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Tag Archives: clients

The Summer Game by Roger Angell

20 Apr

I know that I’m a couple of weeks late in writing about the beginning of the 2015 baseball season. But that shouldn’t undermine the level of excitement and complacency I feel. Playing softball with my friends on the warm Spring days. Watching the Mariners at a sports bar while eating wings and drinking beer. All is right with the world. Everything is as it should be.

During this time of the year, I spend a lot of time working with Dr. G who is a lifetime Yankees fan. We tease each other back and forth and talk about the ups and downs of our respective teams. Dr. G is the one who told me about Roger Angell who is a friend of his and a client of the clinic’s. I had no idea that the adorable old man with the Jack Russel Terrier also happens to be one of the most legendary baseball writers of all time. “The Summer Game” is the first book of his that I have read.

The book is full of essays that he wrote during the sixties. To be honest, some of the writing didn’t grab me, only because I was reading about games that happened almost 60 years ago. And while I easily recognized names like Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Carl Yastrzemski. So many of the other players and games he wrote about are so far in the past that their importance doesn’t translate. So I did skim over a handful of the recaps of who stole what base in what inning.

There was an interesting arc to the essays as they followed the nascent years of the New York Mets whom I support on a casual and Queens-pride level. He wrote about how horrible they were in their first couple of seasons, yet how the fans supported them with a fervor that some of the more successful teams couldn’t come close to. He wrote about the transition from the Polo Grounds to Shea stadium, tracking the evolution of major league baseball to newer venues, expanded franchises, players rights.

“This was a new recognition that perfection is admirable but a trifle inhuman, and that a stumbling kind of semi-success can be much more warming. Most of all, perhaps, these exultant yells for the Mets were also yells for ourselves, and came from a wry, half-understood recognition that here is more Met than Yankee in every one of us. I knew for whom the foghorn blew; it blew for me.”

Angell writes about baseball as only a true baseball-obsessed person can, as a religion. I get tired of the debate I have with people about whether baseball is boring or not. If other people don’t like it, I simply don’t care. It’s something I need in my life. And there’s a special kind of recognition to spend time with another baseball fan who understands the game and what makes it so special. This is the recognition that I found in his writing.

“Whatever the pace of the particular baseball game we are watching, whatever its outcome, it holds us in its own continuum and mercifully releases us from our own.”

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Walking a Mile in the Client’s Shoes

30 Mar
Lucas

Lucas

At my clinic, we refer to a lot of our appointments as “Upper East Side Problems.” People will bring their pet in for an “emergency” appointment, and it often results in something silly. A pimple on the nose, licking of the paws, not eating their entire breakfast, standing in the hallway looking off into space for too long. I sometimes think our clients have too much time on their hands and that they must spend a majority of their time staring at their pets, manifesting problems out of thin air. They then show up at our clinic in a nonsensical panic, complaining about how their pet is nervous about being in a new place. “Please don’t put Fluffy in a cage! I can’t bear the thought!” I have little patience for these people.

A couple of weekends ago, I was pet sitting for two of my favorite patients, Ellie Mae the pug, and Lucas the fat cat. I’m friendly with the owner, and she had warned me that Lucas has become a picky eater, lost weight, and been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I have stayed with them since the diagnosis, and it means that when he is dropping a deuce in the litterbox, he makes the saddest little kitten cries. It’s heartbreaking.

So I walk into the apartment on a Friday after work to be greeted by Ellie Mae who is making her pug squawks at me, letting me know that she is ready for dinner. But I notice Lucas hanging back a bit, sulking. Then I start to notice small drops of diarrhea everywhere. In the entryway, in the living room, the bathroom, and leading out of his litterbox. I text the owner to ask if that is something that has been happening. She texts back in a panic that, no, the diarrhea is a new development. I start texting the veterinarians asking for their advice. I’m hovering over Lucas, feeling his pulses, checking his mucous membranes for tackiness, testing his skin turgor, overall annoying him. I call the clinic and make an appointment and spend the night not able to sleep with worry.

In the drizzle-rain the next morning, I put Lucas into his carrier and bring him into work with me. I set him up in a cage and have the doctor’s look at him. As in multiple doctors. I want bloods. I want fluids. I spend most of the day hovering in the cage, petting the stressed out cat and telling him it’s okay. I have in a 24-hour period become the crazy clients that I find myself complaining about most of the time.

