human animal bonds


Nearly 3 years ago Sage was brought in to the clinic by an owner who did not wish to deal with her medical issues. They were going to take her to the shelter instead. My boss asked them to let Sage stay at the clinic to be treated and we would see if we could find her a home. I had been without a kitty since Charlotte died and this tiny little cat with such a friendly personality won me over; I couldn’t say no to those blue eyes and that purr.

I brought her home, and she immediately strolled out of the carrier and hopped onto my lap, ready to be friends, not scared of anything.

She was such a love. Recently I mentioned to my apartment manager that we needed some work done but please not to let the cat out; he called back and said he always made sure to sit down with Sage and pet her so she didn’t wander out while the maintenance crew worked. She was like that with everyone - instant friends no matter what. When friends gathered in the kitchen or living room to chat, she would sit in the center, waiting for someone to give her belly rubs or pick her up or give her a lap to sit on.

What a sweet girl. She’s been fighting cancer for the last several weeks, but she lost so much weight by the end, and was clearly tired as you can see in the top two pictures. It was time to say goodbye today, and she went easily and peacefully, purring until she fell asleep. She was a silly, happy little fuzzball. 💜

Bye-bye, Sage kitty.

  • Jon: You don't really believe all that stuff do you?
  • Arya: Definitely Jon! We are linked with our wolves! It's so much more than a human/animal bond - It runs deep. I mean, since getting Nymeria back I can sense when she wants to hunt and feel the need to let off a bit of steam myself. Whenever I'm feeling low, she mopes about with me before I even realise how sad I am, and when I'm hungry she acts like she could devour a whole stag herself! She likes who I like, she growls at people I hate...
  • Jon: I dunno...I guess it's similar with me and Gho-
  • Sansa *shouting from her chambers*: JOOOOON!!!! GHOST IS HUMPING MY LEG AGAIN!!!!

anonymous asked:

Dear Doctor Ferox and fellow human being: If asked, purely out of curiosity, what a dog can do - and how it would need to do such - to kindly influence their humans to give them more treats and belly rubs, what would you - purely speculative, of course - recommend? Have a wonderful day, fellow human being, and thank you in advance for any insight you, or your followers, may provide on the subject at paw.

Greetings fellow human being!

Extracting more belly rubs and treats from a human can be a difficult task, but a motivated dog will find it worth the effort.

Sitting patiently by the human and performing gentle snout nuzzles is a good start. These nuzzles can become increasingly forceful if your human is particularly dense. The classing ‘puppy dog eyes’ technique is also highly recommended.

To receive a belly rub, it is best to be as obvious as possible. Lying on ones back and flopping your front paws over to point at your belly is the best technique. Whine if your human is unobservant.

Observing a human, and modifying techniques to make yourself a dog more easily understood, takes practice and time, but is highly worth it to communicate your wishes and develop a strong human-animal bond.


My dear friend’s 8-year-old daughter (and my favorite pen pal) broke her arm this week and needs surgery. In vet school, we worked with the Josh Project, which gave stuffed dogs to kids in the hospital with a story about how Josh needed surgery too; Josh can go places in the hospital with the child that a real dog can’t. This little girl loves cats and reptiles though, so I made her a new buddy. I also sent her her very own rainbow collection of VetWrap so she’ll be able to decorate her own cast once it’s placed. I hope it helps!

Pangur Ban

I and Pangur Ban my cat, 
Tis a like task we are at:
Hunting mice is his delight,
Hunting words I sit all night.

Better far than praise of men
Tis to sit with book and pen;
Pangur bears me no ill will,
He too plies his simple skill.

Tis a merry thing to see
At our tasks how glad are we,
When at home we sit and find
Entertainment to our mind.

Oftentimes a mouse will stray
In the hero Pangur’s way;
Oftentimes my keen thought set
Takes a meaning in its net.

‘Gainst the wall he sets his eye
Full and fierce and sharp and sly;
‘Gainst the wall of knowledge I
All my little wisdom try.

When a mouse darts from its den
O how glad is Pangur then!
O what gladness do I prove
When I solve the doubts I love!

So in peace our tasks we ply,
Pangur Ban, my cat, and I;
In our arts we find our bliss,
I have mine and he has his.

