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Friday, November 20, 2009


twin oaks vet

Drove to Twin Oaks again today to see TarBaby, leave him the shirt I slept in last night and pick up the one he slept on last night. I take him a shirt every day that I slept in the night before, to sleep on if he wants , but primarily to leave with him the scent of home fresh every day. Put that with visiting him every day as my expression that I'm not abandoning him and I feel satisfied I'm helping TarBaby not be so lonesome. It's two weeks now that he's been living in a stainless steel cage.

He doesn't seem severely lonesome. Today, like all other days, he went back to the cage without protest after I held him and walked around talking to him as we do every day. I hold him to the window where he can see trucks go up and down the highway on Twin Oaks Mountain, a neighbor's dog standing in the yard, Norma walking a dog on what looks like a very practical leash made of cloth. It loops through the eyehole at the end around the dog's neck and extends to however many feet you want of leash. TarBaby likes to look up the driveway to the barn entrance where the really big ones go. He saw a horse a couple days ago.

He's getting shots about every day, blood drawn, is handled by the women working there daily, gets his cage changed daily. He's in the room where dogs and cats are on the way to and from the operating table, a room where it's quiet, co-ed. Yesterday and day before a Maine Coon like Caterpillar turned up who had been attacked by a dog. A little dog with big eyes came in today with extensive stitchery after a dog attack. It's the hospital room for intensive care. Most recent word on TarBaby is the test for hyper-thyroid turned out that's not it. The white cell count lowered considerably, but is still way high for good health. I've an idea he is feeling gradually better. His belly is beginning to fill out. They say he is eating well. They feed him well.

They talk to him and hold him, like they do all the ones that come through. The women working there, all of them are there because they love the animals and want to be doing what they can to help them. Nash is a good animal doctor. I've learned over 30 years to trust him absolutely with one of my friends. Nash, himself, is there because he loves the animal kingdom, gave his life unconditionally to caring for four-leggeds in distress and keeping up the health of a whole county's animal population. When it comes to that last day when you look back over your life and ask what you've done that's important, Nash Williams can say he went to work every day.

Every cage in there was occupied by a conscious being regarded as such by the doctors, nurses and aides. After all my experience with health care for humans, I have to say I'd rather be a dog. The devotion everyone working at Twin Oaks has for the patients stands out in relation to hospital or nursing home care. Our pets that go there get special, individual treatment. I have to add that nursing homes are filled way beyond capacity for what they can pay for staff, and a long list of problems they have a vet does not have. But still, I see the four-leggeds embraced lovingly by a nurturing feminine staff. They are overrun there and understaffed as well. The advantage they have is animals are easier to love. They're not fickle like us humans.

I like to carry TarBaby around to the other rooms where cats and dogs are kept, let him look at the others in the hospital. I saw a couple of kittens I'd love to take home. But the 3 big cats would make their lives a hell that would never end. Cat Hell. Bad place to be. I take TarBaby to see each one. He understands the limits of the cage, feels no tension looking at a dog so big it takes 2 cages. It's a peaceable place and everybody is safe. Only the cat that looked like Caterpillar made a growling sound. Maine Coons seem to have a chip on their shoulders where other cats are concerned. TarBaby paid it no mind, like he does Caterpillar.

I feel good about visiting TarBaby every day. I learned from Jr's periodic incarcerations for getting old that a visit in the hospital or the nursing home is tremendously calming for the inmate. I keep TarBaby knowing every day I've not abandoned him. It's less like solitary confinement with the confidence we'll have a contact visit every day. His life spirit was dim when I took him there, and the spirit was dim in his eyes. He was unwell. By now his spirit is back and his eyes are like before. His hair is glossy, he's filling out.

Tuning up TarBaby, tuning up the car. There's some tuning up for me too. Everything has changed. At lunch today with Donna I defined the change as everything is more beautiful. That's it in a few words. Driving Jr's car eases missing him. In my mind it will always be Jr's car. Holding TarBaby, walking him around to see the different sets of eyes looking at him, cat eyes, dog eyes, sometimes human eyes when somebody walked by, I felt comfortable with TarBaby under Nash Williams's umbrella. Everything is in motion toward its own completion.

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