I’m an anomaly in the vet tech profession in that I don’t own any pets of my own. I would LOVE to, but my apartment lease doesn’t allow it. I also feel too irresponsible, too prone to spontaneously going out, too overbooked to give a pet the love and attention that it deserves. So this weekend of taking care of a sick animal that I have a deep fondness for was an important experience to have. Although I still stand by the fact that the majority of our clients have too much free time on their hands, I get the neurotic obsessiveness. It comes from a place of love and a feeling of helplessness when their pet is not feeling well.

By the end of the day, Lucas was doing much better. He was stressed and hiding in the cage (which shattered by heart), but the veterinarians and I rehydrated him and found some better food options that are more compatible with his delicate bowels. Later that night when I got into bed, he came with Ellie Mae and I. He curled up under my arm purring, and I knew that he was feeling better. And after a full day of worrying about him, the three of us slept soundly through the night.

Our post-hospital cuddle-fest.

Our post-hospital cuddle-fest.

Cat Sitting

16 Dec
A couple of rescues from the NYPD.

A couple of rescues from the NYPD.

Last week, Dr. L introduced me to a new cat sitting client. His cat, Midnight, had that day been diagnosed as a diabetic. Him and his wife often go to Long Island for the weekend, and he needed someone to stop by and give Midnight her insulin. I quoted him my rates, and we had made a deal.

“You know,” I told him. “I also do cat feeding and litter box changes if you wanted me to take care of all of it while I stop by.”
“Oh no. There’s a lady in our building who does that and..um… she does that.”
“No problem. I’ll just take care of the insulin then.”

He sent me a nicely detailed email about the times he wanted me to stop by. The cat sitter that lives in the building would feed the cat in the afternoon, and I was to come over in the “early evening” to give her the insulin.

So after work I walked to the apartment, and as I entered, I heard someone rustling in the kitchen. I called out a hello and a slight-of-frame woman came out from the kitchen with a phone cradled between her shoulder and face.

“The technician just got here,” she said into the phone. “Yes, she just walked in. So I’ll help her.” She hung up the phone and turned to me. “I’m the other cat sitter. That was Bruce. He told me you were coming in the early evening, and it’s almost six.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you’d be here.”
“I’ve been waiting for you since 3 when I fed Midnight. I called Bruce to tell him that I could just give the insulin. I know how to do it myself, you know.”
“Oh, okay,” I said making my way to the kitchen to draw up the insulin. I wanted out of that apartment.

“Bruce is such a nervous daddy,” she continued. “I mean, I can give the shots. I know how. I don’t know why he hired you. I’ve done this before. I’ll hold Midnight for you. She doesn’t like strangers.”
“I actually met Midnight at the clinic.”
“She likes me better.”

So I let the woman hold the cat while I gave the quick injection. We both left the apartment together, and she told me to call her tomorrow if I needed help giving the injection in the morning.

The next morning I walk into the building and tell the doorman at the front desk the apartment number that I’m going up to. He picks up the phone and starts calling someone.

“Oh, they’re not there,” I tell him. “They left a key for me to let myself in.”
“That’s not who I’m calling.” I swallow my annoyance as I hear him announce to my cat sitter friend that I have arrived.
“She will meet you at the apartment,” he tells me.

I head upstairs and let myself in. I get out the insulin and start drawing it up as the cat comes out of the bathroom and circles at my feet. A couple of moments later, the cat sitter enters.

“When you said late morning, I didn’t think you meant 11!”
“Sorry.”
“Here. Let me hold Midnight. I can do this myself you know.”

I smile and nod and give the injection that I was paid to give.

“I’ve given injections to other animals before. I don’t think Bruce will be using you again. I’ll just do it from now on.”
“So I’ll leave my key here for them, so they don’t have to come by the clinic,” I say, placing the key on the living room table.
“Sounds like a good idea,” she says to me. “I mean, I have my own set.”

So, needless to say, I don’t think that client will use me again. I felt a mix of frustration and guilt. I never meant to step on this woman’s territory. I wasn’t trying to steal her client. I had no idea Upper East Side cat sitters could be so territorial.