Practice every day has made
Pangur perfect in his trade;
I get wisdom day and night
Turning darkness into light. 


It's Always Sudden

Sometimes things can be shockingly unexpected in veterinary medicine. A few days ago I had a busy afternoon, running between exams for chronic vomiting, new masses, and bad teeth. I was looking forward to my next room, a simple ear infection. I grabbed a moment to use the restroom and when I emerged, I saw my technician setting up the anesthesia machine. “Who’s that for?” I asked. “Your emergency!” she replied.

But it turned out that my ear infection was the emergency. The owner was in the parking lot, distraught. He had loaded his very old large breed dog into the back of his vehicle for yet another ear infection; the dog had had a million of them. The dog was very old for his size and the owner had been debating euthanasia for a long time; the dog had trouble walking around and had lost a lot of weight and energy. But today he was just coming for his ears again. The owner turned on the air conditioning and drove five minutes to our clinic. When he opened the back of his car, his dog was laterally recumbent and nonresponsive.

I rushed out into the parking lot with my stethoscope but I was not surprised when I placed the bell of the stethoscope to his limp chest and heard no heartbeat. He was still and limp and his gums and tongue were already blue.

The owner was devastated. I ushered him into an exam room with his deceased dog and let him sit with him to absorb what had happened. I suspected fluid or a mass involving the heart to cause such a sudden death without any noise the owner would have heard on the drive. Pericardial effusion can surround the heart and keep it from expanding. The small stress of a car ride could have sent his heart rate up, but with no way to expand and pump blood, the heart could stop and he could be dead in a minute. Or a mass could have ruptured internally and caused a massive bleed.

It’s always difficult for me when men are crying. In the US, men are trained from a very young age not to cry or show weakness. However I see crying men frequently with the loss of their pets, unable to keep their guard up. As a woman who cries easily fellow women crying does not upset me much in most cases, but seeing stoic, “tough”-seeming men cry makes me sadder. This man was actually a law enforcement officer, and he told me he saw terrible things in his job, but this – seeing his friend suddenly dead – was by far more difficult than anything involving people. He didn’t know how he would tell his children.

I did what I could to help him. I told him we all turn into sobbing messes when we lose our pets (I cried just as hard when I put Charlotte to sleep, and that was expected, not sudden), that it’s okay for parents to be sad when a pet dies and that kids understand that (I did, as a kid, when my pets died), that the loss of an animal can seem worse because hey, sometimes animals are better than people. He agreed heartily with that statement. And when he asked if he could help carry his friend to the back, where we would gently take care of his body, I said of course.

Veterinary medicine is always full of surprises. Sometimes they are good; sometimes, shocking and devastating. In this case there was a small blessing; the owner had been dreading the idea of euthanizing his dog, because he did not know how he could look the dog in the face and say goodbye to him. So he kept delaying the day. In the end, the dog chose for him – and so he would never have to wrestle with the question, “Did I choose the right time?” A small silver lining, maybe, but an important one, and when you are grieving, any comfort you can find is appreciated.

timshel-running  asked:

If you have a really bad day, say you have many euthanasias that day, do you ever let yourself cry? Is crying in the vet field okay?

Hell. Yes.  I cry all of the time.  Probably 1-2 times a month.  I’d say that about 50% of my euthanasias I get teary eyes for, and then maybe 10-20% I get actual snotty nose/sniffling/maybe needing a tissue.  I’ve only cried really hard once before a euthanasia with the owner (tried to tell them about the euthanasia process and a few sobs escaped, I really loved that patient and the owners were very nice).  They have all been fine with it and not a single person has seemed offended that I was sad too.  They usually seem touched.

A very few times I have actually cried hard in the clinic, not in front of the owners.  Once was when I euthanized a 6-month-old puppy with congenital heart disease, and after the euthanasia I looked at her perfect little paws and her smooth and perfect face and her soft and perfect ears and I just lost it completely when I came back out of the room (owner had left).  I opened the door into treatment and the technician I’d been with was sitting there with tears all over her face too, so we just hugged for a few minutes.  The worst was when I euthanized 3 pets in one day, 3 days after euthanizing my own cat, and I cried in the room (mildly/moderately) but when I left I just started completely sobbing, total breakdown, as I walked into treatment.  The last euthanasia was a 3 year old cat in kidney failure and the family had just lost a kitten too, and the middle school daughter was sobbing that she wasn’t ready and she had put stuffed toys next to the cat in her bed, and a little princess tiara (like 1.5 inches in size) on the cat’s head.  So I just couldn’t handle it.

