One special Vet Tech
October 9-15 is National Veterinary Technician Week according to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. It is a week set aside to recognize the contributions made by vet techs as well as veterinarians, assistants and practice managers. It also provides the public with a chance to learn what vet techs do on a daily basis. “Vet techs play a key role in any veterinarian practice and they are the people that you most likely will interact with the most when you visit your vet.”
Leaving a pet at the veterinary hospital overnight is never easy as was the case one weekend with my sick guinea pig. He was tiny, still less than a year old, and born with one eye among other issues. I had adopted him for a pet store where he was mistakenly sent from a breeder that would have certainly euthanized him if they had discovered he had health problems. It had been tough at home with so many medications and having to feed him by hand. He needed a surgery if he was going to make it any further but it was difficult to keep weight on him. I went to visit him the day before his surgery and had to wipe tears away when it was time to go home. It was the last time I saw him alive. He didn’t make it through surgery.
But out of this tragic situation, a friendship was born. What I didn’t know was one of the vet tech was a passionate guinea pig lover and had taken a liking to my little guinea pig. She gave him some special attention while he was in the hospital that weekend. She even took a photo of him with her cell phone even though it was pushing the rules of the establishment. When she learned he had passed away, she shared a tear for him as well.
I went to the vet’s office first thing the next morning to pick up his body and give it a proper burial in our garden at home. This special vet tech came out from the back with my guinea pig in a box. She had personally decorated it with stickers and his name in a swirly font. It was fitting for such a special pet. She took me aside and gave me a hug. I certainly needed it. Then she mentioned to me that she had spent some time with him and wanted to give me the photo she had taken with her cell phone. Of course I was delighted to hear that she cared enough to do such a thing. We exchanged email addresses and got together for lunch a couple days later. Turns out we had a lot in common.
It’s now been a year and we’re good friends. She’s moved on from working at the veterinary hospital and lives nearly two hours away, but we still make time for each other to catch up with stories of lives and share our love of pets. In a world where everything happens for a reason, one little guinea pig’s death was the seed of a beautiful friendship. A good vet tech knows how to safely handle the animals but a great vet tech knows how to properly handle your heart.
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