Dr. Google

10 Mar

20140310-172047.jpgThe two simplest things I do are anal gland expression and nail trims. These are walk-in appointments that don’t even involve a veterinarian. It takes about five minutes, and technicians do many a day.

On Saturday, I went to the reception area to grab a dog who had come in for a nail trim. The owner (notorious in our practice for being over the top) hands me an article she found online about the correct way to trim nails. She showed me the diagram and told me this is the way I should be trimming nails. Included was an article about a four-part lecture series on nail trims. I don’t know who has this kind of time on their hands. But I smiled and nodded and took the pet to the back.

I showed the other technicians the article she had given me, and their jaws dropped in shock. Everyone respects a well-informed pet owner. One should feel free to read up on their pets conditions, or any medications and procedures that are involved in their pets care. But let’s all take a deep breath and try to remember that 90% of the content on the Internet is bullshit.

Things this article failed to mention are that the nail quick has nerve endings and is painful to be cut that close. It didn’t mention what to do when the dog has black nails, and it is impossible to see where the blood supply ends. It didn’t capture the experience of a dog screaming and pulling its paw away, because it is so afraid of having its nails trimmed too short and feeling that pain. Those are things that are learned from years of experience, not from some article on the Internet.

We trimmed the nails the way we always do. The dog’s nails didn’t bleed, and we got them as short as possible without doing so. In my opinion, a job well done. I accommodate a lot of silly client requests, but one that will cause their pet pain? Never.

Any techs out there experience any crazy client requests as a result of bad Internet research?

Kissing Puppies

17 Nov

2013-10-15 18.50.55This little puppy came in at 12 weeks old with pneumonia. It had aspirated its own vomit. It was touch and go for a while, but she made a full recovery and went home after a week of hospitalization. Everyone at the hospital fell in love with her, because, well, look at that face! Her owner was notorious for driving the doctors crazy with odd demands and overdramatics. I hadn’t experienced any of that though.

She brought the puppy in for a recheck exam about a week ago. Dr. S always meets with clients in an exam room and afterwards has a technician go to the room, retrieve the animal, and bring it to the larger treatment area for their full physical. After meeting with this woman, Dr. S came to treatment to tell me to get the dog.

“She might be a little difficult about it,” he warned me. “But don’t fight with her, just bring it back here. I’ve told her a million times that’s what we do here.”

So I head over to the room. The woman is sitting in the corner with the puppy on her lap, her cheeks shiny from an abundance of tears. I know I need to tread carefully.

“Oh, our girl has gotten so big! Still so cute though,” I say.
She clutches the dog closer to her.
“So, I’m going to take her to the back now for Dr. S to examine her,” I tell her, reaching for the dog. She places the dog in my arms, looking at me with suspicion.
“Do you *sniffle*…do you *sniffle*…do you kiss her when she’s back there?” she asks through her tears, in a quiet timid voice.

A word about this. No, I almost never kiss the animals that come to the back. I’ve seen too many dogs dance in their own shit, roll around in it, really get it in their fur. Because of this, my mouth does not touch them. The idea makes me cringe a little. I only kiss the patients I know very well. I only kiss my top 5. But this woman seemed distraught, and I wanted to reassure her.

“Oh course! We all love her. She’s such a good girl,” I say petting the puppy.
“Well, DON’T! I kiss my puppy. Not you. I do. I’ve been getting colds the last couple of weeks, and it’s from YOU PEOPLE kissing MY dog. You get your germs all over her.”

I’d already been given strict instructions not to fight with her. So I nod my head and make my way to leave the room.

“And tell everyone else to not kiss my puppy! Make sure to tell everyone!” she yells after me as I head down the hall.

I sigh. Just another day in the Upper East Side.

Roger

20 Oct

Our clinic has a client that I’ll call Mr. F. He’s a kind man who prefers to adopt Jack Russel Terriers (JRT). He became our client during a time when he owned two great dogs. The kind of JRT of myth. JRT’s tend to be hyper, aggressive, not the ideal breed. But under Mr. F’s loving care, his JRT’s were loyal, happy, and loving. After one of his JRTs passed away, he went to a shelter and adopted a new one. He named him Roger.