Usually I save full-on sobbing sessions for the ride home from work, or once I get home and can curl up with my fiance.  They can be very therapeutic.

I personally am an easy crier, though.  I actually cry less in my professional life than my personal life, and over bigger things in my professional life than at home.  I was worried about it when I first became a vet.  But now I don’t view it as much of a problem because I think with clients it shows my compassion, and with myself it is a very much needed release valve that keeps me from bottling things up. I think many people in the veterinary field (not just vets but techs too) cry somewhat easily and unless you were crying so hard or frequently that you could not do your job it should not be a problem.  I have felt worse after bad days/weeks when I shut off, freeze up, and don’t cry than I do after ones where I cry it out.

Don’t Forget the Animals

Here’s a shout-out to all those animals that are in the potential path of Hurricane Matthew.  If you are evacuating, please don’t forget to take your pets and be sure they are wearing proper identification.

My heart goes out to the animals in zoos, shelters, sanctuaries, and farms throughout these areas.   I know many places have emergency plans in effect, but I can’t help but feel sad to know that many animals will also be left behind.

anonymous asked:

I'm like... slightly cheesed that Percy never met Pegasus and idk why but I feel like it would have been so much more substance to it idk

yo man same!! same. i wasn’t gonna say it on my own because like everybody will be like ‘yeah we knOW em you love percy and you just want him to have all the cool scenes because you like him the best but literally can you let canon pay attention to other characters for like .25 seconds????” and like they would be right sort of sometimes BUT? man i have lots of opinions on the stupidity of this plot point

like reyna was not even a main character until the end of boo and we’d never actually seen her love her pegasus in any substantial way. it’s mentioned in less than a sentence that she cried when she put him down which like? who wouldn’t cry, i still cry about my dog who we put down almost six months ago, i’ve never had a magical dog guardian come visit me about how much i loved my dog, harry potter didn’t have a magical owl guardian come bless him when the one innocent pure creature and simple pleasure in his entire angst-ridden miserable life was killed off for literally no reason at all (side note: will always be pissed about poor hedwig)

but anyway, that entire scene with pegasus was weird in general mostly because there was no reason whatsoever to kill skippy in the first place? and then it’s like nobody has ever loved a pegasus like reyna loved skippy like….. okay…… thanks pegasus, good to know, sort of wish we’d been allowed to observe .5 seconds of that relationship if it was seriously this important??? what is the point of that, considering she wasn’t a main character, and her love for her pegasus had no effect on the plot whatsoever up until that moment? i mean jeez, there’s like literally half a season about aang searching for appa and being miserable, and also how appa is his only link to his old life? so like, that is how you establish human/animal bonding, okay?

if you are going to kill off an animal that apparently this character loves so much that its father is going to appear for the first time in like a thousand years to bless you, you’d better have 1. a reason to do it???? 2. an actual plot that shows this character loving this animal??????? like literally fucking afdja;j;gaj there’s more evidence of ron loving fucking scabbers than there is for reyna and skippy, i felt more of emotional connection between annabeth and cerberus than reyna and skippy. also? like man percy spends a whole book series loving animals and breaking powerful magical animals out of captivity, and like half of hazel’s literal entire plot arc is about how much she fucking loves her magical horse, she chases that thing across the world, like literally hazel adores arion. so why??? are we talking about reyna and skippy????? it was just. like. weird????

i’m glad i’m not the only one who thought it was really bizarre and out of the blue lmao


A few months ago I worked with a very kind elderly woman and her utterly sweet ruddy Abyssinian cat who had a large abdominal mass.  We were able to buy him a few more weeks of time with medical therapy, but ultimately she chose to put him to sleep before he declined further.  A month or two after that, I met another kind elderly woman and her ruddy Abyssinian cat, a diabetic who had had occasional bloody urine that we had treated as a UTI in the past, since diabetics are very prone to them.  She was concerned she would not have funds to treat him.  Unfortunately when I examined him his bladder was severely firm and distended, indicating a total urinary blockage.  With a heavy heart I realized that he most likely had a bladder mass.  As I gave her the bad news, the kitty climbed off the exam table and into my lap, and started purring as my eyes welled with tears.  I euthanized him, too, and the owner and I cried together.

