Home » Life Lessons » She wasn’t being rude

She wasn’t being rude

My receptionist Ericka was in tears. The caller had said some pretty mean things, and she’s sensitive to what people say to her. She thrust the phone towards me, and pleaded for me to deal with it, “She doesn’t understand we don’t have any appointments available and, anyway, we’ll be closed in 45 minutes.” Some lady’s dog hadn’t “eated” in 4 days, and so she thinks she’s really pretty sick, and what was I gonna do about it? On such a hectic afternoon, I was glad to take the load off the front desk, and proceeded with the best defense being a good offense. “So he hasn’t eaten in 4 days? Wow, you rushed right in! What makes you think it’s serious now” The colloquialism of her words and accents made it difficult to understand, even for a small town Missoura hick like myself, but I did make out something about not having much money, something about only having a hunnert dollas. Knowing it sounded like a major medical workup, our lab equipment had an hour back log of tests waiting, and it had been a really long day already, I told her that I could see her at 9:15 the next day. My technician Jenny cringed, knowing full well that I had no openings, even for something minor, at 9:15 tomorrow, or anytime, all day. She also thought the front staff might not be very happy when I had allowed someone so rude and disrespectful, accusing them of not caring, to come in when they had been telling good, regular, polite clients that we were booked until next week. I had a funny feeling about this one. I knew this woman’s dog was pretty sick, and a “hunnert dollas” wouldn’t even get her in the front door of the emergency clinic tonight. I hoped it would wait. And that it wasn’t too serious to throw my schedule into seizures tomorrow.

Frankly, I forgot about her until the next morning, when I walked into the exam room. My flippant attitude about her apparent lack of concern for “Baby Girl” quickly dissipated. The “homeless person” stench was overpowering and was immediately telling as to why the visit had been postponed. This poor 12 year old dog couldn’t even lift her head. Indeed, she had not eaten in 5 days now, but was drinking lots of water. “She’s not spayed,” Jenny whispered to me, in case I missed the obvious. We both knew what it was from the history. A pyometra is an infected uterus, life threatening, and one of the important reasons why a female dog or cat should be spayed if she won’t be used for breeding. I’ll spare you the details, but it is typically fatal before five days, from internal rupture, much like a child’s appendix can rupture, spreading bacterial poison and toxins throughout the body.

The pre-surgical workup of confirmatory lab tests and X-Rays alone is about $300, and if it was a pyometra, could easily exceed $1200-1500. And the patient could die, regardless of our best efforts, especially if the uterus had already ruptured. She hadn’t come in because she had been scraping together, begging, and borrowing to get some money together to get her dog fixed.

Nor could I promise her that her little dog would live through the surgery. “So what are you telling me?” the woman shouted at me, with tears in her eyes. Deep down, I knew she had been rejected before, a lifetime of it. I knew she expected me to say to go away, that if she had no money she wasn’t welcome here.

I told her I wanted to run some tests, and that it would cost her “a hunnert dollas.” That wouldn’t fix anything, but we needed to know what was wrong.

Jenny was correct. The test confirmed a high white blood cell count (indicating infection), and the radiographs (X-Rays) confirmed a huge swelling in the area where the uterus would be.

As I delivered the news and the grave prognosis, her eyes reddened and became teary.

Having pets is a commitment. And an obligation. And owning pets is a choice that involves responsibilities and expenses. Therefore, keeping a pet is not a right, nor is it the grocery store’s obligation to feed the dog for free, nor the veterinarian’s obligation to care for it for free. Pets, like people, should have a basic minimum of care: annual examinations, inoculations, and other preventative health care, and the planning for the possibility/likelihood that something may go wrong – an accident or an illness.

So, are people living in poverty allowed to have pets? If she can share what she finds in the dumpster with her only friend in the world, or if she and her cat split a can of food, is that “good enough?”

As I spoke with my staff, receptionists, as well as technicians, I told them that this woman was not rude. The astonished looks of disagreement on their faces faded as I explained. “You can’t be rude if you don’t know what rude is. She doesn’t fit our picture of how we should behave or talk, but she’s not intending to be disrespectful or unappreciative. She just doesn’t know any better. She’s never had anyone give her the benefit of the doubt. How many times had she been excluded as a child, or looked down upon as an adult? How do you expect her to behave?”

I’ve mentioned in previous posts how high a value I place on the “human-animal bond.” That unconditional love thing is impossible to put a price tag on. Of course this dog is suffering now, but what about the past decade of loving relationship? Do you honestly think this dog’s life didn’t live a happier, worthier life for having met this woman instead of starvation on the street, or the animal shelter’s needle? As Pope Francis said in different circumstances, “Who am I to judge?”

