Lots of clicks here lately, so I guess I should bring this page current.
The father of five, my journey is one of many textures. I’ve wrestled with unhappy parents, seen the pain caused by alcoholism, and grieved over many life losses. I’ve had my faith tested and found worthy; been carried during many low times, and I praise my God every minute of every day. I’ve made more mistakes than anyone I know, yet I love this journey. St. Ignatius and C. S. Lewis have moved me deeper and deeper into Communion with my Savior.
As I told my group of kids I was directing in CCD (religious education) years ago, I walk on this earth as a real person, and with my normal, everyday life a witness that regular people can have a close relationship with Jesus. Christians feel lots of pain, just like everyone else, but ours is not pointless. When we stumble and fall on this journey, we grow from the bruises and pain. There is salvation and redemption as we embrace this life that is being directed for us.
I’ve practiced veterinary medicine for almost 30 years, and this love of animals, and the people who love them is my life’s vocation; as is my marriage, my children and my struggling to do what I know is right. Let’s pray for each other.
Many of you found me because of my other blog, where I began this writing stuff last year, as I hiked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago, struggling to make some sense of my darkest day, when I lost my 19 year-old son. I did emerge, with a bit more understanding of our God’s master plan. Much Love.
pray for me
I am so glad I visited your blog. Sad and clever and insightful all at the same time! I’ll be back to visit again soon. betty jo
thanks for dropping by, feel free to repost or drag my stuff anywhere
It is awesome to find another blog by a christian veterinarian.
Ditto to you both, dogtorbill and allthewaydoc!
LOURDES ❤ ! Great experience!
Love your blog!
I came across your blog through Dr. Marty Becker’s Facebook post, and am so glad I read some of your blog postings. Bless you for all of your work and your faith; as a Christian Vet Tech in Alberta, Canada since 1980, I know the power of pets in our lives and understand more and more why God created them….blessings to you and your family.
Karen Visser, RAHT
I had no idea, I love Marty. Good people indeed. Much Love.
Awesome blog. Thanks for what you do…I applaud your humility and ability to show and articulate grace. Keep up the good work!
I found your blog on the same day that I found my dog dying. Or at least I was certain that it was. He’d had a thromboembolism. He’s old, and I felt I was prepared to say goodbye, until then. I dropped an important project at work to take care of my old friend. That day was today.
He’s home now, and I’ll finish the project tomorrow.
I read the post about the woman who wasn’t rude, and didn’t comment on it because you asked me not to. But that post, and so much of your blog, grabbed me. So much of who we are is revealed in how we treat animals, and how we treat individuals less fortunate than ourselves. In doing that correctly, we can be Christian, without ever being religious.
But nothing grabbed me quite like the quote on your other blog, “you don’t choose a life, dad. You live one.” That was a significant moment of revelation, in a day full of them.
and that was a significant moment for me. thanks
Like Lee, I found your blog because someone posted a link to your blog about the woman not being rude. You are a gifted writer. I was in tears by the end of the article and was so thankful Baby Girl made it. I’m sure the tears were as much for myself as they were for this woman and her dog as I had to make the very difficult decision regarding my 13 year old weiner dog about 4 years ago when he was desperately sick with stomach cancer. Admittedly we were both codependent and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This little doggie brought us so much joy and happiness in the 11 years we had him. Still, after nearly 4.5 years, I find it difficult to talk about him or think about him for very long because I miss him so much….still. Time is healing that hurt. It’s just taking a long time. Regardless, after this lil guy left us, I found I just didn’t have the same feelings for our other 2 weiner dogs. We had had these 2 for almost 8 years and I loved them tremendously. It was like something changed inside me when “Weenie” died. For about 3 years I was indifferent to these 2 dogs. I didn’t spend the time I once spent with them. I didn’t take them for walks as I once did. One day our sweet little Fritzi who had some form of dementia that started after being put to sleep to have teeth removed….go figure. Anyway, sweet little Fritzi with his kinda “I’m not really aware of where I am right now”…..look on his face looked up at me and, I promise you, my heart completely melted when I looked into this little guy’s eyes. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I had been making these other 2 doggie pay for the death of my beloved BeauBuddy. I had not loved them affectionately for fear of that same pain of loss. These 2 sweet doggies had continued to love and adore me while I just kinda aimlessly acknowledged their existence and gave them the very basic care needed. That realization tore my heart out and I immediately fell in the floor and rubbed, scratched, played with and made over these 2 sweet dogs.
We’ve added another to our brood of weiner dogs since this happened and they are such a joy to us…to ME!!!!! They make bad days better and good days great. I tell you all of this just to tell you something you already well know; animals hearts are as big as all of outdoors. They love unconditionally and rarely hold a grudge. They give and give until their last day. They so desire and need genuine love in return. Some would feel foolish admitting a little 12 pound long-haired miniature dachshund taught them a valuable lesson. I don’t feel foolish at all.
Glad to have found your blog and look forward to following you. :))
May God continue to bless you on your journey and use you to show His love to others.
beautiful story about loving, losing, and redemption. Thanks
“I’ve made more mistakes than anyone I know, yet I love this journey.” I love this and I’m so glad I’ve found your blog. Here’s to the journey!
By stating “Christians feel lots of pain, just like everyone else, but ours is not pointless,” you imply that the pain of non-Christians IS pointless. How many billions of non-Christians share planet Earth with you? Just because others don’t share your faith, or are agnostic or atheist, doesn’t mean that all life experience is a catalyst for spiritual growth.
