Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stranger in pain

Last night I took Maggie to the vet. We made a 9pm Saturday appt for her because it is a really not-busy time and Maggie is really deathly afraid of the vet. This time slot gives us time for a little relaxing and give the vet time to put up with her craziness without having to just pop in give her the shots and leave.
Anyway, Maggie did a little better than usual; I have been getting strangers to handle her at agility shows and it seems to be paying off. She's still afraid, but I wasn't worried that she would have a coronary on the table.
As we were paying, a young woman came out of the emergency side of the clinic, sat in the waiting room, curled up and cried. My heart ached for her... I don't know her story, I don't even know what kind of pet she brought in, but I knew that she was leaving without one. Maggie and I walked over, gave her hug and I told her that I understood her pain, that I'd been there. After a few minutes we left, but I could not get her out of my mind. If this had been a human hospital, family would have rushed there to be by her side, to support her in her grief. But because it was "just a pet" she was alone in her pain. After I got Maggie settled in the car I saw the lady at the front desk, paying her bill. I know it has to be done, but it seemed like such a painful thing to have to do at that moment. She was still wiping her face as she stood there.
I don't know who she is, and I'll probably never see her again, but still our hearts go out to her today, knowing that it will be a very painful morning for this woman. But like the rest of us, the pain will fade and the parts of her heart that so dearly loved this animal will come back to life and another animal will find that there is enough love in her heart to welcome them. But also like the rest of us, she will never forget.... not the animal, not the friendship, not the love, and not even the pain. Someday she will see someone in the same position and like us, she will remember the pain of losing that animal friend. And then remember that the joy is so much greater than the pain, so that it is worth the tears and the painful goodbyes.
My heart is with you today, whoever you are, as you grieve.

1 comment:

  1. It's so true-many people don't have much support when they lost a pet. There are just not enough people in their life that understand what that pet really meant. I feel lucky to have plenty of people in my life who do understand.