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The Love Train

Lessons in kindness

By Ute Luppertz ✨ Published about a month ago 3 min read
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Pablo - Photo by author

I was preparing to host a weekend workshop. Weekends are often busy for me. I was looking forward to the class.

As fate would have it, things went entirely differently than I thought.

On Friday evening, my dog Pablo gradually showed signs of respiratory distress. I monitored him carefully, and what ensued was that my little old man dog, whom I love to the moon and back, was coughing nonstop through the night—loud, honking, gagging, retching cough. He got more and more exhausted, but he was unable to rest. We didn’t get any sleep that night.

I somehow got through Saturday morning with part of my class, and then I had to stop due to his miserable condition. I began calling vet clinics and talked to every emergency hospital in the area, pleading with them to make room for us that day. This went on for hours. I would have driven to Timbuktu to get my dog seen. All I wanted was relief for him.

As you may know, it can be challenging to get urgent care veterinary appointments, especially on the spot, on weekends. Many clinics in my area have been understaffed and maxed out for the last few years. Most emergency clinics were at capacity. They couldn’t fit us in, even with a long wait in the parking lot. We’re talking six to eight hours of waiting.

For obvious reasons, this was a highly stressful situation. My adrenaline was pumping, but I was on a mission. I was laser-focused and fiercely determined, in momma bear mode.

While I was busy figuring things out during this extreme stress, I also took refuge in my heart. This heart energy oozed out of me in each conversation with the many receptionists I called—some I called more than once—pleading with them to find an appointment time for Pablo.

I don’t know whether you believe me, but most of these exchanges happened with grace and compassion. I talked to strangers I had never met who were dealing with a cacophony of requests from desperate pet owners like myself.

They tried to listen, and their concern was genuine. They apologized; they felt terrible for me and my dog. I also know that most of them have pets, too.

These encounters held greater significance for me than trying to arrange appointments, which made it feel miraculous. It may sound cliché, but there was mutual love. We all shared a common desire for the same outcome. These strangers and I connected on a deeply human level.

Eventually, I managed to get Pablo an appointment at a veterinary hospital way out in the boonies. It was a long drive, but luckily, we did not have to wait in the parking lot. The staff—the receptionists, the vet techs, and the veterinarian who treated my dog—were warm and welcoming.

They cared.

I loved them for this. I asked many questions, and I got answers. They told my dog that he was a good boy, a very good boy. Even though they had many patients that day, they took the time to tend to us.

It turned out to be life-saving care for my dog. I felt so lucky and relieved and was secretly tempted to tell the staff I loved them. Instead, I thanked them many, many times over.

I am sure some of you have been in similar situations. I am sure some of you have been desperate and could not achieve the desired outcome for your pet.

Maybe you couldn’t be seen that day, you had to wait in the car too long, you got frustrated, or the people working at the clinic were harsh with you. Maybe nobody took the time to talk you through the procedures correctly. Maybe your pet did not get the help they so desperately needed. Maybe their life was in jeopardy.

My heart goes out to you, and my heart goes out to your animals.

Why am I talking about this?

After Pablo’s immediate ordeal was over, I was filled with gratitude—not only because my dog was alive but also because, amidst these challenges, finding love, care, and connection was possible. That’s what I will carry with me.

And it starts with me. It starts with not letting despair and anguish get the best of me. That’s my assignment, my lesson. That’s the silver lining I hold onto. That’s the gift.

My dog isn’t out of the woods, and it turns out he has a chronic progressive condition. Fortunately, it’s manageable for now, and I’m immensely grateful.

As I write this, he’s resting peacefully, surrounded by love from many.

healthvetdog
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About the Creator

Ute Luppertz ✨

I am an animal lover, a meditator, and a wisdom keeper. I live my passion through writing about life and animals and working as a pet death doula and animal communicator.

You can learn more about me here: petspointofview

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