Monday, March 31, 2008

A New Buddy

Today Duke goes to his new home. Duke is a seven-week old Golden Retriever/Lab mix whose mother, Kinsey, was rescued back in January by one of my established clients. Kinsey had been running wild in some backwoods of Tennessee and had a litter of pups last fall. My client saw her and fell in love, so brought her home. When she brought Kinsey into the clinic for an examination, I knew this dog was pregnant again. She was thin and very timid, but otherwise seemed in good health. We got the results of her blood test the next day-she was infected with heartworms.

We x-rayed and ran more blood tests, and determined that Kinsey was in the final trimester of her pregnancy. The safest course for "mom" was to let her have the puppies, treat her for heartworm disease after the pups were weaned, then spay her. She whelped seven healthy pups on February 7. However, my client brought the puppies to me on Feb. 18 and said that a couple of them weren't nursing. One pup was lifeless, dehydrated, with no suckling reflex. Three others were dehydrated and weak. The mother's milk was drying up as a consequence of the heartworm disease; her body just could not sustain the extra energy requirements that nursing seven big puppies required. The owner had named all the puppies and most of them already had homes, so it was very traumatic for her to see the puppies fading away before her eyes. After much discussion and tears on both sides, we decided to euthanize the four weak pups, so the owner could concentrate her efforts on trying to nurse the three that were still healthy.

I was curious to see if any of the three healthy pups would eat a soft canned food at this early age, so my assistant brought some to try to feed them. We put the food on our fingers and put it into the puppies' mouth and they ate. The three weak puppies started whining when they smelled the food, so we put some in their mouths and they gulped it down eagerly. I then tried to put some in the nearly dead pup's mouth and to my surprise, he tried to swallow weakly! At this, the owner began crying; we quickly scrapped any idea of euthanasia and came up with a treatment plan. We would keep the puppies at the clinic during the day to feed them and the owners would take the night shift. We put a tube down their throats into their stomachs to give them formula. It was hard, messy work; the puppies seemed to eat and poop 24/7. If they weren't being fed, they were being bathed! We did this for two weeks until the puppies were eating solid food.

Tube feeding is the quickest way to get nutrition into a large group of big puppies like these, but there is a risk of aspiration. We understood the risk, but chose to tube feed, rather than bottle feed, so that the pups would be fed a larger amount and there would be less chance of losing them to malnourishment.

The tube sometimes goes into the trachea instead of the esophagus in young animals because their gag reflex is not fully developed. Then, if formula is administered through the tube, it goes into the lungs instead of the stomach and the puppy basically "drowns". This did happen to one of the pups one weekend at home. Now we were down to six pups, but they were all growing and thriving.

Duke, the once nearly dead pup, was now the biggest, but was the only one without a home. Last week, Sara, one of my clinic staff, came to me and told me that she and her husband had decided to adopt Duke. Duke is 2 weeks old in the picture of Sara on the staff page of our website at

Now Duke is almost 12 pounds and a bouncing, healthy puppy, due to a lot of hard work by a lot of people and is God's answer to a lot of prayers! He is the first puppy to leave the litter; Sara and Kevin have bought food, toys, leash, everything a puppy could possibly want or need.

Live long, Duke, you miracle puppy!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday School

Protestants call it "Sunday School", Catholics call it "Religious Education", but it's not just "book-learning". We all guide others in our faith, teaching by word and action. Catechists instruct others in our beliefs about God and His Church by living their faith.

I had the privilege of being a substitute catechist today. That is one function of my ministry as DRE (director of religious eduction)in our parish. If a catechist cannot teach their class and cannot find a sub, then it's my duty. I have had eight years experience as a catechist, teaching second grade. I subbed today for the junior/senior high school class. I was a bit nervous and class began slowly, with much awkward silence. When I was referring to one of my references, the students would begin talking among themselves; otherwise there was just deathly quiet.

As Scripture says, don't worry, the Spirit will give you the words. I prayed that God would give me a way to connect and, as always, He came through ;>) I tried different topics to encourage them to talk and finally got a spark, which led to another and another and before we knew it, class was over and we were all sorry to leave. These kids are very knowledgeable, they are intelligent and curious about their faith. It was a rewarding morning for me and lots of fun, too!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bird Fair

I had such a great day at the Michiana Bird Fair today! Although I did have to get up at 4:30 (WAY too early) to be ready for Steve and Shirley to pick me up, I managed to get dressed and semi-awake by the time they got here. We picked up Janet, another bird-crazy fool like ourselves, in Kokomo and off we went. It took over two hours to get to Mishawaka, but the time flew with good company and we were right on time. The others got everything set up since I am not much help in that category, but when the doors opened at ten, then I started to work!

