Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hattie, R.I.P.

A wonderful creature, Manhattan, known to all her friends as Hattie, a white Greyhound with tan markings, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday, October 2. I first met Hattie in the Spring of 2008 the day I met Marilyn and her pack to walk our dogs in a park close to my home. Marilyn's dogs were Franklin, Ruby and Hattie. My dogs were Portia and Bingley. Bingley is the only survivor of that group. Like most of Marilyn's dogs, Hattie was a dog who had had difficulty finding a forever home. She suffered from an auto-immune disorder that made her a little "touchy" and cranky. She required special care, both medically and emotionally. And she was most fortunate that she found Marilyn, one of the best humans in the world for being able and willing to offer that care. Both canine and human health issues have created a long hiatus in Marilyn's and my weekly walks in the park. I am reminded of the line from Emily Dickinson: To make routine a stimulus, remember it can cease. Farewell, dear Hattie. May you run and play free of pain in the meadows beyond the Rainbow Bridge.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thank You, Dr. Pearson

I love dogs of all ages. But, most of all, I love old dogs. After having lost three dogs at relatively young ages, I have been relishing Bingley and Magic. Eighteen months ago, when we discovered that Bingley had heart troubles, my anxiety level went up. But having a veterinarian like Dr. Dorota Pearson has been a great comfort. She has been right on top of things and knows how to minimize the risk of necessary procedures for Bingley. Like most retired racers, Bingley has teeth and gum issues. So every year, he has to be anesthetized to have his teeth cleaned and any needed extractions. Every time one of my dogs has to be anesthetized, my heart is in my throat until they wake up. Sight hounds, and particularly Greyhounds, are notoriously sensitive to anesthesia. Dr. Pearson has really extended herself to minimize the trauma for my hounds. She takes them in for surgery as soon as possible after they arrive, and she discharges them as soon as they show any sign of stress after they wake up. Yesterday was the big day for Bingley's teeth cleaning. I breathed a little easier when I got the call that he was ready to come home and prepared myself and the house for a groggy, stressed dog. Instead, when Bingley came home, he was almost his normal self. Amazing. When Dr. Pearson called a little later to check on his condition, I told her how happy I was. I could almost hear her smile on the telephone. "Good! I tried something new today." When we adopted our first Greyhound eight years ago, we almost switched vets--to the "Greyhound experienced vet" closest to us. But when I called to make an appointment, I was put on hold for a very long time--something that almost never happens to me with Dr. Pearson's well run office. That convinced me to stick with Dr. Pearson, and I am so happy I did. After we moved to our present house, it took us trying four different veterinarians before we settled on one. But it was worth it. If you love your pet, make the effort to find the vet that is right for you.