Last week, I had the great fortune to take Piper for her annual exam.
I absolutely love our vet. We go to Berry Hill Animal Hospital (BHAH) here in Nashville, TN. When I moved to Nashville, I stumbled in there frantically one morning with no advance planning because my dog, Lola, was chewing herself raw. They graciously took her in, got her fixed up, and that is how I accidentally chose a vet practice.
Dr. Williams owned the practice. A lovely middle-aged woman who was a true fan of her alma mater, Louisiana State University. Her door was painted purple. Dr. Williams was gentle, kind, smart, and really just amazing.
With her, there was Dr. Gansberger - a bit younger woman, equally kind, wonderful, loving, bright - the total package.
Their receptionist, Douglas, knew us on sight. When Dad had his heart attack, I boarded her there every weekend. All the vet techs knew and loved her. After she died, we got a lovely card signed by the whole staff. Dr. Williams made a donation in Lola's memory to the vet school.
When we got Piper, I brought her in for her first exam and cried in Dr. Williams' exam room as I thanked her belatedly for all she had done for Lola, and in advance for all she would do for Piper.
I would see them, in the wild. I saw Dr. G with her daughters at McKay's one Sunday - and didn't bother her, because she deserves her space. I mentioned seeing her there and she said I should have said hello.
I ran into Dr. Williams at the zoo in New Orleans in 2016. She was in town for the LSU-Alabama game, and I was glad she was at that zoo, because if your vet goes to a zoo, you have to think that zoo takes pretty good care of its animals.
Anyway, maybe a year or two ago, Dr. Williams sold her practice to Dr. K, who is very nice. They moved from the janky cinderblock building on 8th Ave S. to a much newer building in a complex a tenth of a mile north. And I didn't have the chance to say goodbye and thank her.
So when she appeared in the exam room last week, I was stunned and thrilled. She is still very much retired, but comes in to cover when Spring Break or whatever necessitates. We had a nice catch-up, I got to hug her and thank her for everything.
Piper is fine - except, she has a little whip worm issue, which she gets from eating dirt - which, yes, she does - as well as food scraps that startled squirrels leave in our yard. So, yeah - she's a garbage gut. I gave her a pill - roughly the size of an acorn - and she gets another in a week, and then we test her again. This is not our first time with whip worm. She can't give it to us, and once she's treated, she'll be 100% - as opposed to the 93% she is now. Can we handle the extra seven percent? Can we?
And look, it's not like I don't like the newer vets and receptionists at the practice - it's just - not quite the same. And when everything around you is changing, it's nice to have some things that are steady and familiar.