Two weeks ago today I dropped Sampson off for ACL surgery with a veterinarian I’d only met once. I’d been preparing myself for the day for two weeks, ever since the moment I knew he’d totally torn his ACL. I had met with the surgeon eleven days prior and I really liked him. He came highly recommend both by my vet and a dear friend. I even called the vet hospital the day before with a list of questions and didn’t hang up until I was satisfied.
I’d prepared a room for Sampson to recover in, converting my office into a post-surgery haven by adding carpeting to the floor, a gate to the door, blocking the windows and removing the Futon from the room, leaving only a mattress on the floor. I’d even begun sleeping in the room with Sampson, helping him become comfortable in the room he’d be spending a lot of time in.
I prepared how I’d handle the morning of the surgery. How Hubby would pick up the water bowl before Sampson and I got up that morning, how my mom would feed Delilah, what time Sampson and I would leave. And how when I got home that night, I’d grab Delilah and head to our woods for a nice, mind clearing walk.
After talking with the Vet staff and my friend whose dog had ACL surgery, I prepared myself for how Sampson would look when I picked him up. How we’d get him in and out of the house, how the first two weeks post-surgery would be hell.
I prepared myself not to cry the morning of surgery as I drove him to the hospital, and warned myself not to project my fear on to him by letting him see how really worried I was. I told him over and over again, “We’re going to get you fixed, it’s all going to be alright.” Trying to convince myself in the process.
My anxiety was building as I drove him to the hospital that morning. I hadn’t prepared myself for the rush hour traffic and I was getting nervous that I’d miss my drop off time, but we made it with five minutes to spare.
Sampson was a real trooper, one of the staff came and took him from me and I watched as he walked purposefully in to the back room. No backward glances, it was as if he knew, this is it, I’m going to feel better after this. I busied myself with the pre-surgery consent forms, clarifying what type of surgery he was having.
I prepared myself for everything I could think of, except nothing can prepare you for the moment the vet staff comes back and hands you an empty collar and leash. It was almost my undoing, I choked back the tears, finished the paperwork and quickly left the lobby for the safety of my car, where I could let the tears flow.
I shared this moment with some of my blogging friends and Amy from Go Pet Friendly said, “If they only paid a moment’s attention they’d see the pain they’re causing their clients because they can’t find a way to keep from losing collars and leashes!”
It seems like a simple enough process to me. Hospitals do it with patient’s personal belongings. How hard would it be to hand you a Ziploc Baggie and a Sharpie while they’re asking you to fill out paperwork. You can put your pet’s name, your name and your phone number on the bag. It goes in back with your pet and when they take the collar and leash off, they put them in the baggie. Then it goes in a plastic bin, in alphabetical order. How hard is that? And how much heartache would it save the person dropping their pet off?
We were told we could bring something with our scent on it to stay with Sampson in the kennel, which is something they’d need to keep track of. If they can keep track of Sampson’s pillow, why not his leash and collar to save a Mama’s heart ache?
Have you ever dropped your pet off and been handed back their empty collar and leash? Or does your vet keep it with your pet? How do you feel about that? Is it kinder to hold onto your pet’s personal things and return them with your pet, or do you prefer to have them with you?