“I can only promise you two things,” I told her solemnly. “I’ll do my very best to save your dog, and she most definitely will die without the surgery.” I was emphatic, because she needed to really understand how sick her little friend was. “Baby Girl” couldn’t lift her head, but her eyes followed my every move and she wagged her tail when I scratched behind her ears.

I told her that we had all discussed it and that we were willing to do surgery during our lunch break, and that it would only cost her the “hunnert dollas.” I’ve learned over the years that even if you work pro-bono that the client must contribute something, to take ownership, and to feel the value – something about pride, that they had contributed also.

I don’t take any credit. And I honestly do not write this story to look like some kind of a hero. My staff clocked out over the lunch hour and also donated their time. We’re all confronted with choices in life where we can make others’ journey’s better, or at least less miserable. I know pain, and anguish. We all do. We have a choice to be angry at God or whomever for allowing/causing crap to happen, or we can rise up from the ashes and be better for our losses. Is it to better to be bitter and angry, or realize what suffering feels like, and gain empathy?

“Really? No one’s ever done anything nice for me before,” this smelly woman wailed and wanted to hug me, so I embraced the leper. If you’re skeptical, of course this may seem disingenuous, and I do get it, I’m from Missouri (this is the origin of “show-me”). We are constantly barraged with cardboard signs on the off-ramps. Are any of them really willing to work for food? At the end of the day, does it make any difference? “I was hungry and you gave me to eat.”

It’s easy to puff your chest out when you do something difficult. But this wasn’t difficult. If I’m not there that day to fix the torn ACL knee ligament, the liver shunt, the heart defect, the broken hip … someone else would have. I’m truly not particularly intelligent or even very talented. But I sleep well tonight, knowing that no-one would have done this simple surgery for this indigent woman. This was truly no big deal, a very simple surgery that took just a few minutes. But after so many years, these opportunities to make a difference, make it all worth while.

I usually ask for comments, but not on this one. Please don’t leave any comments. Like it if you want, and share it. If you like this story, pay it forward. You think your life sucks? Look around. Make a difference. This isn’t even a story worth telling if you don’t use it yourself and think about it tomorrow as you look around. This story would have remained untold if I hadn’t had a couple of beers and like to write. Your life is charmed and blessed BECAUSE you are reading this, are capable of thinking about the big picture, and can make a difference. It’s not the big things we do that are heroic.

At the end of the day, this woman ran in, frantic about her dog. She didn’t have a phone so had no idea if her dog made it through surgery. Certainly, she thought the worst when she was escorted into the room, and told the doctor would be with her shortly … she stomped and shouted and cried for some answer, “How is my dog?!! PLEASE dear God, please somebody just tell me, did ‘Baby Girl’ die?!!” I ran from the appointment I was with when I heard the commotion, but Jenny beat me there. All I heard was, “She’s alive?!!! She’s alive?!! Oh dear God, praise dear God! My Baby Girl’s ALIVE!!!”

I’m sure they heard the shouting and crying next door.

Pay it forward. Much Love.

Please Continue with PART TWO



1,288 thoughts on “She wasn’t being rude

  1. Regarding whether the homeless should be entitled to have a pet, I am a broke, struggling full time single mother, struggling to work a full time job with one daughter in college on scholarships who still needs financial assistance from me for living/travel/basic expenses, and another at home who depends entirely on me. That said, I have a dog and a cat and I have a vet who is aware that I struggle and works with me when I have a large bill by either allowing me to do what I can at home (subcutaneous fluid injections, wound cleaning, etc) because he trusts me to do it right and to bring my pet in if I have any question regarding how well they are healing, as well as letting me make payments, which I ensure that I do, as promised, to not only show respect and appreciation for his understanding and compassion, but to maintain the good relationship we have. Should I be “entitled” to have pets, knowing I could NEVER pay for an expensive procedure and without some sort of “charity” would have to euthanize one of my beloved pets? Twice this winter, I too, crossed paths with homeless gentlemen in the company of an obviously beloved dog. On a very cold day, one was wearing a thin jacket, but had his “old girl” German Shepard wrapped in what was probably his warmest blanket as she sat dutifully by his side. The other, a young man, had a sign that said he would work, anything helps, especially food for his dog. In both cases, I went to the store and bought a large bag of good quality grocery store dog food and gave it to them. The old guy/dog were very socially awkward, and I also brought him both a hot meal, as well as stuff for sandwiches which should last for several days. My daughter was disappointed by his lack of enthusiasm to which I replied “he may just not know how to express gratitude for any number of reasons, but we didn’t do it for the gratitude, did we?” The young man, however, when I pulled over and asked him if he had someplace to store the bag of food as I handed it to him, had the most overjoyed, grateful, teary eyed expression I have ever seen in my life. He wouldn’t have to worry about how to feed his beloved companion for at least a couple of weeks or more. Those dogs are entitled to be loved and both were obviously loved and cared for, as well as their owners possibly could, and I can’t say much more for my own pets. Being kind is more than just an act, it is an attitude, empathy and compassion. And I believe that while it was challenging to get there, under the circumstances and all of the hurdles Dogtorbill had to cross, he achieved a level of kindness which many would not. And through the journey, he clearly gained as much, if not more, than the owner of “Little Girl” did. Perhaps it was meant to be a gift for HIM all along?

