When Kathleen approached me about starting a blog for the new hospital website, my initial response was of course “no”. I have no experience in writing a blog, or much of anything for that matter. The last time I spent on focused writing was during my veterinary training and before that my Master’s thesis. What would I say? Who would listen? I thought about it for a few days before finally succumbing to the “encouragement” from Kathleen. Here goes nothing.
Why write a blog? My hope is for this blog to be a platform for information related to veterinary medicine using my experiences to help guide a conversation. I encourage a dialogue which begins with my initial piece but evolves as others share their experiences and thoughts. If there are specific topics of interest let me know. If I can find a way to make it entertaining and education then
As I was sitting down to start this initial post, one of my four-legged family members curled up next to me on the couch and gave me the idea for today’s installment. I will call it introduction. Throughout the posts I will try to introduce my furry family as examples of medical issues (including behavioral and training issues) that veterinarians and pet owners deal with on a regular basis.
The first family member that I’ll introduce is Crumb, or as Kathleen would correct me, Salacious B. Crumb. If you are unfamiliar with Salacious B. Crumb, I recommend Googling an image of this Star Wars character. It should give you a good idea of what this little creature looked like the first day we saw him.
Crumb came to us almost a year ago. He was in rough shape, mostly due to severe dental disease that had destroyed his lower jaw in 2 places. He was also underweight, a consequence, I suspected, from difficulties with eating due to his dental disease and fractured jaw. After extensive oral surgery to remove his remaining teeth and stabilize his jaw, he required significant aftercare including frequent medications, special feeding, and a lot of time. There was a shortage of available foster parents capable of providing the necessary care, so I elected to bring Crumb home with me until he was stable. I still remember that first night he was with Kathleen and I, feeding him with a syringe, giving him medications every few hours and not sleeping much. Little did I know what joy this little guy would bring to the two of us in the year to come.
Kathleen tends to be the voice of reason in our household, whereas I tend to act on whims. I remember the next morning having Crumb in the car with me as I was headed to work. I stopped at the store along the way and found myself in the pet section buying an extra small dog coat. The look on Kathleen’s face was priceless when she saw what I had purchased. I could see the wheels turning. She knew I was committed to this little guy for better or worse. She stuck to her position for the first few days, continually reminding me that once he was feeling better we would need to find him a forever home. It was on the fourth day of his recovery from surgery that Kathleen finally gave in. Crumb was officially joining our family.
People often comment about how lucky Crumb was that he ended up in our home, but I believe the opposite is true. Kathleen and I have learned so much about happiness and love from this 4 pound creature in the past year. There is something special about the moment a dog accepts you as their pack. It is a bond that never breaks and a trust that never wavers. All I can say is thank you for allowing us to be part of your pack Crumb!
In a future post I will elaborate more on dental disease and speak more specifically on Crumb’s dental issues, including the causes, treatments, and prevention. For now, enjoy the pictures of our little man.
Until next time, Dr. Nick.