So many thoughts, so little space

Published 3:21 pm Friday, November 12, 2021

It is article time.
Yesterday, the sun was shining and I begged for an extension to enjoy the sun. Besides, I had to supervise and almost qualified kennel assistant, so I would be in the office on Sunday morning anyway. But this morning, I don’t have a topic. I don’t know what to write about.
Our big case of a busy week is a pneumonia case. It is on 24/7 oxygen and is doing better, but by no means is out of the woods. Seems like bad luck to write about something that was on oxygen for three days, before even the first sign of improvement.
I could write about my ongoing saga of looking for a Labrador Retriever. But that is currently a downer and I am trying to remain positive. I thought I had a lead on one or two labs. After filling out a four-page application for a puppy, I was told they had no puppies.
They did have two dogs that they had kept for breeding, but had decided not to breed. One was a one-year-old chocolate lab male and the other a three-year-old yellow female. It would be mandatory to spay and neuter them (I can do that!).
Temperament and conformation were okay, but I didn’t get to find out why they were selected to not be breeders. Just to check, I asked the price. Not $100, nor $200, $400, $600, $800 or even $1,000 or $1,2000, but they wanted $1,500 for each used defective lab!
Needless to say, I passed.
I could write about the raw emotion of our job.
The helplessness of seeing a six-foot-two Kentucky State trooper break into sobbing tears in my exam room. The tears of happiness when a new best friend is adopted into a loving home. The entire staff’s joy when a dog that had been cowering at the back of a shelter cage comes running and then gets adopted by someone who met him on Facebook. The tears that pop up when discussing the last pet. Or mine for Ranger. There was a hug for the man that finally found a new kitten after a long emptiness and a long walk to an owner’s car with a neatly wrapped cold bag.
Or I could write about the necessity to look at everything in the most positive way.
So, that when everyone was busy and I needed results, I read the fecal analysis under the microscope. I like the world under the microscope, but my job is with the clients and patient care. Last Saturday, as I was reading the fecal, the hypertonic solution started to form crystals. I took a few seconds to watch the crystals grow into snowflakes before my eyes. Larger clear crystals got larger and looked as diamonds. Nature is amazing in many wonderful ways. And then the fecal was finished, was negative and I was back to the exam room.
I could write about employee issues.
There are young people who don’t really know what it means to work. There are new hires (but not new starts) that complain before they start that they don’t want to have to clean anything.
There are teens that need to be in school and need family to support them. I could write a lot about how we have a family-type environment that should support all, but sometimes we have to remind them that tempers cause cruel words. And that certain things do not belong at work.
Or the off the clock support that I give to individual employees so they can be the best they can.
Maybe I should write about lunch with Mr. Neely. We talked almost weekly before he retired from the bank, but over a year had passed since our last chat. Updates included my kid entering college, his grandkids visiting, a rough year, but positive changes and growth around Guardian Animal Medical Center and new projects. I had to pass on the news that Casey Murphy had died at 24 and I still grieved. Or I could write about the hospital tour for Mr. Neely and his grandkids the next day after our lunch.
I could write about texting my best friend for words when the obvious word to say were not true. Because I didn’t believe them, I couldn’t say them. Honesty is a core value and I am unable to lie even for a social situation, but I feel a deep empathy and wanted to convey that.
Although in real life, it was easy to say what I felt and it should even have been a comfort to them. Or I could write that honesty makes me say all of what is going on and not just the problem at hand. I think an informed decision is best, but sometimes it is hard.
I could even write about Monday and the six animals that were seriously sick. How we did work-ups that included blood work, radiographs, consults and IV fluids. I could write of trying to save money and doing subcutaneous fluids and then a day later starting an IV and the dog doing great by the third day.
Or I could write about the Saturday night message about a cheap surgery (not by us) gone wrong. The owners are irate (and scared). I help with the scared, but am bewildered about the mismatch of expectations. It takes a bit to do something well.
I could write about how we do not pay our uniformed personnel enough and that when two different officers came in with their dogs in serious condition, I treated them, knowing that they could not pay all.
Obviously, I cannot do that often, but maybe some donations will show up to help cover costs. Seems that things usually work out somehow.
I could write a column on any or all of these things on any given time. But today, I notice out my window that the sun is shining and rambling can fill up a column when I can’t land on a topic. Hope you enjoyed the weekend and sun. School starts tomorrow for us.
Oh, wait, that could be an article also!

MJ Wixsom, DVM MS is a best-selling Amazon author who practices at Guardian Animal Medical Center in Flatwoods, Ky. 606-928-6566

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