Point well taken, my huge oversight. Many have shared with me their anguish, wallowing in pain. The fact that Christians have an understanding that enduring our suffering isn’t pointless, in fact is showered with Grace. You are absolutely correct that there are many others able to view their falls as a catalyst for their spiritual growth.
Sorry, I meant to write “isn’t a catalyst for spiritual growth.”
I work as a crisis response worker for the elderly in the Portland, Oregon area. I was called in one night to a local emergency department to help try to convince a seriously ill disabled homeless woman to stay in the hospital and be treated for a serious infection that would kill her if she left. When I got there, the reason she was refusing was obvious. She had a Pomeranian named Peanut who would have to be sent to the animal shelter since the hospital had no resources for caring for the dog. One look at the dog was enough to convince me she loved it. She may have been filthy, but the dog looked healthy if a bit dirty. It wasn’t that hard to decide what to do. Our house was full of all sorts of animals and one more wouldn’t make a difference. So I told her I’d take the dog home with me, keep it until she was well enough to have her back, and return her to her at that time. That was all it took and she was admitted to the hospital in serious condition. I took Peanut home and dropped her on our bed at about 1am. We’d just lost our beautiful Great Dane a month or so before and my wife was so happy to have another pup in the house. Weeks went by and nothing was heard from the woman. Her case manager even lost track of her after she discharged from the hospital. We’d had Peanut for almost three months when the woman called and said she’d found housing for her and Peanut. My wife was in tears when I took the dog out to the car and drove to meet the woman. Once Peanut saw her owner, there wasn’t any doubt whose dog she really was. The woman thanked me for being so kind to take the dog. What else was I supposed to do for someone who so obviously only had one thing in the world she truly loved? When I got home, my wife met me with a list of Pomeranian breeders in the area. We spent the next two weeks looking for just the right replacement for Peanut. Her name is Naiya, a party-colored Pom, and she’s been our constant friend and companion for seven years now. All because I was working a night shift when somebody badly needed a single act of compassion and kindness. I believe we often unknowingly encounter angels along the paths of our lives. If not the woman who needed my help, I think there was one nearby just watching for me to make the right decision,
DR DOGTORBILL YOU ARE A GOD SENT I AM SO LIKE YOU I WOULD OF DO THE SAME.I REALLY DONT HAVE MUCH MONEY I WORK 7 DAYS A WEEK AND I FEED ALOT OF STRAY CATS AND HAVE THREE OF MY OWN INDOORS WHICH ARE ALL FIXED.I ALWAYS STRESS THE FACT TO SPAY AND NUETER.THAT HELPS PROLONGS THE LIFE OF A CAT OR DOG.HAVING A BLESSING IN YOUR LIFE THIS IS GODS WAY OF GIVING YOU A EVER LASTING BOND.SO ON THIS NOTE GOD LOVE YA. I WISH THEIR WERE MORE LIKE YOU
Hello Dogtorbill, You are right, we do share some painful experiences. I am so sorry for the loss of your son at such a young age of 19. My son was 27 when he died in a motorcycle accident just 2 1/2 years ago. The Lord has been wonderful in the way He has given me strength as I journeyed through the valley of the shadow of his death. Like the footprints poem, it was He who carried me through. I pray for you it has been the same.
By the way, I have you beat as I have probably made twice as many mistakes in my life as you have in yours. God must really trust us, huh? Painful as they have been, God has used them to draw me under His wing.
Blessings to you and your family, Elizabeth
Elizabeth, thanks for sharing that, and I cry your tears. He carries us through our darkest days, and we embrace and lift others as we rise from those ashes. Much Love.
Love you and your blog. Please blog about Lourdes
All I have to say is “I love you and will keep you in my prayers…thank you for being a really good human”
I ran across a post about a homeless woman who needed help for her sick “baby girl” (puppy). I would love to be able to post that to fb and just to have it to keep. Thanks for what you do
I’m humbled Wanda, Thanks…
Just found your awesome blog. Love the story of your journeys…so much like mine. My therapy dog and I write about the human animal bond and mental health, animal rescue , humor and healing. Will follow your blog and look forward to reading more.
Jill and Junior
I just discovered your log – so glad I did! Looking forward to reading more…
Thank you for being who you are & doing what you do. As someone who has spent thousands on helping my ‘fur kids’ through cancer, bad backs and scratched eyes, I remember all too well the days when even just the basic shots almost broke my bank. The kindness of people like yourself helped me with my fur kids during the hard times, and I have payed it forward by adopting & caring for my 8 reacues-mostly special needs and senior Pekes. And when we lost one of those little.ones to cancer, I was honored to donate the chemo we had just recieved to the clinic that tried to save him-so someone else with hard times could help their baby.
Please keep going in your journey, because you never know-the 20 yr old you help today may one day be someone who can help pay for another patient”s surgery or treatments that might otherwise be out of their reach. Love & hugs…
Thank you. I am reading your rude part one and part two blogs. It’s two weeks before Christmas, and I needed the reminder to stop being a sanctimonious ass. I will try to be more grateful for what I have, and to share more joy than sorrow. Through adoption, rescue and foster, my husband and I have a house full, with a few special needs. I spend most of my heart energy on these fur babies, but could spread some more among the humans. Have a happy.