I know I can talk all day long about birds, but after a couple of hours of non-stop, raised-voice-to-be-heard-above-the-crowd blabbing, I was ready for a break ;>) I toured the facility, checking out all the new birdie toys, talking to the beautiful birds for sale, buying tickets at the bird club's raffle table.

I brought Lucas with me and he was a trooper. Our table was next to a cockatiel breeder who had lots of young 'tiels for sale. Lucas paid no attention to them and stayed on my shoulder almost all day. He took a short flight a couple of times when something startled him, but he never got more than six feet away from "Mom". He acted like he had been going to bird fairs all his life; all the noise and excitement and people did not faze him one bit! I think Lucas is going to be my travel buddy becasue he is so easy to carry and he does so well ;>)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Another Crazy Day

Wow, this was a whirlwind day! Starting off with an appointment this morning down in Indy with a surgeon. After an hour's drive (one-way) and a twenty-minute wait, the nurse informs me that the doctor is still in emergency surgery and is not sure when he will be finished. Well, I know what that means, so when she asked me if I wanted to wait or come back, I immediately told her I'd come back. I wasn't thrilled at all with the wasted time, but these things happen. When I go back Monday at 8:00 a.m., I will be prepared ;>)

So I get to the clinic a little after noon and it is already hopping. We started right in with an involved tooth extraction on a geriatric diabetic cat, seeing appointments, making phone calls, lab results to be reviewed, etc. etc. I had all four of my staff members here to help, plus my technician brought three of her children with her since they were off school. It was definitely a bit chaotic at times!

I also had two parrots with feather destructive behavior (FDB). I love working with these birds and their owners, but it is very intense and exhausting. I spend an average of an hour and a half with these guys, reviewing history, examining, performing laboratory tests, educating and counseling owners. This is a very frustrating and sad problem in our companion parrots today. I am an adherent of the theory that pulling chicks from their parents at a very young age has caused a lot of mental and psychological instability in these birds. That does not make FDB any easier to understand or treat. We learn so much about avian medicine each year that I keep studying and going to continuing education meetings. Maybe soon there will be something else we can do to help these guys!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Talking on the Phone

Merlin, Moluccan cockatoo, and Shelby, Bare-eyed cockatoo, just finished a long conversation with one of their friends. Yep, you read that right, the birds were doing the all the talking, not me ;>) Oh, I do have to dial the phone. They've certainly tried, but those buttons are just too darned irresistable to keep from chewing!

One of my friends from church, ten-year old Amanda, periodically asks me to have Shelby call her. Now, Shelby being the quintessential female, loves talking on the phone. She prefers to gossip with her girlfriends. Shelby's only six and not really interested in the boys yet.

So Shelby calls Amanda; Amanda's older brother answered the phone and Shelby was strangely tongue-tied. Not a peep out of her until he said good-bye, then she gave him a flurry of kisses. I guess I had better start watching her around the boys! When Amanda got on the line, Shelby started chittering and chatting up a storm; poor Amanda could hardly get a word in, but I DID hear a lot of giggling. You know how silly girls can be!

Well, Mr. Merlin perked up when he heard that and busted right into their conversation; as the older brother, he tries to annoy Shelby at every opportunity. Merlin began whistling, kissing and cooing at Amanda and just went on and on. My jaw dropped, because Merlin usually does not deign to speak on the lowly telephone. Merlin is nearly sixteen, so I guess I will have to start watching HIM now;>)

After a few minutes, Shelby decided it was her turn again and the scene deteriorated from there. I had to tell Amanda they would have to call her back, so I could hang up the phone. Lots of screaming and crying and arguing ensued, and after a brief tussle, I wrestled the phone away from them. I had to put them to bed early and suspend their phone privileges for a week.

It is sooooo hard being a parront these days!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Difficult Decision

My last client has a dilemma with one of his dogs. He is a policeman in one of our neighboring small towns and has two dogs that he uses in his work. One is young and a bit hyperactive and that is the problem dog. She recently bit his youngest daughter in the face and snarls at him when he scolds her or shakes his finger at her.

Of course, we can never take a chance when a child is involved, but this dog really would be an excellent working dog if she would respond reliably to commands. I told the officer that I was aware that many police dogs are still trained with punishment, i.e. the use of choke/pinch/shock collars, swatting, yelling, etc. Punishment DOES work, but there is so much negative fall-out, that it is not worth the effort. Positive reinforcement works so much better, is faster overall and is a whole lot more fun!

