There has been a break-up in Downtown Vet Clinic, our veterinarian’s office. It happened just before Christmas. The doctor who owns the practice has hired new doctors; all the doctors who knew our pets are gone.
Today Molly came home from her walk in the woods hobbling.
Molly has bilateral hip and elbow dysplasia. When she was still a puppy we took her out of state for surgery on one hip and both elbows. For a time she was such a frequent flyer at our vet’s office that they joked about naming one of the examining rooms for us.
It was also #2 Son’s day to go to work as kennel help at the vet’s office. We stood together in the kitchen and talked about what I ought to do. You see, I wanted to call our familiar doctors and go to the new office opened by two of them in Marshy Suburb of City By the Sea, but I felt funny doing that when #2 Son is working at Downtown Vet Clinic.
We sometimes joke that Molly and Sam are the children of the second marriage. If the pediatrician who had treated your baby through her life changed practices, would you follow the doctor to a new office?
Molly has a complicated medical history including a heart murmur. In the end I decided I needed to go where the doctors really knew her. We got her in the car and drove to Marshy Suburb Animal Hospital.
I wondered if my husband thought I was a little peculiar for making the change. (He seems to feel I am a bit over-protective…) He was a sport about taking the drive into the setting sun. When the visit was over, he allowed that it was much easier to see doctors who already know Molly rather than having to tell her entire story over and over again.
We discussed the faxing of records from one office to the other. I thought we might need to hire a truck to deliver Molly’s.
#2 Son had encouraged me to go where I felt Molly would receive the best treatment, and where I would feel the most reassured, but he also mentioned that calling the new place felt a little bit like treason. I know just what he means. Sometimes you have to do the difficult thing in order to be true to yourself and those you love.
And I really do love Molly. When she was diagnosed with all these problems three years ago, I realized how much she had my heart.
Here she is shortly after the Triple Pelvic Osteotomy performed on her right hip in December, 2002. She was dopey from painkillers and still wearing a bandage over the stitches on her shaved leg, poor girl.
When I tried to read about exactly what they were going go do to her, I felt sick to my stomach. That’s just the way I felt today when I saw her exaggerated limp. I wanted to do anything in the world to make her feel better then, and I want to do the same thing now. She is such a loving, ebullient creature–such a special girl. Everywhere we go, people say, “I want to take you home with me.” It happened with the vet tech today.
(Pure Luck wants me to add this is all true, as long as you aren’t the one trying to leash-walk her.)
The good news: Molly’s limp is most likely a symptom of the arthritis long present in her left elbow. We don’t need to put her back on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories as a permanent measure, but will give them to her as needed for a few days. She came home and wolfed down her dinner, along with her chewable pills, and now she is “icing” her elbow au naturel while lying on the snow at the foot of our back stairs.
Her chief complaint now? No Milkbones (aka Doggie Crack) at Marshy Suburb Animal Hospital. Happily, we do have some at home. There are some things to which we can be faithful without question!