Open Letter to the Dog Owner at Portland’s Emergency Vet at Four in the Morning
Dear Dog Owner...this happened almost two years ago and I am still haunted by that night.
It was around 4 on the morning of Sunday, July 4th, 2021. Yes. A holiday early in the morning and we were both at the Portland Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Care on Warren Avenue in Portland. I was there because my dog Casco had a UTI. Not a true emergency, but heading into a holiday I knew she needed medication and couldn't wait. As with people in emergency rooms, this was a busy night, and waiting was on the agenda. I knew that going in and was fine with it.
But as I was waiting for Casco to come out with her antibiotics, you pulled in. It was pouring rain, early in the morning. I could see you in my rearview mirror as I waited and played games on my phone. My heart sank as I saw a stretcher being brought out to bring your dog in.
Because of Covid, no one was allowed in. There was an awning and we all had to wear masks, even outside under the awning. That's where we met. You were standing, obviously scared...your glasses were fogged up from the crappy weather and your mask. I said something meekly like, 'I hope your dog is okay.'
You said that you hoped so too, but that their back legs weren't working. You were hoping it was a pinched nerve. You started to cry. I started to cry and rub your arm. Hell, I didn't know if you wanted me to, but I didn't know what else to do to comfort you. I don't even know your name. At that moment, I wanted to hug you and tell you that your dog was gonna be just fine. Right then, Casco came out and I had to go.
But I haven't stopped thinking about you and your dog. I haven't stopped wondering if they are okay. If it was just a pinched nerve, or God forbid, something else. It still haunts me almost two years later.
I got home around 5 in the morning and when I woke up I balled my eyes out for you. Hell, even writing you this letter makes me tear up. I wished I had done more for you. If anyone knows who this is, can you let me know how they are and their dog? He was about 5'9", medium build, I would guess in his late 20's early 30's, glasses with short brown hair. Their dog looked to be a big dog, maybe even part Bernese Mountain Dog...but I could be making that part up in my head. I just remember the dog lifting its head and looking back...
Also, a side note to the people at PVEC who worked that night and every night who took such good care of Casco and all the other furry emergencies - thank you. That is not an easy job, and you all were wonderful. Thank you for taking such good care of our animals.