The New Vet

Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,

I hope all of you had a good week and are looking forward to another summer weekend. Harry and I took Reilly, our ten-year-old dog, to a new vet to get a second opinion. As a nurse, I learned how important it is to get two or three different opinions before making an important decision. The vet we used to use said Reilly needed surgery on his back leg and knee with a long confined recuperation period, physical therapy and pain management—but it would be fixed. We really didn’t want Reilly to have surgery at his age and put him through all that if it could be avoided, but we were slowly getting resigned to the idea the more we watched Reilly limp.

The new vet examined Reilly, looked at the x rays and told us that surgery was out of the question. “Surgery won’t fix the leg. There’s too much damage and arthritis. Here’s the game plan…” and he mapped out exactly what he wanted to do—shots once a week, an anti inflammatory, rest—“and we’ll get him walking pain free again. He’ll be fine. It’s not as if he’s a field dog and has to run around a lot. He’s more the lap dog type.” Harry and I were so relieved with the news. “What a difference, Pris. Thank goodness you insisted on a second opinion. That’s my girl,” Harry said as he attached Reilly’s leash.

At the receptionist desk, as I was making an appointment for the following week, a young woman barged in holding a bloodied unconscious cat in her arms. “Please, someone help me,” she cried. “My boyfriend tried to strangle my precious baby.” As they took her into the back, I said to Harry, “She’s with an abuser, and she’ll be next. It’s one of the important signs. First they start torturing the animals. I remember one time a woman came into the emergency room on a stretcher with her dog leash strapped around her neck. Her abuser had killed her dog and then used the leash to almost strangle her.”

Take good care of yourselves,