Hanging on Every Vet Report About Shaggy

I’ve posted several times about the animal rescue efforts of Eldad Hagar, and most recently about a dog he rescued in South Carolina named Shaggy. Shaggy has a number of health issues and some of them are very serious. Every day she’s had one test or another. Today it’s a CT scan, and the results won’t be back until late today or tomorrow. Shaggy has a mass that could either be a tumor (lung cancer), a granuloma as a result of heartworms, or a hernia. She also has arthritis and other things I can’t remember.

I’ve never even met the dog, but every afternoon I anxiously await the results. I can’t rest until Patty Hall, the woman who adopted Shaggy, posts the latest updates on the Friends of Shaggy Facebook page. I don’t know what I’ll do if she can’t effectively be treated. I can’t imagine how Patty will be. Actually, yes I can.

I once thought being a veterinarian must be one of the greatest jobs in the world. But when I interviewed a vet for my book Waiting For My Cats to Die I realized veterinarians are doctors who eventually see all their patients die. Animals don’t live that long. A doctor who treats humans can reasonably expect that many of his or her patients will live decades and decades, perhaps most outliving the doctor. Every cat or dog who comes through a vet’s door will eventually be brought in for that final treatment. A veterinarian with a long career will eventually see thousands and thousands and thousands of patients die. If you’re like me, and a lot of people are, you pretty much fall in love with all animals on sight. In Shaggy’s case, you don’t even have to get closer than a livestream or a Facebook page for that to happen.

I realize being able to help animals the way veterinarians do must make up for all those thousands of repeated heartbreaks, but still. I’m glad there are people who are strong enough to do this work. Shaggy, please please please be treatable.

Update: It’s the best possible news. The mass they saw is a granuloma, and Shaggy is strong enough to start the heartworm medicine. They can address a bad cough she has, so it looks like all will soon be well for my favorite dog who I’ve never met.

This is looking up Broadway. I took this before heading into Grace Church for choir practice.

Broadway and 10th Street

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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