“Dr. Bakare, good morning, please can I see Petra?” Those dreaded words changed my morning.
Petra’s human was a first time dog owner. She bought the puppy without even knowing it’s breed let alone how to take care of her. What she lacked in knowledge though she more than made up for in zeal and love.
So when she came to us with a 6-week old puppy (whom she named Petra) we spent a great deal of time educating and explaining dog care to her. Her love and devotion to Petra was admirable. She would bring Petra to the clinic before we even reminded her of vaccinations and deworming appointments
It was therefore an unhappy day when she brought Petra to the clinic with complaints of diarrhoea. Based on Petra’s age and the fact that her DHLPP vaccinations weren’t completed we were immediately wary and tested for Parvovirus (a fatal viral disease seen most often in young and unvaccinated puppies). Fortunately and to our utmost joy, she tested negative. We initiated supportive therapy while awaiting results of other tests.
Two mornings later I arrived at the clinic to discover that we had lost Petra during the night. I was extremely sad. As I was about to call Petra’s human to update her about her puppy, she arrived. I must admit that moment is still one of my worst moments in veterinary practice.
She asked to see Petra and I gave her the grave news. I was not prepared for what happened next. She started wailing hysterically and screaming, “No, no, no, not my Petra!” I tried to console her but she was inconsolable. “Petra how can you do this to me?” she lamented.
After a few minutes she asked to see Petra and I obliged her. On sighting Petra, she collapsed, weeping profusely. Her wails were so loud that our neighbours ran into the clinic alarmed. I have never seen a client mourn the loss of her dog like she did that day. We consoled her till her wails became sobs.
Much later she gave me a call and asked me to kindly send her pictures of Petra that I had taken previously. I was so glad to and I did.
Petra’s human might not have known much about dogs but one thing was certain, Petra was loved!