In trying to decide what sort of mom theme to elaborate on today I was thinking of all of the momma cats and momma dogs I've helped care for over the years. I thought about one of our cats, Miss Kitty, who saved her kittens from fire ants and birds of prey before we took her and her young family in. We told her she'd have to pay us back one day, and when we had a little boy she did! She sits by him all the time and plays with his toys when he's not looking.
I thought about all of the dogs I've assisted in c-sections with...how the moment they start waking up from anesthesia their focus is immediately on the litter of puppies clamoring for attention and not the large abdominal incision we had to make.
I thought about the chicken that belonged to a DVM I used to work with who lost her scalp to a dive bombing hawk that was swooping to grab one of her chicks. She hopped on top of it to protect it without hesitation.
I thought about the dog whose puppies were all stillborn and the devastating, vacant look on her face when she had to leave the hospital without them.
I also thought about some of the human moms I've encountered in practice.
All of the clients I've known with pets who once belonged to deceased children. These pets were the last links to departed loved ones and the grief that welled up when they had to let them go was often overwhelming. A particularly favorite client took her dog's ashes to her son's grave and knowingly broke some rules in scattering his ashes there.
I thought about the cat diagnosed with early heart disease who had quite some time left to live but her mom couldn't bear the thought of her being ill so she elected to let her go that day. I questioned that decision for a long time but have come to understand it now.
I thought about the mom who ran over her dog in the driveway and showed up hysterical with two young children not realizing the dog was deceased. Mom was nearly inconsolable and I had to remove the children from the room before the DVM went in to give her the news. When she had calmed down and before she left she and her kids all gave me hugs.
I thought about the 9 months pregnant mom with an elderly and very ill dog who made the heart wrenching decision to put her to sleep days before giving birth because she knew she wasn't going to have time to take proper care of her after the baby came.
I thought about the moms I've worked with and how they managed the work-life balance. I thought about all of the kids I've enjoyed running through clinics. I thought about being 6 months pregnant at UT during labs for the CCRP course and how challenging that was. I thought about all of the children I've showed creepy gross veterinary things to, like tapeworms and heartworms and eyeballs and fleas...educating them without their knowing it.
I thought about my own mom, who fully encouraged me to move halfway across the country and pursue my goal of becoming a certified veterinary technician.
Veterinary medicine is full of moms. They are all to be admired for doing the hardest but most rewarding job in the entire world. Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there, human and otherwise!