This book "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor,literally changed my life. Check it out at this website:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Merlin and Timmy

A few days ago, we had an "incident" between Merlin, our Moluccan cockatoo and Timmy, our long-haired Chihuahua. First, a little background...Timmy is a rescue who had been severely injured (likely HBC-hit by car)and came to the clinic to recuperate and find a home. None of my Chihuahua clients were interested in the little guy. Long story short, Timmy joined our gang at home about four years ago. Jessie, our Rottie, is his best friend. Timmy pretty much ignores the cats and the birds, although Merlin has chased him off the bed a time or two. Timmy is MY dog-he does not like to be far from my side and he certainly does not want human or animal near me. He barks and will bite, protecting me from all real and imaginary danger.

Merlin occasionally likes to do a little "walk-about" on the floor and beware all who get in his way. Merlin delights in chasing anything that runs from him...and, believe me, we ALL do because we all have felt the power of the Beak!

So, here is the story...I am getting dressed, Merlin is happily playing with a pen on the floor. He is carrying the pen, writing point down. Merlin looks so cute, like he is going to write a letter. Enter Timmy, stage right. Merlin sees his chance and as Timmy approaches me, Merlin puffs up and charges him, pen in beak. Timmy feints left, trying to reach me, Merlin parries with his pen and effectively prevents Timmy's access to me. Timmy weaves back and forth, desperately wanting to get to me and Merlin blocks his every move. Finally, Timmy gives up and runs away-he knows he is no match for the mighty cockatoo! Merlin drops his weapon and proudly gives voice to his victory. Once again, the pen is mightier than the Chihuahua!

Would you want to tangle with this?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Gall Stones

I have just been reviewing my own ultrasound of my abdomen. In one of my spirituality classes, the teacher told us that the most fascinating person in the world is ourself....and ain't it the truth-LOL!

I went to my internist a couple of weeks ago for a routine check-up and mentioned that I had happened to have some kind of GI epsiode of severe pain and nausea. It didn't last more than an hour and I felt OK the next day. Good doc that he is, he sent me for tests (see my entry for 3-17} and, of course, they found something wrong. I have "multiple gallstones", so my doc referred me to a surgeon, whom I will see this week. The surgeon's assistant requested that I pick up a CD of my ultrasound, which I did today. It was in a sealed envelope, which I promptly opened (hey, it IS all about me, isn't it?) and put in the computer. Lo and behold, it comes right up, and, yep, multiple gallstones, alright!

I sure don't want to take time off for surgery, especially with my schedule the next couple of months. I hope I can put this off for a while ;>) You know what they say, though, "If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans". God has been good to me all my life, so I don't worry. Everything is in His hands....

Sunday, March 23, 2008


This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!

My husband, Ray, and I had a wonderful Easter. My business partner and BFF, Shirley and her husband, Steve,invited us to their house for dinner. We had a delicious ham with all the side dishes and we all ate too much.

After dinner,Steve and Ray sat down in front of the TV and both were snoring before long. I gave Lucas a bath in Shirley's kitchen sink in preparation for his photo shoot. You can't go to Shirley's house without some kind of photography taking place ;>)

I must say, Lucas is a natural model. He sat and posed just like a pro. Shirley got some gorgeous shots. Now Lucas can have his own "studio portrait" just like his big brother, Merlin.

All in all, I am feeling especially blessed today. Alleluia, He is Risen!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Vigil

Tonight's liturgy begins in a couple of hours: at dusk, the Easter fire is lit outside the church, the Easter candle, representing the light of Christ, is lit from this. No lights are on inside the church. Everyone, outside and inside (me!) the church has a small candle. The fire from the Easter candle is used to light our candles; we pass the flame from one to another until every candle is lit. The church is illumined by the light of Christ which we carry within ourselves and pass on to each other. This is one of the reasons I love being Catholic: our faith is rich in symbolism and ritual. Everything we do and say has meaning deeper than surface appearance and all relates to the wonder and glory of God, the God who came to earth for each one of us, now and forever.

It has been a quiet day of prayer, sorrow and anticipation. The tomb is silent, our Lord has been crucified and now lies dead. But we are blessed to know the next chapter; we find the empty tomb and relive our own death to sin in the waters of our baptism and know the promise of eternal life in the Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have to get ready; I am anxious to hear alleluias sung again after six long weeks of silence.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

A beautiful sunny, warm day, spring is definitely in the air. I have been in church this afternoon and will return this evening for the Good Friday liturgy, the Veneration of the Cross. Although sorrow fills my heart over the suffering that I have caused our dear Lord, I know that He has forgiven me once and for all on His Cross. And I know that the only way that I will reach eternity is through embracing my own cross, which I try to do every day.

