Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our vet

Yesterday I took Choco in to the vet's to get rabies shots, have a filaria blood test done, ask about micro-chips and make a reservation to have her boarded while Tetsu and I are in the States next month.

I really love my vet, but I didn't think to get a picture of him yesterday. Rats. And I probably won't go back until we board Choco so I've only got this old picture of him with our old dog Shoko. Oh well. Here's what he looks like. He is the older man. The younger assistant has gone on to have his own private veterinary hospital in another city.

I have changed doctors and dentists a few times since I've lived in this area (over 20 years) but Dr. Yabe has been our vet ever since we first picked Shoko up off the streets. He and his wife own a small veterinarian hospital (she is also a vet) and I think Mrs. Yabe's father owned the hospital before them. This is quite common in Japan with all sorts of businesses and services. The doctor's, dentist's, vet's offices will all be privately owned and passed down to a son or daughter or family member. Interesting because I don't think that is so common in the States and besides most of the vet offices I have known in the States are joint offices with 4 or 5 vets working out of one hospital.

Anyway, I guess you could say I trust Yabe-sensei more than I trust a lot of the doctors I've been to and this may be because he isn't so rushed for time. Another factor is that I have let him see me in the pits of despair as well as the high times. I can tell him funny stories about my animals, ask him serious questions about how to get Choco to desist in some of her maddening attitude problems and sob out my heart to him when we discuss euthanasia or the nearing of the end of life for one of my furry family members. Yabe-sensei called me in the evenings after hours to see how Lemi was doing during her last days in February and he has always been understanding and supportive of my American ideas and differences about keeping animals.

Years ago one summer when I was in the States, my mother's cat suddenly died. When we noticed something wrong, of course we took her to the vet, but while there overnight the cat passed on. Two days later my mother received a sympathy letter from the vet which was so comforting. When I returned to Japan and took one of my animals in to Yabe-sensei, I related this story and he was struck by the care of this American vet and the necessity of the sympathy letter for overcoming pet loss.

Since that time, nearly 15 years ago, Yabe-sensei has mailed out many sympathy letters to his patients' owners (I have received two. Shoko and Lemi) and he often thanks me for teaching him a very important lesson.

And here is Choco on her favorite spot. ON TOP of Tetsu. Choco is not allowed on the sofa but she and Tetsu seem to think that if she is on top of Tetsu then that is not officially the sofa. That's a heavy dog but Tetsu seems to like the position too.


artfilstitch said...

Choco looks so at peace with Tetsu. Glad you have a wonderful Vet. It puts our minds at ease when our little doggies are in competent hands. I am thankful that God sent us two little Bichons that needed a good home. They are our children...
Hope your day is going well!

bethany said...

Tanya, reading your blog gives me so much joy. I love your sensibility about things and your writing always conveys so much. And I love that you make me giggle - that photo of Tetsu and Choco is a riot. I've been reading for awhile (checking your blog is a daily treat for me), but have only recently gotten the courage to write! Thank you.

Marilyn R said...

How funny! Our dog liked to lay on top of whoever was laying down on the sofa and take a nap too! She sure was nice and warm during the cold winters.

Katie said...

such wonderful vets. What joys our animal friends give us. Choco is a gem.

Jane said...

Unconditional love takes a long time to get heavy.
Sometimes cramp or pins and needles forces a move, but it is a wonderful comforting thing.

meggie said...

Tanya, another lovely post! How I laughed when I saw Tetsu under Choco! Aren't these men funny about their animals? Gom is so besotted with Leo he cried when he first was told he couldnt have him on his knee. They go outside onto the sunlounger, & I pretend I don't see!