    • Thank you Valerie, as I wrap up the comments for the night, you have made me smile, restating, so much more eloquently than I, about sharing our Lord’s love and blessings.

  2. As someone that rescues a very specific, unhealthy breed of dog I can say that I’m not at all surprised at all of the comments that are berating Dogtor Bill. It’s so easy for people to sit behind a computer and judge someone else’s intentions and reasons. The funny thing is that each of the nay sayers are doing exactly what they are accusing the Dogtor of.

    The rescue hears so often of how “a spay only costs $xxx so why is the adoption fee that high??” No one stops to think about anything beyond the spay. They forget that there are other costs along with the simple vet bill that states “Spay – $xxx” What about the food, medications, crate, bowls, leash and collar, monthly preventatives, transportation, housebreaking, overgrown nails, ear infections, skin allergies, and that’s just the beginning when caring for an animal that has never been cared for properly. So, you’re all saying that he sounded pompous? Condescending? Really? Let’s think about this. It wasn’t JUST a simple incision, removal and suturing. There is anesthesia, scalpels, gauze, gas (to keep her sleeping), medications, sutures, and the list goes on.

    When was the last time YOU have taken on such a huge commitment? It’s not just a simple spay. It’s the commitment and BIG picture that need to be accepted as well. Stop judging until you are willing to give that much of yourself.

    It seems that the human race are the least humane when it comes to how we treat each other. Shame on you

  3. Oh goodness…I can see why you asked for no comments judging by some of these strangely odd and mean spirited ones here. I just wanted to thank you for sharing. You are obviously a gifted blogger as well as a vet. I had tears reading your account here. Bless you and your staff. Bless you for speaking the truth from your heart. I read nothing self serving about this so do not pay any mind to those who said so. I am sure you will not. I have two remarkable vets like yourself. My little dog is my child. I get it. And appreciate vets like you who get it with me.

  4. At least in Massachusetts’s they have free vet car for those that can not afford it but can afford to feed the animal. Vet’s volunteer there time. No money is ever exchanged if it were me I would have given the woman back her money and still helped the dog!!!! Hope this vet felt great about her self but just wanted to point out she herself put this lady down with insisting on pointing out the way she talked and smelled. I hope this vet never has something unpredictable happen to her she will have to walk a mile in the women’s shoes. It is not always uneducated poor people that end up in bad situations. I do volunteer at a homeless shelter. I also volinterly bring blankets and food and clothes and offer a shower to people who live in tents.

    • Rachel, please, please read the story again. The language and description used were to draw the reader into the story, to really see and hear her. Please know there was no making fun of anyone involved, everything done out of love. Furthermore the point certainly was not about feeling good for doing something, but doing good for good’s own sake, and to go forward with God’s loving embrace. We are certainly aware that “There, but by the Grace of God, walk I.” Thank you, and blessings.

  5. The hunnert dollars equalled ten thousand dollars to this poor, frustrated, loving soul. Well done, Doc. Any one of us could end up homeless, no matter how secure we are now.
    I have learned that rude and angry people are usually hurting. Like animals, we too growl when hurt or scared.

  6. My mother always said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. The greatest gift you can give is of yourself. It is easy to drop a few dollars in a bucket or send a check to feed a starving child. Once the money is sent you dont have to think about the outcome but to give of yourself, to share your talents no matter how grand or mediocre is vastly more important and beyond monetary value. The desire to help this woman and her dog came from your heart and soul. Your insight into her behavior was touching. There is a lot more to people than just what is on the surface.

