Who are the people in your waiting room?

Where oh where have we been?? I was traveling a little, Doug was being Doug, and next thing you know, it’s May!

We were at an internist appointment on Friday afternoon (to figure out why Doug’s poops are hot lava).  Our appt was at 3:30 and at 4:30, we were still alone in our exam room. I like to think of myself as a patient person, but had that been a doctor appointment for me, I would have said something long before the hour mark.

Here is the thing, this internal medicine practice is part of a larger Animal Hospital, including an ER. Melvin, Jake and Doug have all been ER patients there so I know those ER patients sometime require the specialist you are supposed to be seeing. We have been to this hospital so many times; some of those times we were the ones leaving with high fives and sometimes we were the ones leaving in tears and desperation.

But every time we have been there, regardless of issue, I have always left with the boys.

Jake’s eye ulcer ruptured and he was seen by ER and then they eye surgeon did her magic. That ER took care of Jake when he was choking on a bird. Melvin and Jake both had MRIs and Spinal taps done there. Doug had both leg surgeries done there and they fixed him up after that dog attacked him last summer.

Remember hamburger eye?


And Wolverine nose?IMG_3696

I got both Melvin and Jake’s terminal cancer diagnosis at the oncology department of that hospital. As terrible as those moments were and as much as my world collapsed, I got to leave with my boys. I got to take them home. We had a little more time.

Here is a photo of Melvin, just because.


On this Friday, there were many emergencies. There were many hallway tears.  There were many signs that some of the pet parents in the rooms with their loves, would not be leaving with those furry soul mates .

Some had to say final goodbyes.

So Doug and I had all the time that those people needed.  Our appointment would come and go and I had faith that Doug would be fine. What I really wanted to do, was to go to those closed doors and knock gently and make sure that no one was facing that heartbreak alone. To see if we could run up and get some cheeseburgers or donuts for a glorious last meal. To learn their dog’s name and let them know how awesome that dog seemed and that they hit the love jackpot with their owner.

There was a (human) couple there that had been on vacation when their dog started having seizures. Their dog sitter brought the dog in and they returned from vacation and went straight to the hospital. With them, were a couple they went on vacation with. When I said how nice it was of them to come to the hospital with them, the woman said: We have dogs, they are our world too, we get it.


I met a couple who had a boxer who had just gotten a terrible cardiology diagnosis. They told me how they had been spending extra time with their older boxer since they felt his time was coming, and then as it turns out, their six-year-old girl is the one that has a heart condition.  We spoke about how we do our best. The man part of this couple had been attacked by dogs (many times) growing up.  He was kind and understanding and as he told the story of those attacks, he gave forgiveness for each dog. The dog was not socialized, it was not that dog’s fault. One dog was older and maybe I startled him.

His empathy, made my day.

That is when I realized, my tribe, is absolutely always, the people in a waiting room at a veterinary hospital. Doug and I were eventually seen and as we were leaving, our friends called out ‘Douggggggggggg!’, or they ran over to give him some love. A  few even told me that Doug was their therapy dog that afternoon. An ambassador of joy if  you will.

And that is when I turned to each of them, said personal space be damned, and hugged everyone still waiting. We said a prayer for each family we met, and for those whose doors were still closed.




18 thoughts on “Who are the people in your waiting room?

  1. Love that Doug and always the expressions he displays! Prayers for all those at the drs.-animals and humans. PS. found out no matter who you are Sometimes a Hug is always needed and appreciated.

  2. Wow. What a post. What a heart you have! Love lives on, indeed!

    PS: thanks for all the stories about Jake’s meatballs. It’s helping us cope with the meatballs that Habi is occasionally dropping here and there. We laugh, clean up, and move on. Your “love the dog, accept the meatballs” attitude is contagious!

    • Habi meatballs! Doug had an accident in the middle of the night and I smiled so hard cause it felt like Jake was reaching out. 😍

  3. I have often told my teenage, only child, son that he live wherever he wants when he is grown as long as it is somewhere I like since he will have to take care of me when I am old. 😉 I am changing that. He has to live close to you so I can be your neighbor. Thanks for continuing to share the love and joy.

    • Oh my God, this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me! I can’t wait for us to all be old and living next to each other!

  4. Jake choked on a bird? How did I miss that?
    I read ALOT of books, but I have to say, you are, by far my most favorite writer EVER! If you ever write a book Im first in line for an autographed copy <3

  5. My goodness, I do love your writing and your reflections. Yes, animal people are my people too. There is something special about the love we develop with these wise furry creatures. We humans like to think we are “evolved” but I think it is love for animals that can evolve something in us.

  6. Awww!! You are my hero!! You have such a biiig heart full of love and compassion!! Truly one of a kind. Good thing I waited till I got home to read this instead of at work. 😭😭

  7. I always enjoy reading your blog…but this…I needed this today.
    Our 14 year-old Ninja is getting old and we are taking it day by day. We have some good days and some bad days. Good days make my heart smile and the bad days just break it… but this post was good to my heart who has been up and down lately. Here’s to our tribe. Thank you.

    • I remember those days with Max, when it felt like I was mourning him and he was still right in front of me. All you can do, is own the moment you’re in. A wise dog taught me that. And PS, Ninja is an amazing dog’s name!

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