Mon—Fri: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sat: 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Sun: Closed
12950 E Michigan Ave Battle Creek, MI 49014 (269) 965-1010
Show Contact Information switcher

Pet Loss Library

 arrowReturn to Pet Loss Library


Meister

by Linda J. Austin

Most people think that caregivers take care of people. That's not always the case.

I was almost asleep Tuesday night when I heard an unfamiliar sound. I thought perhaps it was the cat or a squirrel in the barn. The scraping, bumping continued. I went downstairs to find the German Shepherd lying by the woodstove, legs moving as if he were galloping. It's not unusual to see any of our dogs do this, to a lesser extent, when they dream, but Meister's eyes were open and he was moving himself around on the rug. He couldn't get up. The rug was wet with his saliva and urine. He lost control of his bowels.

Almost two years ago our miniature lop-eared angora bunny did the same thing. He couldn't get up. I took him to the vet and came home with syringes, needles, IV solution, antibiotics - my kitchen looked like a hospital. My husband became my assistant as we nursed, bathed and spoon fed bunny. Bunny got better but his head remained tilted and he can only hop in a clockwise direction, otherwise he falls over. When bunny had a relapse we didn't have much hope. We tried a chemotherapy drug - it worked but bunny stopped drinking. Back to spoon feeding, IV hydration.

I petted and talked softly to Meister, while bunny slept and our two other dogs looked on. Meister was a second-hand dog and having my face close to his muzzle made me nervous. He was disoriented. Even though Meister had spent seven years with us, he still had not so pleasant memories of early life with another family, of being chained to a doghouse, no toys, no positive human interaction. When I brought him home from the shelter it was hard to tell who was driving the car - he sat in my lap all the way home.

As I talked and petted, Meister calmed, his heart rate slowed. There was no recognition in his eyes. What would happen now? He tried to get up. I held my breath. He stood. Meister wobbled around the room, stopping long enough to look at me, but wouldn't let me touch him. Finally he lay down behind my chair.

I suddenly realized it was cold downstairs. I put a coat over my pajamas. The other dogs rushed to the door thinking I was going outside. I let them out - Meister went too and came when I called. He seemed wary of the other dogs - very unusual considering he had been the dominant dog. I made some cocoa, watched television and watched Meister. He took a nap. Two hours later I decided I could go to bed. Meister was wiggling and wagging and happy to be petted. There have been no after effects of his seizure.

Last August my husband and I decided not to do the once a month chemo therapy with bunny - even the fruity tasting syrup no longer fooled bunny - most of the stuff ended up in his fur or on my clothes.

What unsettled me Tuesday night was that I never expected the youngest dog (my favorite) to have problems. I expected the next crisis would be with bunny or one of the older dogs. I forgot that nothing is static. I forgot that I don't get to choose the changes in life.

We give care to many people and animals, but we seldom give ourselves a hug or recognition. Now give yourself a hug.


Linda J. Austin writes from experience as a nursing assistance and a family caregiver. "When I was assigned my first hospice case, I found my place in life." Retired from several careers, Linda is studying creative art therapy.

Show Sidebar Menu
"Always treat their patients with care and put the parents at ease and get right to the problem. We strayed once and it was a big mistake. So glad we came back."
"I really appreciated that you could get Stripes in for ANOTHER appointment so quickly---even during the evening! The staff at Log Cabin are ALL kind and genuinely interested in my pets. Dr. Vincent is WONDERFUL! She always takes time to truly listen to my concerns, answer my questions and she and explains things in an easy-to-understand manner. Thank you for taking such good care of our cats :) "
"I was informed about the procedure and follow up. Received a call the next day to checking on how she was doing. Ruby had good care. Everyone is friendly and caring."
"We have always been very happy with this office and appreciate the level of concern that has been shown for Duke who has developed special needs. Knowing that your staff demonstrates the same level of commitment to his care and well being as we do is extremely gratifying."
"It pleases me greatly the way everyone explains things. My questions & concerns seem to matter."
"I appreciate the thoroughness of the staff and their concern for their patients. There is a very personal feel with this clinic and I would recommend them to anyone."
"Both our Stanlie and Buddy received extremely great care from all the staff at Log Cabin. Showed that they cared about not only the pets, but also the owners of the pets. Thank you for loving our pets as much as we do!"
"Staff was wonderful as usual. We always feel comfortable and confident with boarding at Log Cabin which makes our vacations all the more relaxing."
"We were very happy with our visit. We saw a new Doctor, she was extremely competent. We were seen at our appointed time. Very happy with the service. "
"Always friendly and helpful "
"Everyone was helpful and friendly, as always... "
"Staff is very friendly and helpful. they seem to really care. Are all well trained if any questions can answer them. "
"They took excellent care of my sweet dog. Love them! "
"Very friendly and professional, as always! Love this vet!!! "
"I am very appreciative of both Dr. Vincent for always taking wonderful care of Minnie and Dakota. I am also VERY appreciative of the wonderful staff for making Minnie's regular visits as comfortable for her as possible! You are all great! "
"Cassandra was extremely caring, kind, and thorough in the care of Jessie. Although I do not remember the Doctor's name she was very knowledgeable and caring. It is apparent why the office was so busy. "
"Very good visit . . . perhaps the best ever for our temperamental dog. "
"Everyone was extremely friendly, caring and answered all my questions without making me feel like I was wasting their time. They were also very gentle with my pet and explained everything. "
"You took great care in stitching up Baxter's ear after his run-in with the raccoon. "
"I was very pleased with the service that I received. All the staff was very friendly and did their very best to help our family. Jasper and his family cant thank Log Cabin Animal Hospital enough. "
"The Log Cabin Animal Hospital always takes great care of my Scoobie Dew! They are friendly and courteous and they take the time to explain everything so that I can understand what is going on with my senior dog. They understand that Scoobie Dew is not just a dog, he is a 4-legged, furry family member."
"I was very pleased on how well, Cesar was taken care of , during my visit. I was made well informed of his condition and how help him get better. thank you very much. "
"The entire staff was very careful of my old rickety cat :) and I have all the confidence in the world in them "
"Its very comforable going there, every one is so kind and love the animals, I trust my dog with them. "
"The Dr.'s and staff are great!!! We would recommend them to anyone. "
"Log Cabin provided excellent service for our dog Coco "
"You treat me and my dogs in an excellent way. "
"I really appreciated that you could get Stripes in for ANOTHER appointment so quickly---even during the evening! The staff at Log Cabin are ALL kind and genuinely interested in my pets. Dr. Vincent is WONDERFUL! She always takes time to truly listen to my concerns, answer my questions and she and explains things in an easy-to-understand manner. Thank you for taking such good care of our cats :) "
"Compassionate care to allay Mitzi's apprehension. Very professional and addressed all of my questions & concerns. I never felt rushed. "