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Remember that things can go right
The Dime
We took Zipper to the vet yesterday for her annual checkup. After so many visits with Buttons - visits that tried us and pained us, broke little pieces of our hearts and left us emotionally drained - I was afraid of my reaction. Would the subtle scent of the lobby bring back hurtful clarity of his final moments? Would I associate the place with his death?

Thankfully, it was not so. Zipper was greeted warmly by everyone, like she always is, and like Buttons was every time we brought him in. Bringing her back, getting her to sit still on the scale, humoring her as she anxiously paced the room, it all helped me focus on her, instead of what our last visit had been.

The vet came in, and acknowledged Buttons' passing. It surprised me, honestly. They must have hundreds of animals coming through those doors, but he remembered my sweet little boy. I never want to assume that my dogs are remembered, because I don't want to press that expectation on hardworking individuals who have so many pets come and go. But he mentioned receiving our thank you card, and that the whole office so greatly appreciated it. He said that people can so easily forget that the vets have a connection to our animals as well.

And surely they must. The reason we go to our vet is because we like our experience, and trust them with Zipper, trusted them with Buttons. That kind of trust doesn't come from treating them like machines to be fixed. It comes with truly loving them. I knew, when Buttons was in my arms for the last time, that while it was infinitely painful for us, it was far from easy for the vet as well. I am glad that I had the good mind to share our thanks with those who truly did care for Buttons, who continue to care for Zipper.

Zipper is a little overweight, and needs her teeth cleaned. She got a rabies shot, and a little blood work done, which has already come back clean. It is an amazing relief for me, for us. And now I know that it must be nice for the vet as well - to be able to see our animals at times when sickness, misfortune or death are not close at hand. For if they care for our animals but a fraction of how we do, think of how many little loves come through their doors each day, and how many they must say good-bye to.

It's been nearly four months now. I try to remember him every day, and most of the time, it doesn't involve me crying. Tonight is a night for tears. I miss you, baby boy.


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