On Tuesday night as Luna came in from her evening walk that Ana took her on before bed, I noticed she was acting weird toward her paw. This dog never lets me know when she is in pain so the fact that it was bothering her made me notice. As I picked her up and saw a little trail of blood, I realized that her little “thumb” nail had almost completely torn off. Yikes! She wouldn’t let us come near it. We cajoled and held and begged and freaked out a little and nothing. So I wrapped it in gauze and tape as best I could and prayed for us all to fall asleep.
But before going to bed, I suddenly realized this meant I needed to take her to the vet the next morning. Cue late evening panic. This is common for what must seem like the most mundane activities for some but for those of us living in a foreign country who kinda know the language this kind of activity strikes insta anxiety in our guts. If I were in Portland, I would know exactly where to take her and what to say and how to hand that situation. But I am not. Ana had a vet in mind that takes walk ins and speaks English but still I couldn’t help but toss and turn all night thinking about….would I have to try to speak German at the vet in my adrenaline filled anxiety? What would I tell them? Do I have to have more information about her? Would they be kind? Would they be kind to her? Am I doing the right things as a dog mom? So many things!
Early in the morning we got up and picked up our dog and carried her the 10 minute walk to the vets office. We shyly walked in and took a seat and waited with the 5 or so dogs and their owners for our turn to show them what is up with our dogs. Luna was a champ who settled into my lap as I processed what I would tell them and show them. I was way more of a wreck than the pup. And thank goodness for Ana who got up early to go with me in this whole process.
Finally we were asked to go back and the kind nurse spoke with us in Deutsch/English as best as possible until the doctor walked in. He greeted us and called Luna a cutie. He explained we needed to basically do an intake before we got into what was up. I looked at him and said regrettably, “I am so sorry. I am working on my German but today I just can’t…I am too anxious.” He looked back at me with the kindest eyes and said, “Don’t worry. We have this common language in English and you should feel welcome here.” My eyes pricked with tears…this was probably the most kind thing anyone could say to me that day.
Once we got through the questions he approached Luna and ask we took off the bandage he petted her and reassured her. He told her we had all the time in the world. He showed her every bit of what he would do as he continued to embrace her face and reassure her. He then said, “It’s ok, Luna. Today we can be heroes and fix this.”
I have to admit, this is the best vet I have ever had the pleasure of working with. But that line stuck with me… We can be heroes today. We can fix this.
After they fixed what was up and she screamed and I cried and all was bandaged again, we walked cautiously out the door. My tears were tears of relief and release of emotion. Luna was carried all the way home and didn’t mind a bit as you can see from the pic and Ana was relieved that all could go so well.
I returned this morning to check out her paw and re bandage and the other vet assured me that all looked good and all was well. She was just as wonderful with my dog and me. I feel so welcomed and received in this vets office. Couldn’t we all try to be that space for others? What would that look like? Wouldn’t it just make the world a better place?
Come on, we can be heroes today if we try.