A day at Cornell Animal Hospital with Indi has come and gone.This place is as big as a people hospital.. and busy… whoa !!!

It was a long day. 100_6271_editedIndi was not allowed to eat anything from midnight on, so this morning when his “brother” ( Imus the cat) got breakfast, Indi was trying to tell Mark… “Hey dad.. you forgot me !!’

His appointment  was at noon, so we left around 9:30. HE was no food from midnight on, so we packed some dry food for the ride home, some ice water in a thermos and a few natural dog biscuits. We got there and had a preliminary exam with the vets, than we were sent off to the waiting room and Indi- well his exam went to the neurology area. About 1/2 hr later we were called into a room to discuss Indi. Basically it was options we had for diagnosing him more definitively. Lab work, x ray of the chest, ultrasound of the abdomen, spinal fluid test, and an MRI Brain. It was kinda like a a’la carte menu—pick all, or some. After careful thought we went with all but the MRI brain and spinal tap. The tests we chose were show how his abdomen is, organs looking okay or not, and the chest x ray to see how his chest is.. any abnormalities? So we were sent off for about 3 hrs while they sedated Indi and did their test. In the end— the blood work is good, the liver is not damaged from the phenobarbital and we are not seeing any cancers. The MRI brain would check for previous stroke or cancers. Mark and I though deeply and long about this, and decided no to the MRI or spinal tap ( they would do them together) as if he has cancer, stroke damage  or vascular deficiencies in his brain… we would not go for brain surgery, chemo or radiation treatment. What quality of life is that for a dog who does not understand what is going on. Further more there is no way to see epilepsy in a dog’s brain…. and if I was a betting woman—I would wager for epilepsy.

SO as we spent time there I was moved by many things. First the compassion  they have for every single animal they have there. The fact that every single employee there had eye contact and smiled..even if they were not working with you. The absolute amazing post treatment or post op counseling they give people. These residents and docs should train people doctors how to communicate. These people were so caring, so careful to be sure the owners understood everything.

And as our day was ending, 100_6250as I was walking out with Indi and Mark was back waiting to pay the bill….a car pulled up… it had a sign on it, but I was not close enough to read the sign. Two people went out to greet the driver of the car and they were pushing a gurney type cart…. the driver opened the hatch back in her car… there was soft blankets across the entire back of the car… they gently..oh so gently pulled out something in black, they carefully lay it on the gurney , they spoke softly to one another as they pushed towards me. … as we got  closer to each other I realized the gurney had a dog wrapped up in 2 large black hefty garbage bags, all covered up, so as to protect it’s dignity even though it was dead.

I kept walking out..feeling a loss for an animal I do not even know, and looking at Indi on the leash tugging as he looked for a tree he had not yet marked – I felt blessed to have Indi here… I felt blessed that Mark and I had this experience….As I walked- I became closer to the car that brought in the deceased dog…. The sign on the car…. Animal Home Care and Hospice…. A rush of sadness fell over me and at the same time a rush of warmth from the compassion these people had for any animal.. alive or dead….

Peace to all, lend a hand to someone who needs it and cherish life. Mrs Justa alias Cindy

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