The next day off I had I realized how sad I still was about these two sweet, charming cats who were both dealt such a tough hand.  So I found a stock photo of an Abyssinian and drew this little fellow in marker.  I sent a copy to both owners, thanking them for letting me know their gentle kitties.  It was sad, but also an affirmation of the bond between humans and animals.

This afternoon I sat on the floor with a teenage boy, like 15 years old or so, and scritched the ears of his arthritic old Rottweiler while he tenderly cleaned her paws. She had been in for radiographs and messed in her run, but got grouchy when we’d tried to clean her since her legs are so painful. But she let him do it without any fuss. You could tell that was *her* boy, they had grown up together, and they had this amazing bond. It was really touching.

I love moments like this. They do happen quite often, but they’re a lot harder for me to write about than the funny or frustrating things, so y'all don’t get to share in it as much. But they’re definitely the part of my job that I live for.


Travel (near and far), literary souvenirs, and the crucial companionship of man and woman’s best friend are the subjects of the novels and works of non-fiction on Maureen Corrigan’s early summer book recommendations:

Earlier this week, my teenaged daughter and a friend took a bus up to New York.  Of course, I had to burden her with anxious advice like, “Hold onto your wallet” and “Don’t use the bathroom at Port Authority.” Maybe, it would’ve been cooler if I’d just given her Vendela Vida’s new novel.  The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty is both a travel cautionary tale and a fantasy about the infinite possibility that travel offers. In it, an unnamed woman, reeling from divorce, flies to Morocco.  As she’s checking in at her hotel, she places her backpack atop the suitcase in front of her; a few minutes later, she reaches down and the backpack—containing her wallet and passport—is gone.  What ensues is a kind of existential suspense tale in which our heroine is at first paralyzed by the theft and, then, emboldened to borrow other women’s documents and identities.  Vida’s wry narration lightens up this tense, closely observed tale.  Here, for instance, is a description of the heroine’s plane landing in Casablanca: 

“When the plane lands, it veers left, then right, and then finds its way into a straight line.  Your fellow passengers roar with applause… . They are clapping because their existence persists, because they are not aflame on the tarmac, because they did not disintegrate over the Atlantic… .
When the doors to the plane open, there’s a palpable collective thrust of passengers toward the front… . As you gather your things…  someone from the row behind yours tries to cut in front of you.  This is the way of air travel: fellow passengers applaud because they didn’t die, and then they cut in front of you so they can exit four seconds earlier.” 

Jane Re, the Korean-American heroine of Patricia Park’s debut novel called Re Jane also takes a few momentous trips by plane, but her usual mode of travel is the #7 train that shuttles between Manhattan and Flushing, Queens.  Jane was orphaned as a child and taken in by her uncle, who runs a grocery store in Flushing.  Itching to escape a life of bagging lettuce, the grown-up Jane accepts a job as a nanny in upscale Brooklyn, where she falls for the aloof master of the house and even encounters a cultural-theory-spouting madwoman, of sorts, in the attic.  By now, Dear Reader, you’ve no doubt caught on to the fact that Re Jane is a wickedly inventive updating of Jane Eyre; but, just as Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece is so much more than a Gothic potboiler, Re Jane moves beyond mere pastiche to drolly explore issues of class, ethnicity, and women’s autonomy for an unlikely heroine of the 21st century. 

While we’re talking Brontes, Deborah Lutz’s new non-fiction book, The Bronte Cabinet, yields up all sorts of fascinating new angles on the famous siblings by closely scrutinizing some of their objects like Emily’s writing desk, Anne’s needlework sampler, and Charlotte’s amethyst bracelet, fashioned out of the intertwined hair of her two sisters.  In her “Preface” Lutz playfully refers to this method of studying objects to recover the past as “thing theory,” but not all that Lutz  surveys is a “thing”; in fact, one of her most illuminating chapters discusses Emily’s dog, a bull mastiff named Keeper.  Emily and Keeper in their rough way clearly loved each other; but in No Better Friend, Robert Weintraub gives the most inspiring, true-life account I’ve ever read of a human – animal bond.  