The anticipation of tomorrow evening is building. But, for now, I must search my heart and seek forgiveness for my many sins.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Today begins the holiest time of the year for Catholics everywhere. The Triduum (Latin for "three days") commemorates the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I have just returned home from church, where I participated in "The Mass of the Lord's Supper". The readings and rituals all relived the events of the Last Supper. This is one of the most moving liturgies of the year. Our primary focus tonight is on service. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples as an example of how they should serve others. All over the world, Catholics participate in the foot-washing rite as part of the Mass this evening.

Our parish priest is in his seventies. When he kneels down to wash the feet of selected members of our congregation, it always brings tears to my eyes. This kind and gentle man of deep spirituality represents Jesus to us and it pierces me to see him painfully kneel and stiffly get up, moving to the next person in line. And washing someone's dirty, stinky feet! Yechh, not my cup of tea, believe me. But Father does it just as Jesus did. Can I do any less?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sad Day at Cicero Veterinary Clinic

I just finished euthanizing one of my very favorite patients. Eddie was a 10 year-old Airedale who I have treated since he was a puppy and one of the nicest dogs you could ever meet. He was so excited whenever he came into the clinic that his whole body quivered and tail wagged furiously the entire time he was here. Eddie would leap happily onto the exam table and submit to whatever indignities and pain I would inflict upon him, tail never stopping. Eddie's owners are just as sweet and likable as Eddie.

We got the call this afternoon that Eddie wouldn't get up at home. We feared the worst and told his mom and dad to bring him immediately to the clinic. My hopes were raised when they got here, because Eddie actually walked into the exam room. But that hope was short-lived. As I began examining Eddie, he laid down on the table-a first ever here. Eddie's heart had an irregular beat, he had lost ten pounds since his last visit, he had an acute colitis; but, worst of all, he had a suspicious mass that I felt in his abdomen that had not been there a month ago when I had examined him. All these symptoms suggested that Eddie probably had cancer.

His owners discussed all the pros and cons with me and we finally came to the difficult decision to end Ed's suffering today. It is so hard for all of us to do this, but, bottom line, our dogs and cats just do not live as long as we do. And they rarely die in their sleep. In the 33 years that I have been practicing veterinary medicine, we have had to make this final decision in the overwhelming majority of my patients.

It is very difficult, but it is the last thing I can do to help an old friend. Eddie ate treats while I shaved his leg and injected the euthanasia solution. Jill hugged him tight and petted him, as he laid down for the last time. We all were crying. Good-bye, good dog, I know you will be waiting patiently for your master and mistress over that Rainbow Bridge.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vincent is the most recent addition to our home menagerie. He showed up at the clinic the day before Thanksgiving last year; he was so tiny that he barely fit in the palm of your hand. He appeared to be about 4-5 weeks old; too young to be weaned, Vincent had a hearty appetite from day one.

Ray fell in love with him, so we took Vincent home at Christmas. He had to get big enough to fend for himself with all our other critters. It was time for a kitten; our four other kitties are 10-14 years old.

We had forgotten how wild and crazy and just plain fun kittens are! Vincent certainly keeps everyone at home in an uproar. However, it is unusually quiet since yesterday. Vincent is at the clinic; Dr. Scott, CVC's surgeon, neutered and declawed Vince yesterday. Today when I came in, Vincent was sooo happy to see me. He is doing great and eating like a little piglet.

I will keep Vince at the clinic for a few days to allow his feet to begin healing before I take him home. We all miss our little buddy!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hospital Tests

I had to go to Riverview Hospital at 6:30 a.m. this morning for tests. I must say it was one of the more innocuous testing procedures I have endured. I had an ultrasound and nuclear medicine test for gall bladder disease. Yep, another organ system acting up on the ol' Doc.

The parking lot was actually empty at that hour and there was no waiting in lines anywhere. The tests themselves were pretty much painless-just one IV injection of radioactive dye for the nuclear scan. I was done and out of there in less than 3 hours-a personal best!

