As a veterinarian, I am blessed to be able to meet many special people and pets - all who will always hold a place in my heart. This article is dedicated to all those wonderful pets and people that I have met and will continue to meet.
I remember the day I met "Buddy" the border collie. He always came in with a wagging tail and ears perked up wanting to say "hi" to every person he met. He survived almost two years beyond being diagnosed with cancer and he was still his happy self through his chemotherapy treatments. Just a few days ago I had to make the visit to see Buddy in his home. Tears came to my eyes to see Buddy lying on his bed, unable to get up and greet me like he always had. The cancer and the years had caught up with him and he was ready to go. I am so grateful that I had come to know his wonderful owners and that I had been able to be Buddy's doctor for so many years. I had to say goodbye to Buddy that day, which was one of the hardest things I have had to do.
Maddi was the sweetest little Boston terrier who enjoyed the treats and attention that were given when she came to visit us. Her kind spirit and her gentleness will always be remembered. As her health deteriorated, she still came in to see us willingly as if she knew we were there to help her. We had to say goodbye to Maddi when she just couldn't fight anymore. It was extremely difficult but we knew we were doing what was best for her. We will always remember sweet little Maddi and her parents who took such wonderful care of her!
Benny the cat survived his severe injuries and is now a very happy cat with a loving owner.
Ashes and Benny are two cats that came to us without owners. Benny was left at our front door in a box as a tiny kitten. He was almost dead and barely breathing. We were able to bring him back around with fluids, oxygen and warmth. We discovered that he had some severe injuries - one to his paw with infection down to the bone, and a broken neck. He also had an enlarged heart.
Benny began to heal and compensate for his injurIes. He was never able to use his front legs fully and his spine fused into an "S" shape. He learned how to use his back legs like a kangaroo and started to grow like a normal cat. He is now as happy as can be living with our surgical technician Kathy. He can now jump up onto her furniture and get into trouble like a normal cat despite his disabilities!
Ashes came to us as an emaciated, dehydrated and severely burned kitten. She had come crawling out from under the rubble of her burned down home where none of the other pets had survived the fire. Her ear tips, paw pads and whiskers had received third-degree burns and she had a very low red blood cell count. Our hospital cat Mystery donated her blood and we changed Ashes bandages on her feet daily for two months until she was fully healed. She endured a lot of pain over that period of time. Today her paw pads are fused together and her ears curl down from the damage they received. She now has a loving home with our veterinary technician Andrea and is really quite the rambunctious kitty!
Not only are there many pets that have touched my life, but their owners have as well. I am so grateful for the owners that have adopted the well deserving stray pets that desperately needed a home. One little black dog named Lancer was just adopted by some of these wonderful people. He was hit by a car and dragged across the pavement. The City of Dunkirk took care of his medical expenses and we were able to do reconstructive surgery to fix his feet. His tail never stopped wagging while he was with us, and the Lakeshore Humane Society very willingly took him in, paid for his routine care, and found a wonderful home for him. He is very happy in his new home and enjoying the attention he is receiving!
Another pet and owner who are very special to our clinic is a dog named Jackson. He was a stray pitbull who was hit by a car in the middle of Dunkirk and no owner could be located. A state trooper brought him to us and we offered to take him in. We discovered that he had multiple pelvic fractures beyond the level of surgical fixation that we could provide. Despite his pain and discomfort, he never put up a fuss and did not have a mean bone in his body. With the help of the OBSERVER, we provided information about his need for a very costly surgery through a board certified surgeon. I was astounded about how our community came through and donated money for Jackson's surgery. The rest of the funds came from our Big Foot Fund and from his future owner our wonderful clients who decided to adopt him. His surgery went well and to this day, he is very excited to come and visit us each year for his routine checkups. We are so thankful for all the people who came together and helped give this dog a life that he deserved!
In this career, I know I will continue to meet pets and people who will touch my life in one way or another and I am so grateful that God has allowed me to use my skills to continue to help these wonderful animals and their owners. My thanks go out to all my staff, my clients and the people in our community who have helped provide care for these pets.
If you are interested in helping the next stray pet in need, please consider donating to our Big Foot Fund. This fund was set up in honor of the stray cat our clinic adopted more than 18 years ago. Big Foot was found in a ditch along the side of the road, and he remained the clinic mascot throughout his years with us. The money from the Big Foot fund goes towards those injured pets who do not have an owner to provide the cost of care that they might need.
If you are interested in donating, our address is 264 Lake Shore Drive West, Dunkirk. Find out more information about this fund on our website: dunkirkanimalclinic.com.
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