  7. I have been one of those people who had a pet, lost my job and struggled just to have a place to live and a little food to eat while looking for work. People that I thought were my friends turned their backs on me. But through every difficulty, pain, anxiety, tear and heartache, my dog loved me and kept me going. I don’t have children and I have no family where I live. It was me and my dog. And she felt every pain I felt. When she would see me cry she would put her little head in my lap and look at me as if to say it will be ok. Just hold on. I would have given anything to give her the very best care that money could buy but I could not. I found places to get her food before I worried about eating myself. I loved her that much and I just had nothing and no one else other than her. Her love meant everything to me. Just to hug her was amazing because I didn’t have anyone else to hug me. To be able to pet her brought me joy. I loved walking with her and seeing her happy – it made me happy. She recently had to be put to sleep and I am still grieving and aching and hurting for her. You can never understand how much that dog meant to that woman – she had no other love than that dog. When everyone else refused to treat her with any dignity or kindness – when she didn’t get a smile from anyone or a hello – her dog gave her the only ounce of love she could get. And I understand how much that meant to her and how she wanted to hold on to that love. Because having absolutely no one in your life, no one that makes you feel needed, wanted, loved or worthwhile – will kill you. I am happy to know that you had compassion for her and her pet. Thank you for making her feel love from another human being!

    • Dear Michelle, I am very sorry for your loss of your dog. Be assured that you made her very happy too and you made her know she was loved dearly!! Having to decide to put her to sleep must have been one of the most difficult decisions you have made. However, it is also so very unselfish and humane! It means you are a strong and an intelligent person; able to understand what is in her best interest. Losing a job is also very difficult (and I speak from experience!) and when ‘friends’ let you down … You are going through a very, very tough time. Please try to regain your strength and have hope that things Will get better. Lysbeth

      • Lysbeth, you are a very special person that sees the inner beauty and struggle. You validated Michelle when she needed it most and my heart goes out to you both. It does take unselfishness, intelligence and most of all strength to do the right thing for you pet. You see I have walked the road Michelle is on right now and I pray that God will change that for her. But one thing for sure we love our animals and they give us back that unconditional love that makes life bearable.

    • Your story sounds like it was written for me…no kids only my dog which passed away over 2½ years ago now…an American White German Shepherd that I has searched for over 7 years to find. He was my “heart dog” everyone hated him & was sacred of him. No one would tease me or bother me with him around. I felt safe & secure at all times but never more since he has been gone. He was my life line & was there for me…I have no one & so far away from my home ground & no friends or family. I’m empty & alone inside & out now. All because of the loss of a dog.

      • Tink, please know that you are a valuable person. Your beautiful, fluffy white German did not spend his life with you for no reason. You made him feel just as safe as he made you feel. The affection between a pet & a responsible pet-keeper is reciprocal. He stayed with you as long as he could.

    • Michele – I am so sorry that you lost your much loved dog. I hope you will be in a situation where you can share your life again with another lucky dog. Take care.

  8. When you hear of stories like this it gives me hope the world can still be a good place. So wonderful of you and your staff to help the less fortunate. God gave you the smarts and talent to be used to help others. You helped that woman more than you know. God Bless you!

  9. ‘I know pain, and anguish. We all do. We have a choice to be angry at God or whomever for allowing/causing crap to happen, or we can rise up from the ashes and be better for our losses. Is it to better to be bitter and angry, or realize what suffering feels like, and gain empathy?’
    I love this. I am a vet tech who came across this post on my Facebook. I am 3 days out after my first miscarriage of my first baby, it’s a horrible, dark, angry place. I was slowly realizing that this experience may actually help me be a more empathetic person, and if I can survive this pain, I can do anything. Your post totally affirmed that. Thank you

    • You have the wisdom to look for acceptance of what has happened and to allow it to shape you into a person with even more compassion and empathy for the suffering and grief of others than you had before. We all live with a lot of loss before all is said and done, and finding people who can support us on that journey of sadness and healing is key to not letting the losses define us.

    • Jzim~~I miscarried my first baby at 5 months along. I saw him. He was perfectly formed. I know that “horrible, dark, angry place” you describe. The sadness is overwhelming. It was February 9, 1977 when I miscarried my little boy. A nurse told me that I would have another chance at having a healthy baby. On February 8, 1978 I had Phillip, a healthy boy who is now the Pastor of my church! I went on to have another son, Adam, and then unfortunately, two more miscarriages, but they were within the first trimester. They were as difficult as my first miscarriage. I believe I have 3 children to meet when I die. My point is, I understand. I pray you get better and that you heal. I hope you can also find comfort that it’s not the end, that you will be reunited with your baby one day–and that in the meantime you also have a healthy baby while you’re here on this earth. Blessings to you.