He has owned the dog for a year, but I hadn’t dealt with Roger until Wednesday when Mr. F brought him in for a dental and wart removal. The dog was strange. That’s the only way to describe it. A large “B.C.” was emblazoned on the record. It stands for “Be Careful” and is our clinic’s tactful way of saying the dog or cat is aggressive and for lack of a better term, bad. But Roger wasn’t your typical snarler or swipe biter or growling pet. He wouldn’t bite when placing a catheter or during restraint. The dog would stand there and turn to bite without rhyme or reason. He would do it in a slow, nonlogical way. The more I worked with the dog, the more it seemed less aggressive, more neurologically compromised. It reminded me of autism.

I’ve read a couple of books on autism and what fascinates me about the condition is how we don’t understand it. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the spectrum and figure out how the autistic brain works. Of course, if it is present in animals, we would understand it even less as the animal brain is even harder to interpret.

Last Spring, I spent some time volunteering with autistic children during horseback riding lessons. The variety of the conditions and their reactions to different occurrences and stimuli was fascinating. Something about the look some of them would get in their eyes made me so curious as to what they could be thinking and feeling. Roger would get a similar look. Staring at a corner of his cage or looking right at me without reaction. At home, he is difficult. He will bite people randomly, cries as soon as he goes outside and is fearful of certain toys and people. When I mentioned to Dr. L that the behavior reminded me of autism, she began to agree. But how are we to know for sure?

When Mr. F came to pick up Roger at the end of the day, I witnessed one of the most heart-wrenching acts of love. The dog meandered up to the front waiting room, looked at his owner and had no reaction. I have never seen that before. Not a tail wag, not a faster pace to the owner, nothing. Mr. F crouched on the floor, his arms directed toward the dog. “Roger, it’s daddy. C’mon, Roger, didn’t you miss me?” But the dog just stared at the walls. I felt his frustration, and I admired the love and attention this man could put into a dog that simply doesn’t respond, doesn’t return affection. It was fascinating.

Any vet techs out there seen anything similar?

Side Note

29 Jun

That’s a rather amusing video, but my subject is not.

Today at work, Dr. S sent me to an exam room to get a cat. There was a couple in their 30’s, and the man handed me the cat, who was sweet and docile. I smiled at them and told them I’d be right back.

In treatment, I held the cat as Dr. S went about his exam, palpating the belly, listening to the heart, etc.

“You know,” he said. “This is the client with the fiance that got arrested.”
“What? I’ve never heard about this.”
“Oh, well his ex-fiance a couple of years ago went to jail for animal abuse.”
“What?! His cat? This cat?!”
“No, the cat died, but she took it to the Animal Medical Center with broken bones all over its body. They opened an investigation into cruelty. She actually confessed and went to jail for a year or so.”

He finished up his exam, and I carried the cat back to the owners. I’m not that much of a cat person, but after that story I felt a sad affection for the cat in my arms. It brought to mind a quote from a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode I saw years and years ago (I’m not ashamed.) “I will not let you destroy what I was chosen to protect.”

That might sound a little melodramatic. But I spend most of my days helping animals, sometimes in little ways, sometimes in big ways. It brings me so much joy and satisfaction. I’m lucky to work where I do, and I don’t often see cruelty cases. To be reminded that it happens in the world is so confusing to me. Why would anyone take out their malice on these creatures?

Before I went back in the room, I gave the cat in my arms a quick kiss on the top of its head. “You’re a good kitty,” I told her.

Clients

20 May
Eric Kayser Boulanger treats.

Eric Kayser Boulanger treats.

In a way I have the Upper East Side clientele to thank for my career as a vet tech. I asked to become a tech, because I desperately wanted to leave the front desk. I didn’t know how I’d handle working so closely with the animals, the blood, the death, the illness, etc. But I knew I’d rather do anything than deal with those clients day in and day out.

When some of the horror stories of our clients make their way to me now, I breathe a sigh of relief. My client interaction is at a minimum, and I couldn’t be happier. But nonetheless, I still have to deal with some clients.

One of our most notorious clients of legendary snobbery is a devoted follower of Dr. Z. She is the epitome of Upper East Side old money. She inherited millions upon millions and spends her time breeding Dachshunds for show. They are beautiful dog, many of which have competed in National competitions. They have the softest coats of any dog I know. And they are dead inside. Behind their big black eyes, lies nothing. No personality, no reactions. It makes sense for a show dog to be personality-less, as they’ll trot and hold themselves in a perfect manner, but they make for uninteresting pets. Anyways, back to their owner who we’ll call V. She’s a small, elderly lady, who wears her hair in a short bob with barrettes on the side much like a small girl. The things we have heard her say are legendary. Like (to the dogs), “Jumping is forbidden” or to other clients in reference to their dogs, “You really should have that bitch spayed so it doesn’t reproduce.” Ew!

