wish I could have spared my Grizzle the pain of suffering. I didn't get that choice.
These are trying times for everyone. Our animal companions sometimes are the only thing that help us to cope and move forward with a smile and a warmth in our hearts. Many of you would agree that we couldn't do it without them. Losing them when they might have been saved can be a devastating turning point for some.
I learned a lot about the human animal bond from life to death, and the importance of compassion, love and respect for your pet from the doctors, but mostly from you, the people who love animals. So it is with sadness that I ask, why are we not afforded the same compassion after hours? I find it discordant to the oath doctors, of any kind, must take if they pledge to care for the healthy, sick and injured.
We do not “own” our animal companions. It is a privilege and a responsibility. Where there is responsibility, there should be follow through for a service that cares for all of us. Must we, as a community, continue to be excluded from the emergency veterinary services available to those south of us, when the resources are right in front of us? Do you really care?
Thank you Lewiston Animal Emergency, you were great. At least you were there for me in the end.