  10. I wish more vets would do this. Many pets are the only friend people have. But yet they are poor. I have helped people with pets who can’t afford food. I love animals and I always thought vets became a vet to help animals. But many won’t if you can’t afford it. I know they have their bills too. I worked for a vet for 11 yrs. But yet if they love animals do it for the pet.

  11. Well don doc. Most would have just dismissed her and not looked back. I would like to ask you if I may? And you don’t have to reply its more of a question, than a question that requires an answer. Did you become a vet for the money? Or to help pets? And I am a business person so I am well aware of the cost of business and the costs no one thinks about. The employees you train, put time and effort into only for them to leave you for 50 cents on the hour. The Vet board looking into every single complaint and you are assumed guilty without a trial.
    When I have people contact me about advice on business I always tell them the same thing. “Care more about what you are doing than the money” .” If you care about what you do you won’t have to worry about the money, it will be there’
    Oh and people who judge you don’t realize the time and effort you had to put into getting the title “Doc” it was not given….It was earned! Also they do not realize what dealing with the public is like! I would hate to see it all in one pile I have had to eat!
    Thanks again

  12. I’ve never worked at a veterinary clinic or anything, but I have close friends who do and from what I’ve learned from them is how to truly appreciate the dedication from those like yourself. And I respect the genuine modesty reflected in your story, and though you say you aren’t a hero, acts of kindness like this reflect a commendable trait you have professionally and personally. True, it can be said you were just doing your job. I’m not saying you’re a saint or anything, but you did more for this woman and her companion than others would have if they were in your position. And that sort of compassion is hard to find nowadays. As an avid pet owner and dog lover, thank you!

  13. Awesome story I’m glad she appreciated what you and your staff did. I’m a vet assistant. And stuff like that happens so much at my clinic and they always act like its our fault. Recently we had a family come in w a 10 month old dog on a saturday (we dont do surgery on saturday) who more than likely had a foreign body. She’d gotten pretty sick just a few days after they adopted her. Surgery was maybe $1200 they couldn’t afford it and didn’t want to go to the ER. If she didnt pass the object by monday they were gonna put her down. One of the drs asked what they could spend on her today the answer was $500. So to emergency Surgery we went on a crazy saturday. She had eaten a sock….but is doing great now 🙂

      • I would love to be your tech. I’ve been a tech for 18 years and have worked with many vets. I have come across a few with this outlook and learned the most from them about the job and more importantly about life.

    • you really should try reading the entire article…. A pyometra is an infected uterus, life threatening, and one of the important reasons why a female dog or cat should be spayed if she won’t be used for breeding. I’ll spare you the details, but it is typically fatal before five days, from internal rupture, much like a child’s appendix can rupture, spreading bacterial poison and toxins throughout the body.

  14. worked many years as an animal tech. Heard some very touching stories. This truly is one of them. Kudos to you and your staff…

  15. I knew a vet who told me he was awakened shortly after Midnight by a phone call.Can I bring my cat in? he’s sick and his eye looks funny.I said ok but thought it would be brief.A 13 yr old child arrived with a Cat and a bloody eye hanging out of its socket.I found him like this at home.I knew the dog and cat had gotten into it.I wanted to turn him away but couldn’t.thboyss eyes were pleading with me.He showed me 3$ and some change and stood there. I took the Cat and told him to go home.call me in the morning. Ifixed that cat’s eye by removing it.Next morning late the youngster came in just before lunch.I told my teacher I had to pick up my sick cat he said. I showed him the cat looking much better without his eye.I also tucked the money into the boys back pocket,but kept the change.He smiled and went home trying to memorize the instructions on the way..this Vet was ready to retire,but I know his Career was a long and heavy one.He practicved in a rural community up in the Mountains of Pa.this story is how I remember it.some facts may havr changed through the years.

  16. Pingback: There’s Value in Compassion and Grace: Keep Paying It Forward - Get Vet Clients

  17. Bill, interesting comments, Sad for the folks that miss-read the article. Most of us give on a daily basis. The practice experts tell us we give too much. The nice thing about our profession is that we can choose when to give. Most do not understand the cost of doing business and that we have to pick and choose what, who and when we give.
    Congrats on the number of hits. God Love you. Everyone else, I am proud to let you know Bill was my lab partner in veterinary anatomy lab at school. Take care

    • People do realize that pet ownership is a CHOICE, right? It amazes me how many people who have CHOSEN to own a pet get angry when veterinarians are perceived as being “in it for the money.” If we loved animals then we would do it for the pet, etc. As you wrote, most of us give on a daily basis. I would like to add, that the choice to give should be on MY terms, not demanded by someone without means who has CHOSEN to own a pet he cannot afford. My comments are not directed to the pet owner in this story, but rather towards the other people commenting on this story that seem to think veterinarians need to regularly give services away for free to poor people (who perhaps should not be owning pets in the first place).

