I’m still mourning the loss of my German Shepherd Sascha, but I left work a little early for a couple of reasons. One, I wanted to donate Sascha’s leftover medications and food, as well as to give all her toys to a locally owned pet store.
My purpose in this blog post is to formally state my extreme appreciation for Sascha’s veterinarians. Sascha could have been treated just like “another dog” and I never felt she was. Granted, Sascha probably wouldn’t have allowed them to do that anyway because she loved going to the vet so much and was always on her best behavior. Maybe I (Sascha) just got really lucky, but I hope any vet, or doctor will take a moment to remember why they entered their area of practice. It wasn’t for the money, it hopefully wasn’t for the prestige, it was because you had passion about what you would be doing. On every single visit that Sascha and I had, I always felt like each of you were right there with us, and I’m so appreciative of that.
Sascha had vets at two (actually 3) different places. For dermatology, surgery, and internal medicine she went to Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists at 1111 West Loop South in Houston. Two vets from there were very important in Sascha’s life and in case they ever happen to read this blog, I want them to know how special they were to me in providing care to her. First, is Dr. Suzanne Hunter (looks like she is no longer with Gulf Coast). Sascha had her spleen removed with Dr. Hunter, and her final emergency surgery was performed by Dr. Hunter. I never had the privilege of meeting Dr. Hunter while Sascha was alive, but she did make time for me today where I expressed my thanks for taking such good care of her both times. There was also a Dr. Phipps that I met after Sascha’s final surgery and the day she passed. Dr. Phipps is an intern or a resident (I don’t know what they call it for a vet), but I’m sure I caused quite an emotional day when this big 6’1 guy comes in crying and hugging his dog who is dying. Thank you for spending the time with me in that room afterwards just to explain things to me and listen to my sadness.
The other vet at GCVS I want to mention is Dr. Paul Manino. He was Sascha’s internal medicine vet. He helped with her kidney issues, her spleen removal, and her compressed discs in her spine. He always explained things to me in ways that I could understand and I could just feel that he really cared about what was best for Sascha. Thank you as well Dr. Manino for meeting with me today.
There’s another section of Gulf Coast that is located in a different location at 3800 Southwest Freeway, Suite 136. This is the location of Gulf Coast Veterinary Neurologists and Neurosurgeons are located. After Sascha had her spleen removed and we were trying to figure out why she had some weakness in her back legs, I met Dr. Carley Giovanella. Sascha and I had an extreme connection. She watched me like a hawk, and I her for that matter, and for a multitude of reasons, Dr. Giovanella was one of Sascha’s favorite vets. I tear up when thinking about Dr. Giovanella I suppose because I always felt that she treated me like a human, not just a patient, and she treated Sascha as a very special dog, not just “a dog.” Dr. Giovanella was the first vet I went to visit today on my round of thanks, and she probably got the bulk of my tears and sadness. I’m so immensely grateful for the care you gave Sascha, and the compassion you showed me.
Last, but not least is Dr. Warren Resell at Atascocita Animal Hospital. Dr. Resell is my primary vet for all of my animals so he was no stranger to Sascha. I was actually seeing Dr. Resell before I took Sascha to Gulf Coast for her emergency surgery. Once he saw the x-rays and had them read, he was the one who told me she needed emergency surgery. Like Dr. Giovanella, Dr. Resell was one of Sascha’s favorite vets. I’ve known Dr. Resell for years and he’s always answered every single annoying question I have asked, and even answered some before I asked. Dr. Resell has never been a vet that was okay, next patient, next, next, next. I know his staff has even had to remind him he had other appointments to attend to when he was spending time with me and one of my animals. Dr. Resell, I don’t know if you’re close to retiring, but please don’t. You’re my veterinary rock with all of my animals. I give them the love and compassion, but I need you to help me with their care. I know it’s selfish, and I’m sure there are lots of great vets around town, but Dr. Resell is a very special person to me and in the care of my animals. We also share a passion for birding. I dreaded telling you today about Sascha because I felt you really connected with her. Thank you for all the care you provided to her over her 11 years. I know she adored you.
I’ve never been known for being short-winded, but please allow me to get a couple of items off my chest. I spent an extraordinary amount on Sascha’s veterinary care. I know many who would not do that, or could not afford to do that. For my animals I just try and provide the best care and the best lives they can absolutely have. It’s not about the money. I know a dog is a dog, a cat is a cat, and a bird is a bird. That’s just the thing though. My animals are not just dogs, cats, or birds. I give them all the love and compassion I can, and yes I’ve spent a ton on their veterinary care, but you know what? I would do it again. The love and compassion and financial resources I give and gave them is nothing compared to what they have given me. Animals, at least my animals, teach me compassion, kindness, understanding, and patience. There’s not a human being on this planet that could teach me what they have taught me (to be fair, I’m more likely to listen to an animal:-). The one thing about Sascha that I miss at this moment is how that dog would just stare at me with those big brown eyes. Her joys in life were to have a toy in her mouth, and to be around and watching me. For all of my flaws and imperfections, that dog adored me. How could I not use every resource I could to provide the best life I could for her.
This post was supposed to be about Sascha and my appreciation for all of her veterinarians. It still is. Words don’t do justice to how I feel on the inside about the care that all of Sascha’s veterinarians gave her. I know Sascha will not forget you, and neither will I. Thank you!