Sunday, January 16, 2011
D.O.G. the dog that defined my career!
And before we get into the story, I know D.O.G.'s parents would want me to tell you it is pronounced "D-O-Gee," NOT dog!
You see they found her on the front step one morning as a little tiny puppy. No one else around. No neighbors with Dachshunds. Just a D.O.G. the front porch. She got her name because my clients had a toddler and would spell D.O.G. in front of him so he wouldn't get too attached. Then when they decided to keep her, he shouted out, "Yeah! We get to keep D.O.G.!"
And she was the cutest, sweetest dog in the universe. She would run right up to you, wagging her tail..."Hi, I'm D.O.G. and I love you." Then plant a kiss on your nose.
But back to my career. I mean I knew I wanted to be a vet. They call people like me 'neo-natal veterinarians' since we pretty much knew in the womb we wanted to treat animals.
There are those teenage years when your mind wonders and you start looking at other options. Not very seriously of course, but still you are a teen, ya know?
It was during one of these periods when tragedy struck D.O.G. Her Mommy was holding her in her arms when a Labrador (yes, a Lab, shocking as that is) jumped up and attacked poor D.O.G.!
I won't go into the details but D.O.G was horribly injured. Mommy ran her in and we promptly did surgery, but let me tell you there were complications and we were not at all sure D.O.G. was going to make it.
While she was recovering from anesthesia, I held D.O.G. in my arms and prayed as hard as I could that she would make it.
Still groggy and in so much pain I can't imagine, D.O.G. looked up, and said with her eyes "I'm D.O.G. and I love you." Then she kissed me.
Whatever doubt I may have had about my career evaporated. I knew in that singular moment that I wanted to be just like my mentor. I wanted to be the person that Mommies and Daddies ran to when everything seemed lost and, at the very least, try to save their precious babies.
D.O.G. did great. She never looked back from that surgery and recovered faster than any of us could have guessed. She wasn't even afraid of Labradors!
So thank you D.O.G. for making sure I stayed the course. I hope I have lived up to both my mentor's and your standards.