I have spent the rest of the day doing paperwork for church. Not an exciting day, but I am content at getting a few things crossed off my list. Back at work at the clinic tomorrow. Between clients, patients and staff, things are always a bit wild-literally and figuratively ;>)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, the most important week of the year for Catholics everywhere. During Holy Week, we remember, celebrate and live with our Lord His Passion and Death that He suffered for us and His triumphant Resurrection on Easter for our eternal salvation.

Once a month, I am privileged to participate in Sunday's liturgy together with the second grade religious education class. As director of our parish program, it is my responsibility to evaluate the children's readiness to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Communion for the first time. So "class Mass" every month is one way I measure their spiritual growth. It was truly a blessing today-palm fronds waving in the air and tickling each other, sighs and restlessness during the extraordinarily long liturgy, little voices lifted in prayer and song....the Lord is good to me!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bird Club

Today I spoke about the benefits of foraging to the Central Indiana Cage Bird Club. A very informal, friendly group of parrot lovers meet monthly at the Beech Grove library to share fellowship and to learn more about their feathered companions. Birds are welcome, so my bird buddy, Shirley and I toted a couple of ours there. Shirley took her greenrump parrotlet, Millie, and I took my little guy, Lucas.

Both birds behaved beautifully; Lucas made me so proud-it was his first "public" appearance. He readily went to everyone...although they couldn't get more than 6 feet away from "Mom" before he would fly back to me ;>) He whistled, kissed, purred and made other assorted noises. Lucas sat on my shoulder, as good as gold, during the entire time I was speaking. I love my little guy!

I met many wonderful people and beautiful parrots. They are all beautiful to me, though ;>) Someone asked me what the best part of being a veterinarian was; I replied that it was working with people, teaching them how to better care for their pets. I had a great time at the meeting and look forward to returning there in the future.

Friday, March 14, 2008


U2 is internet shorthand for " Umbrella Cockatoo". I saw the sweetest U2 today at the clinic. Calvin is 21 years old and has cataracts in both eyes. He cannot possibly see much more than that, but will readily go to anyone as long as he can put his beak on them to locate his "perch" on your arm ;>) Calvin would snuggle right up under my chin and lay his head down while I scritched his neck; I could feel my blood pressure drop twenty points. He never made a sound-quite unusual for a cockatoo!

The ramp is finally done at the clinic. The builder was waiting for a few days of warmer weather and this week, the weather finally cooperated! It is much easier for me to get in and out now; I know it will be for our clients, too.

It's time to go visit my mother. She is 81 and lives next door to us. My (younger!) brother, Dave, is retired and takes care of Mom. He has a gift for nurturing and I am so glad he moved back to Indiana after his wife died. Dave is a blessing for all of us-thanks for all your work, Bubba ;>)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Exercise for the Body and Soul

It's been another one of those busy "days off" today! I began the day in a good way, with Mass here at Sacred Heart, followed by a meeting with my prayer partner. Our goal is to meet weekly, but between our schedules, our meeting times seem to be averaging about twice a month. We pray and discuss God's action in our lives-my partner is very spiritual. She has been instrumental to my spiritual growth over the past seven years that we have been meeting. It was a very good meeting this morning, praise God!

After this, I went to my "Arthritis Aquatics" class at Riverview Rehab. I have been doing this for 7-8 years and know it is the primary reason I am still walking today. The therapy pool is heated to 90 degrees and that water feels so good! We spend about 10 minutes doing warm-up stretches, followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, and finish with another 10 minutes of stretching. Keeps these old joints limber and helps keep the muscles strong. Plus, it is a wonderful social hour-my husband, Ray, goes, too. And there are about a dozen ladies, my "pool buddies", who have been in these classes wiht me for many years now.

I finished the day with Confession. Lent is coming to a close and confession is a part of getting ready for Easter. We had a communal Reconciliation service at Sacred Heart tonight. I met my god-daughter, Sara (who works at CVC) and her husband, Kevin, there. It was a perfect end to a beautiful day ;>))

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Bird Day!

This has really been a fun day! This morning Merlin and I went to my parish preschool. Helena and her doxie, Libby, and Shirley and her bearded dragons, Jack and Chloe and her cornsnake, Sam, accompanied me. CVC, have zoo, will travel ;>)

The kids thoroughly enjoyed all the animals, but I must admit that Sam was the biggest hit. However, as I was leaving, I heard a chorus of voices saying "Good-bye-cockatoo" and when I went out the door, one little voice said "I love you, cockatoo". Kids and animals-it just doesn't get any better than that.