  18. I liked your story, and everything you did for that dog, and it’s owner, but I resented the word that you used, “leper”. Using that word is like using the “N” word.

    • No it isn’t and please stop trying to be so politically correct that people are afraid to open their mouths. If you’re that sensitive, you must live a miserable life. “Oh, my, someone called me miss instead of ms! I’m offended.” Blacks…”Hey N****” “Yo, n****!” Anyone else “OH MY GOD! Call Sharpton, let’s riot and burn down the city and sue for millions of dollars.”

    • I agree. The story was great until the “I hugged the leper” part. Wow! As I read the story, I found myself wondering why the person was tooting his own horn, but then I read and understood that supposedly he was doing it as an example to others. Well, ok, I guess. But choosing “leper” suggested a huge gap between the two people hugging. I would argue there may be a big gap, but perhaps not the one the author intended. Bottom line…helping others is great. We should do it whenever we can.

  19. Pingback: The Weekly Roundup | Food for Thought

  20. I’ve been where that woman was. Not nearly as rough, but I had a vet who cut me way more slack than I had any reason asking for.

    You may not regard yourself as a hero, but I tell you: you and your staff are angels.

  21. First of all I cannot believe the noncomprehending folks who are giving condolences thinking someone lost their dog; the dog is alive you missed the whole point being an act of kindness should be paid forward because the vet did the surgery even though she didnt have enough money to pay for it.. sheesh .. my question is what the heck is that thing in the picture is it what was removed from the dog causing her to be ill? No description on the photo… God bless you for your act of kindness and compassion; although she may not have been able to pay you the full amount you will be repaid in some other way. Faith in humanity restored. I was not so fortunate to find a vet that would save my dogs life with a surgery needed, took all kinds of phone calls and finally the lady at the humansociety told me to tell the vet hospital I was a foster to the dog and they paid for the surger that way. What ever it takes for our furbabies… I was given a puppy for free was not expecting the first week I had him that he would almost die from a corn cob obstruction in his intestines due to the folks I got him from not taking care of him and his diet of what ever was in the garbage in her care. The place that paid for my puppies surgery also went all the way out and saved his brothers and sisters one of whom the owner ran over with a car breaking many bones and this vet did not have the heart to put him down; they fixed him up with free surgery as well and found him a good home. God bless those who help those less fortunate. They are angels disguised as humans.

    • The thing in the photo was the dog’s pyometra” infected uterus. That is one of the reasons other than preventing unwanted litters that it is important to have a female pet spayed.

  22. I’m so sorry for your loss Jzim. Please know that there are many others out here that have been through what you are going through. Check out this Facebook page-it of an organization a friend of mine founded after she and her husband went through several miscarriages. Praying for you!

  23. Pet owners are to devided to get an insurance for pets program. The rich dogs and handsom breed owners can’t relate to a pound dog types. The male dogs,they pee on furnature and carpets a foot away.Perhaps a government credit for male dogs should also be considered… Hell, I don’t know but man is killing his best friend. And don’t give a damn…

  24. Thank you for helping this lady and her most beloved dog out. Sometimes the only thing that gives a homeless person hope is their dog(s) or cat(s). I appreciate that you decided to make time for her dog, while having a full day. Your actions as well as those of your co-workers should be commended.

  25. This was a really uplifting read – thank you. I work for a major health non-profit that does a lot of incredible research and to find new treatments and cures, but we are not set up to provide financial support to individuals. We do have outside resources and are happy to provide contact information to those needing financial help, but it can be heartbreaking to tell someone that we can’t help them financially, even though they have a health condition that our entire mission is built around. So I try to help others outside of work and my son and I come up with small ways that we can help others It may not be much, but it’s something we can do to let them know that someone does care about them.