Luckily I don’t typically work with Dr. Z, so I rarely have to deal with her. But I recently had a run-in with her. I went with Dr. Z into the room to examine the dog. He hands me the blank-stare dog, and I weigh it on the scale. As I do this V looks from me to the doctor and back again before cooing in a childlike voice, “Hmmmmm, can we get someone who’s experienced?”

I wish I could have seen the incredulity wash over my face. Before I could say anything, Dr Z calmly told her, “She’s very experienced.” V shrugged and kept mostly quiet the rest of the visit.

I head back into the treatment area to tell my co-workers who all laugh uproariously. It’s one of the rudest things a client has ever said to me, or more accurately around me, as V seemed oblivious of my ability to hear.
“That woman’s a c***,” says wise Dr. G. “She doesn’t like me either.” It made me feel better, but it’s still amazing how a client has the ability to suck the life out of you in one quick sentence.

But as far as clients go, there’s a flip side.

One of my favorite patients was a sassy, miniature Schnauzer named Juliet. A lot of my love for her is the breed. Their stern eyebrows, teeny ears, terrier bodies. Juliet was such a little lady, and I was always happy to see her come in. She typically came in with her owner Mr. W who is perhaps the nicest client we have. He’s an older man, soft-spoken, eternally patient. When I was a receptionist, I remember how kind he was to me. Never minded waiting a minute, never raised his voice. He was quiet, and he was good. His wife has MS and can’t function well anymore. His daughter (also a client of ours) is mean to her core. Selfish and demanding, it is mind-blowing that they are related. And in this storm of sick wife, difficult daughter is a gentle man with an utter love and devotion to Juliet.

She was an elderly patient with bad eyes, bad knees and diabetes. She required so much home-care, but Mr. W did it all with a smile. For him, she was solace. A quiet soul that he could tend to, away from the problems in his life. He would confide in Dr. L that she was his joy, his project to tend to. That dog had so much fight in her, and I believe it was because she knew how much she meant to him. She lasted a long time, but eventually we all knew it was time. In true, Mr. W fashion, he quietly nodded and agreed to the euthanasia. It was clear the fight had left her, and he knew he had to let go.

Weeks later he walks into the clinic holding boxes of pastries from a boulanger around the corner from us called Eric Kayser. Dr L and I ran to the front to greet him. He shyly smiled at us and told us they were from Juliet. Once we brought the boxes back to treatment we opened them to find a variety of beautiful pastries. We looked at each other, tears welling in our eyes.

The thing is Juliet’s death wasn’t sad. It was her time, and everyone involved understood. But sometimes, like with the bad clients, it isn’t the patients that get to you, it’s the clients. Working with pet owners I’ve seen such beautiful displays of love and devotion for animals. It reminds me of the inherent good in humanity. And sometimes the hardest part isn’t losing the patient, it’s dealing with the broken heart of a person you care about, you respect.

For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Mr. W.

The Book of Crazy

14 Apr

2013-04-11 22.33.01 I’ve worked a number of different jobs with the public, and the one thing I’ve learned is there are a lot of weird people out there. There are also a lot of stupid people and some crazy ones. This isn’t exclusive to clients in veterinary medicine, but some animal people are nuts!

The above is a message I left for Dr. G back in my reception days. The conversation I had with this woman on the phone was so bizarre. From what I remember, she owned many cats and would freeze them when they died. Alas, there was no room in her freezer anymore, and she wanted an autopsy done to detect foul play. She thought someone had poisoned her cat…five years ago. So I left the message prominently on Dr. G’s desk. The next morning when he came into work, I heard him burst into laughter, and I knew my message had been found.

The note was so beloved by the practice manager that she made a copy and put it in a small notebook. The idea was that we’d document some of our crazy stories from our crazy clients in this book of crazy. Unfortunately, no one has updated it in over a year. But I thought some of these stories should live on, and after all my recent vet tech posts about death, it’s a much needed respite.