No Better Friend is the story of Judy, a purebred pointer who was World War II’s only canine POW.  She started out her service as a mascot on a British ship that was bombed during the evacuation of Singapore.  The next ship she was on was torpedoed, and Judy spent hours in the water paddling wounded men over to floating bits of debris.  Even more incredibly, she spent three years in a Japanese POW camp, eluding death through her own cunning (she was good at hiding from angry guards) and through the quick thinking of the prisoners who loved her, above all a young RAF technician named Frank Williams.  When the POWs were marched out of that camp in 1944, Frank risked execution by smuggling Judy out in a rice bag slung over his shoulder—she stayed perfectly still in that hot bag for hours.  After the war, Judy received the highest military medal awarded to an animal. I know this summary makes No Better Friend sound like a canine version of Unbroken—and, as a dog lover I say, what could be better than that?  All the books on this early summer list begin in familiar territory and then surprise us readers by going off into places we could never anticipate.

ANIMAL AND HUMAN BONDING TIME YES.  And I get to use one of my fave dog breeds~

Two Kinds Of Puppies

“Fids…are you sure about this?  I’m not much of an animal person.  Especially not of ones that can bite,” Stan asked, an unsure look resting on his face as he tightened his grip on his boyfriend’s hand.  Fiddleford giggled and gently elbowed Stan’s side.

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My Reason for Becoming A Veterinarian

I actually forgot on why I wanted to be a Vet. I just knew I had a thousand reasons, but I forgot my first reason. That was until I was reminded about it today.

My brother’s husky ran full speed into my labrador this morning while playing, and all hell broke loose. My dog lost the ability to use both of her hind legs as they tucked underneath her, and she suffered severe, acute spinal damage. After several hours of sedatives, x-rays, and a referral, it was diagnosed as a slipped disc causing paresis in both hind legs. Now, i’m not sure how much you guys know about rural Alaska, but surgery on such an injury is not an option. You have to fly these pets out of the state to a specialist in Seattle, and that could cost upward $8,000, a hefty cost for those living in rural Alaska with it’s own high cost of living. 

My mother elected euthanasia before hearing the veterinarian’s options. She stopped by the clinic and said goodbye, then left. Once the veterinarian showed up, he figured euthanasia was not an option for a four-year labrador. Lots of pain killers and high doses of corticosteroids were used, which ended the constant pain-induced trembling of the dog.  At this point, only two things could happen. 1) She could get better and return to normal without surgery, or 2) She could remain the same. If she remains the same, then euthanasia will have to be the option. No labrador should live a life of being a paraplegic, unless properly assisted by other means.

What reminded me about why I chose the veterinarian path was the helplessness. Maybe it dawned on me as I teared into my pet, apologizing for not being able to do anything to help her, or maybe for apologizing for not being able to afford to fly her out to have someone else take care of her. The agonizing emotions of helplessness due to living in rural Alaska, to be financial disadvantaged, to not be able to help a loved pet. It was the same feelings I had as I watched my Jack Russell die after being hit by a car, because no vet was around who could save her, as I watched her slowly pass away over an hour-long period. 

The reason I chose to become a veterinarian in rural Alaska was to not be helpless. It was so that there would not be no one to do anything. It was to be someone people could come to in their agonizing time of need. It was to help prevent the severing of the human-animal bond in these crucial times. I won’t be just an optimist, but a realist. Although it is true I won’t be able to help all of my patients, at least I could do something, if not save them. It’s better than not being able to do anything. Whether it is a euthanasia (good-death), pain relief, or saving a life, my choice to become a veterinarian was to help both people and animals. 

My dog is not out of the woods just yet, but she appears to be improving. She can clean herself, and move her legs a bit. I caught her trying to walk around, but I try my best to keep her down until her legs and back heal completely so that she regains full movement. If euthanasia does become the ultimate choice, at least it will be at home and without pain or fear. 

Merry Christmas Eve!