    As far as your actions in your professional life, I thank you for giving the woman more time with her precious baby rather than deriding her or turning her away because of her situation. Four years ago, our beloved 10 year old boy cat became sick and showed signs of aggression, confusion, and lethargy – he had never been aggressive and he had always been extremely smart. We were convinced he was really an intellectual in the form of a cat. We were shocked when we ended up at the emergency vet telling us that it wasn’t an abcess as we’d suspected, and that our boy had something seriously wrong with him from a neurological standpoint, sending us to an emergency neurology vet 2 1/2 hours away right that moment (this was on a Saturday). An examination and a few tests, and the neurologist told us that more than likely, he had a meningioma on his brain that was causing the erratic and abnormal aggressive behavior, and he’d likely have 6 weeks to 3 months left. They provided their preferred treatment plan, which involved an MRI, followed by surgery to remove the tumor, with a final cost of just over $10K, no guarantee that the tumor wouldn’t return or rhat he wouldn’t die in surgery. Then they gave us a few minutes to talk, and I fell apart. I had just been laid off two weeks prior, so while I had a sizeable separation package, it still wasn’t enough to cover the treatment. And with the 20% chance that the tumor could return, we just wanted to let our boy be with us until it was time to go because we couldn’t put him through so much only to run the risk of having to put him through it again.

    When the vet team learned that we still needed time to make a final decision and wanted to consult our own vet, but more than likely, we would not be putting him through the tests and surgery for both financial and emotional reasons. At that point, the vet team’s behavior turned ugly and unforgiveable. They berated us for ten minutes about our decision, told us that we were making an irresponsible decision, and implied that we never should be allowed to have another pet. I had already been in tears, my baby wrapped in a towel in my arms, me sobbing into his fur, but by the time they were done with us, I was hysterical with grief and guilt. We truly felt that they were more concerned that they weren’t getting the $10K from us than they were about our cat’s health and outlook. When we saw our vet two days later, he told us that he felt we’d made the right decision, put my boy on a steroid regiman to help make him as comfortable as possible, and then called the emergency neurologists to blast him for treating us the way that they did, and that he’d never willingly send another patient to them. Two months and one week later, my boy took a turn for the worse.I stood in our vet’s exam room with my sweet love and held him as the vet compassionately released him from his pain. Before he left the room so that I could spend a few more minutes with my perfect boy, he hugged me and said “You made the right decision. I saw it in his eyes. And I saw how much he loved you.” Two years later, we had to make a more immediate decision to let his sweet sister go as she’d quickly deteriorated from an unknown condition and was so dehydrated when we took her in that she nearly didn’t make it through the tests. When they found a large tumor in her stomach, we couldn’t llet her go what our boy had gone through. I felt like she was telling me to let her go, that she was ready to be with her brother, and so, we made one of the two most difficult decisions of our lives and again, I held her in my arms as she left for a better world.

    We adopted an orange tabby after losing our boy, and then adopted a second orange male after losing our precious girl. While they will never replace them in my heart, they occupy a different spot and we love them for their rambunctious bad cattitiudes :They are my only child’s ‘brothers’, and they think he’s cooler than the weather in Alaska. We stilll go to the same vet (where his vet tech cried with me both times we lost one of our babies) even though his rates are a little higher than the norm, but he cares about us and he cares about our animals – no gift we gave the staff or Christmas tray we bring in every couple of years. I don’t begrudge the money he or any other vet earns at all- Our cats are family and our vet understands that, and understands the large part they play in our family. Thank you for understanding how important this woman’s dog was to her, and giving their family more time together. You can’t help everyone, obviously, but you can help one person at a time. If more people took the time to help just one other person that day, we’d be much happier as a people.

  26. dogtorbill……I am not medically minded enough to understand the diagnosis for this case… the pic looks like intestines…. did the dog have a blockage in her intestines? Were you able to treat her by removing a section of the intestines? Was this caused from eating garbage? I guess your story ended with me still wanting to know and understand more… I gather it was not related to the dogs uterus… did you go ahead and spay while doint the surgery?

  27. never did get to the point of what was wrong with the dog and how it was fixed or not. Left me hanging after all the long read.

  28. I just read this and I commend that you did the right thing. But I think you could have left out calling her smelly and a leper. That was mean.

  29. Thank you- I prefer to think that there are more of us paying it forward- (some small things some large things) Each and every day. Thanks for reminding me that there are more of us that of “them” …. Pay it forward.

  30. I work in a low cost vet clinic and this is a daily occurrence for us. We are the only clinic in the area that is not only low cost, but we accept monthly payments on the charges people aren’t able to pay up front on…even if they can only pay a few dollars a month. Thank you for helping this pet owner and her dog. For some people their pet is their only friend or family and losing that pet would be like losing a child to that person. You are a hero in this pet owners eyes and I hope that you are forever blessed for helping someone in need.