File under WTF??

Client: He sits down on walks with one dog walker but not the other. That walker is gay. I don’t know if that has anything to do with anything, but he is.
Dr.R: Probably not, ma’am.
Client: Well, I had a friend that died of AIDS, so…
Dr.R: Probably has nothing to do with it.
Client: Oh, OK.

File under TMI!

Female dog presented for progesterone assay for breeding
Dr.R: (jokingly to pet) Bet you wish we’d just leave you in a hotel room, you’d take care of things…
Client: Sometimes we do that.
Dr.R: What? A hotel room?
Client: Yes. We give them a hotel room for three days of fucking. We stay in one room, while they’re in the other. We don’t have sex, but they do.

Dumb Questions

  • What will happen to my dog if I take it out in the rain?
  • Will my dog get pregnant from eating my used condom?

That’s all we got! There should be so many more. Clients never fail to amaze me with their craziness.

Why I do it

8 Apr

2013-04-05 09.07.22 I enjoy writing on this site about my vet tech career, and I have spent the last couple of weeks brainstorming ideas for a post. The reason I haven’t written a vet tech post in a while is because it has been a rough couple of weeks at work. Lots of loss, lots of tragic loss, saying goodbye to patients that I loved, writing condolence cards to clients who I know are going through a painful time. It’s been consuming my work life, and if I were to write about it, this could  become a rather depressing blog.

One of the most difficult losses was Prince Buster, a cheerful bulldog with a kind family. The owner adopted him years ago, and in the last couple of years has gotten married and had a charming daughter. Prince Buster was there through it all and a centerpiece of the family. A couple of weeks ago, Prince Buster came in because he wasn’t “acting himself.” On a chance hunch, Dr. S tapped (stuck with a syringe) Buster’s stomach and pulled out non-clotting blood. This is a bad sign, it means that one of the organs in the abdomen is bleeding, this usually means cancer.

He was rushed into surgery. The little family said their goodbyes and were told they could come visit after surgery that evening. Unfortunately, upon opening the abdomen, the membranes looked like ground hamburger, each tiny bulb was cancer. There were also large tumors suffocating most of the organs. They were metastatic, and they had won. Dr. S called the family and explained the situation. They wanted to come in to be with him for the euthanasia, but the doctor explained that he would only be in pain and that it would be best if he were euthanized directly on the surgery table. The family agreed but had one request, that the receptionist and technician that had known Prince Buster since puppyhood each hold a paw while he was euthanized.

I stood in the doorway to the surgery suite and watched my co-workers hold those paws and cry. I thought of the little girl who had kissed her dog goodbye, I thought of the happy bulldog. It was a difficult day.

That night I met up with a friend for drinks. I was running late and explained to her that I had a sad day at work. I told her the story of my day, how emotional the euthanasia was.
“Why do you do this?!” she exclaimed at my sad story. I stumbled over an answer of there are good days and bad days, yada, yada, yada. But I didn’t have a clear answer. At the end of the day, I love my job and find it satisfying. I’ve never had a day where the sadness leads me to the thought that maybe I should do something else. But why do I put up with such a sad career?

A couple of days ago, we got a card at the clinic. A little girl had drawn a bulldog on the front and included were a number of photos from the life of Prince Buster. Inside was a beautifully written note. Part of which read, “Whenever he turned down the street to the center, he would fill with excitement and pull at the leash until he could collapse on the floor of the waiting room prepared to be smothered with affection and cookies. Thank you so much for the joy and health you brought to his life.”

And just like that, I had my answer. I’ve never seen my job as a burden of dealing with death, but a privilege to be a part of their lives. The same day we got the card, we had a new kitten exam with a tiny Persian. I went to the room to grab her and said to the kitten, “Are you ready for your very first doctor’s appointment?” Her owners got all excited and began digging through their things for their camera.
“You’re right! It is her first appointment! We must have a picture to commemorate. I hope you don’t mind. We’re very proud parents.”
I didn’t mind as I posed for the picture with the kitten. I thought of the puppy pictures of Prince Buster we had in the back. One day that kitten will likewise pass away. We all know and understand that. But that’s not what’s important. Pets die, but we all continue to own them, love them, adore them. Because to be a part of their lives is worth it. For me to work on keeping them happy and healthy for as long as possible, it’s worth it.