Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lessons in Love...

Oh! Today has been one of these days!!!A day that makes you realise that there is still hope in humanity eventually.
My day started with an early appointment at 08:00 for a "Cherry Eye" surgery. Owner was extremely nervous and throughout the anaesthesia procedure, he kept asking me about the risks etc. Corrective surgery went well and during recovery,I was touched by the way he was looking after his dog; talking in his ear whilst gently stroking the animal.A brief conversation revealed that this is an "extremely intelligent" dog; never misses one day without bringing and dropping his ball for the owner to play with him; keeps the whole family happy with his "stunts".I got the impression that "Cleopatt" (yep..that's HIS name)was really considered as part of the family.
Then my 09:00 appointment arrived; Mr Noopy!He was literally dragging his owner! Noopy has been declared paralysed for life and was scheduled for euthanasia 2 weeks ago. Owner (an old lady in her 80's)opted for a last try and brought him for a second opinion. Noopy is the capricious one remember? And no home treatment was owner decided she would pay a taxi every 2 days to bring him from Port-Louis to my clinic for injections and physio. Tuesday, Noopy was hopping on 3 legs and today he WALKED in! The owner seems to be thinking that I did miracles and literally "showered" me with Divali cakes (lol!) but the truth is her perseverance and love for his doggy that made it work...I just did the necessary injections and guided her on how to proceed.
10:30 -Rushed to PAWS Beau-Vallon to help with some Admin work. Went through a packed waiting room to meet an overwhelmed Dr Jayanta; he had 2 animals in life-threatening situation; non-responsive and under IV drip; one animal with a maggot-infested facial wound and several vaccinations and mange treatments. Decided to delay the Admin work and jump in to help.Both dogs under drip had been intoxicated; one definitely with some Organophosphate pesticide and the other one apparently with tile grout ingurgitation. After 1 hour, the first dog unfortunately passed away with neurological and respiratory symptoms. He had spent more than 24 hrs in comatose state before being brought to PAWS...I took upon myself to do the "psychological work" on the owners and whilst the husband listened to me silently, the wife had to be taken away in tears.
Then there was this other intoxicated dog...we have been stimulating that dog to come out of his stupour state for a while and just as I was talking to the lady to explain that her dog might be in a coma...he started moving the hind leg!Just a minute ago he was "nearly gone"! As the lady stooped over him and talked to him he started trying to lift his head up. Tears in the owner's eyes now. We went out to discuss how we gonna plan monitoring of this patient (saturday...noon already... limited staff at PAWS)and I saw a whole family (like 5 people)waiting anxiously for that dog!
What would make a grown up man worry and care so much for Cleopatt after surgery?
Why would a very old lady keep trying for a dog that has not been moving his hind legs for more than 10 days?
Is it just the loss of "guard dog" that brought tears to the owner of the dead dog?
Is it pure coincidence or is it the strong bond that exists between the owner and the comatose dog that made him come round and fight to survive?
Well the answer is's cases PROVED WRONG all of us who think that Mauritians have no hearts for their animals! There are people who really care and are compassionate to their dogs here.
In an interview 2 years ago in L'Express Dimanche I was asked " What would you have been if you were not a vet?" and I spontaneously answered " I would have been UNHAPPY". Days like today make me feel happy that I am a vet and a vet working with PAWS. No matter how hard it is; no matter how hard some people make it for us...we are making a difference!
See...the title of today's blog is not a flashback to the Level 42 song of the 80's but I really had "Lessons in Love" today!