  31. God is so awesome to have created the dog for us. The dog loves us unconditionally and feels our hurts and our joys; the dog loves and cheers us when we are sick and lonely. And for those of us without children, I believe they fill that void in a way.
    And the unconditional love and forgiveness of the dog mirror the unconditional love and forgiveness of its Creator.
    To all of you who are lonely, hurting , sick, found in hard times, or even if everything is going your way–know that Jesus Christ loves you and accepts you right where you are-no matter what; and once you believe in Him trust Him as your Savior, He promises He will never leave you, forget you, and will meet your every need–physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
    Be Blessed! Jesus is trustworthy!

  32. Ada, as she does not have a place next to her comments to reply…. why are you being so nasty to the people who like this blog? your comments about rainbows and unicorns is truly uncalled for. Your picture looks like a person who likes to stir up trouble…as if you are saying something negative right there in the photo, not a smile..just simple yacking..I don’t think that because people like this vet for doing what he did means they have a schoolgirl crush. If you can’t say anything nice about this, read it and simply move on instead of trying to downgrade his generosity and kindness. He did not have to do that, plus, what is wrong with tooting your own horn once in a while? Seems to me you toot yours as you try to play the martyr. Go spend quality time with your 9 year old, I am sure he would rather hear from you than this vet does

  33. I did not find anything rude about this post… what I found is a very compassionate human being using the very God-given talents he was blessed with to help others. Your story brought me to tears, not only was it your profession it was your heart that changed the whole situation. You did not owe it to her to be a good vet, but you owed it to her to at least be a decent human being… and you have done that!! May God always bless you and keep you… so you can continue to do what he put you on this earth to do ❤ Take care.

  34. I like this story. The woman was broke and I know how that is and there was someone there to help her and her Baby girl. God bless these people that help when there id no where else to turn to. There needs to be more caring people out there to help when they can. God does work miracles.

  35. This was a wonderful story. I’m glad everything turned out for Baby Girl and her owner. I can remember being in that position of having to divide half the food between me and my Baby Girl. I finally made the decision to give her to someone who could give her a good country home. As luck would have it. I got a job the next week, but you can’t predict the future and I did what I thought was best for her. Thank God there are people around like you. I wish you a life filled with blessings.

  36. May you be blessed 10x fold. This world needs more people like you in this world.

    My cat Zorro got really sick in December. I lost count how many calls I made and webs sits I looked up for help. I live on SSI and couldn’t afford all the money down that vets needed. I offered to make payments, or even volunteer for them to pay it off. All along Zorro was getting worse.

    One clinic asked me for my e-mail…just to get me off the phone cause I was pleading with them. A client was taking her dog to the vet heard the conversation and knew the person on the other end was begging. She got my e-mail from the receptionist and messaged me. After finding out what was going on and his symptoms, she started a fund raiser and set up an appointment with her other vet that was willing to take payments for the balance that wasn’t raised.

    The vet took blood, gave anti bionics and fluid under the skin. It tuned out what he had was not curable/fixable. In the end I had to let him go to heaven on 1-31, but at least I know he wasn’t suffering anymore. He May have passed but at least I know if what he had was fixable or not. If my human angel hadn’t stepped in, I would have always wondered. He would have died a painful death. He was my Zorro for 11 years.

    I promised her to pass on the blessing.As of 2-22 I am now a foster mom to a rescue that would have been put to sleep if he didn’t have a place to go after medical. In the end my foster canine and I are helping each other’s hearts heal.

  37. Reblogged this on a little bit me and commented:
    Wow. I whole heartedly believe in paying it forward but also believe that when having a “pet” it is like having a child and you are responsible for all aspects of their care and must be prepared for all possibilities – like a $2000 surgery (which more than one of mine have been through); however, this does open my eyes and make me think that it is better that “baby girl” had a loving best friend who did all she could for her instead of ending up in a shelter or the wrong end of a needle in a high kill shelter. Is it better to love and be loved than to never love at all just because you don’t have $$? I believe in my heart that my veterinarian would have done the same as the blogger did (I really hope) but most would not have. This post just touches me in a way that holding back tears is impossible. At the end of the day, no matter how tough that day has been, they still have each other.

  38. My English Bulldog died about 7 yrs ago from natural causes. I have not had another dog since. People who have not had a bond with there dog will not understand. You will do anything to help them. It’s like having a child. My wife and i never had any and Herc was our child. So i know the lady’s struggle and worry. Thanks Doctor for helping!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s