When I went to the clinic for afternoon appointments, I decided to take my albino cockatiel, Lucas, with me. Lucas just turned one year old last month and is the best little bird! I highly recommend cockatiels as "first" birds. They are just as intelligent, sweet and funny as the larger parrots. I have not taken Lucas out, as he seems to startle easily, but I have gradually been introducing him to different situations around the house. And today seemed a good day to try Lucas at the clinic. So he is here now, sitting on my shoulder, as comfortable as he is at home. Lucas went readily to everyone at the clinic, coming to me whenever I called him. I love my little guy!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Here I sit at the end of a long day of treating dogs, cats and birds. I had to euthanize one of my favorite client's kitties today. The kitty was just a couple of years old and had sustained a tail fracture a few weeks ago. Tail fractures sound like a minor problem until you realize that dog and cat spinal cords extend down to the tip of their tails. So tail fractures can mean spinal cord injuries, which was what happened to this poor kitty.

Her tail was fractured at the base, so the nerves that controlled her ability to urinate and defecate were paralyzed. Sometimes nerve function will return, unless the injury is severe, as was the case today. We have been unsuccessfully treating the kitty's bladder infection, resulting from her inability to empty her bladder, with antibiotics. In the last few days, she began chewing her tail, because she cannot feel it and that bothers her. So her "mom" knew it was time.

Over many years of practice, I have found that we are frequently faced with that final decision. Our pets seldom die in their sleep, but become so ill or injured that we cannot keep them from suffering. We must love them enough to let them go when it is time. It is a privilege that I do not take lightly. God has given me the ability and responsibility to take care of his creatures "from cradle to grave". I am truly blessed to be able to help His creatures...and His people.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Day Off?

Mondays and Thursdays are typically my days "off". Weekends are always busy with church responsibilities and the other weekdays are busy at the clinic. But let me define the word "off".

"Off" means these are the days when everything else gets done; sometimes I am busier on my "off" days than my "on" days. Today was no exception. I began the day early with a doctor's appointment. I see my internist quarterly for the myriad of health problems that seem to multiply as the years go by. I feel like I am about 25 years old-in my mind ;>) However willing the spirit is, the flesh is certainly weak!

Dr. Tom Miller in Noblesville has been my doctor for 21 years. He also cares for my husband and mother. Dr. Miller is an old-fashioned doc who visits his patients in the hospital and calls with test results as soon as he gets them. He is not afraid to refer to a specialist when necessary, but doesn't ship you off at the drop of a hat. I trust him implicitly.

So Dr. Miller tells me I have a sinus infection (a recurring problem), no big deal. He then sends me over to the hospital where I spend the rest of the morning getting my annual blood tests and chest x-rays. I especially enjoy telling the phlebotomist that if I can get a blood sample from a one-pound kitten, she should have no problem hitting my big pipeline of a vein. After all, I don't have hairy arms and I don't bite and scratch :>) Then when I was in radiology, the technician asked me when my last period was, and without thinking, I said, "Oh, I am spayed, so I don't have any". Whoops!

I get out of the hospital finally and see the clinic has called 6 times. Dreading some terrible calamity, I speed-dialed the number. When Jill answered, she told me she had very bad news-the clinic Visa was lost. Whew-what a relief-I thought one of my patients had died! So I stopped by the clinic for a little damage control on my way to an appointment with my beautician for my weekly "wash and wax".

Just an average day in the life of an animal Doc......

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Beautiful Sunday

I just returned from a morning at church, supervising the religious education program here at Sacred Heart, the Catholic parish in Cicero. We have approximately 100 students, ranging in age from three to seventeen years old, enrolled in our program. Since I began teaching nine years ago, I know most of these kids by name. I love teaching our faith, whether to toddlers, teenagers, adults or seniors. We are called "catechists", because we teach not only by word, but by deed-how we live our faith usually tells people more than what we say!

It looks and sounds like spring today-still a bit chilly and some snow on the ground, but the sun is shining and the birds are singing. We know that warmer days are just around the corner. I am sitting here with home-made lasagna in the oven, napping dogs and cats, Shelby on my shoulder, grinding her beak in contentment and Merlin chewing up the woodwork-aaah, bliss.... Take some time today to relax and enjoy all the blessings God gives us-family, friends, pets, nature, everything ;>)

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Hi and welcome to our new, updated website. Many thanks to Dave, Jill and Shirley for all their hard work to make this new look possible.

We have started spring cleaning at the clinic the past couple of weeks. It never fails to amaze me the sheer volume of stuff that we accumulate ;>) We are also excited to begin a face-lift in our exam and reception areas. Please excuse our mess!

Check out the "events" page for my schedule of upcoming engagements.