My Australian Terrier Kumbi, diabetic and blind, died suddenly and unexpectedly at home, Tuesday 8 June, 2010 – just before his breakfast-time.
I carried him out to the car, laid him on the passenger seat, and drove to the clinic, compressing his chest all the way, though Kumbi was thoroughly dead. Half an hour before opening time, after a long wait, Dr. Ute Mannhardt arrived. She took us right in. Dr. Carla Bell had the day off, and Dr Amanda Booth was on a plane to Anaheim, for a conference of Internal Medicine specialists (she’s a board-certified specialist).
Dr. Ute and I exchanged hugs over Kumbi’s body. I asked for an informal post-mortem exam; Dr. Ute agreed. I went home, dawdling – no Kumbi at home. He was my last living animal companion.
Over the next three days, Dr. Amanda sent me daily email from the conference. Kumbi had died of cancer, not diabetes. Dr. Carla had come in on her day off to assist Dr. Ute with the post-mortem, and all three vets had been in touch with each other.
Kumbi had been in hospital the day before for observation, and all had said he appeared quite chipper. He just took us all by surprise, before we could do the planned ultrasound. Kumbi was my first dog ever to die without euthanasia.
My vets all work together, and see to it that all the vets and staff get continuing education. It is we human clients – and the animals – who benefit. My vets work as team-mates, and we, the clients, are also team-mates; the vets ask for our observations. This practice makes for the best possible care for the animals.
A neighbor showed up at my home with a huge basket of food sent by the staff.
My vets and staff pitched in and helped me work on finding a dog to adopt. Dr. Amanda wrote me a reference letter. So, eventually, Camellia, a badly traumatized Havanese, aged 3.5 years, became my next dog. She is doing very well, and has the usual aid from my vets and their staff. Camellia has Trupanion insurance.
This story is only one of the many acts of kindness I’ve had from these vets in the more than 20 years I’ve been with them. I know others have had similar kindnesses. Also, this clinic sets aside a percentage of time and funds to care for homeless animals – who are not paying clients.
So you can see why these vets are my Tru Heros.
-Carol from Shirley, BC