Anyone who knows me knows I cannot bear animal harm in any way, shape or form. If an animal is harmed in a tv show, movie, or book, even though it’s fiction and NOT REAL, I have to immediately turn off the show, leave the theatre, or throw down the book. On Echo, posts that contain descriptions of animal harm are prefaced with NSFS: Not Safe For Stacy.
Which makes what I did yesterday all the more astounding. I’m working at the ASPCA’s Animal Hospital now, and we treat animals who have been harmed (animal cruelty cases being investigated by the NYPD come to us for care) or have had accidents, or are sick and need procedures. I see animals in distress all the time, which has been hard, but I can deal with it because I feel like I’m helping, and every day I’m learning more about how to be a even bigger help to the animals.
But surgery is something I really feared given my temperament. I’m currently being trained to be something like a vet assistant, and I’ll be expected to help to help with surgeries, among other things. I figured the sooner I confront this part of the job to see if I can deal with it the better, so yesterday I asked if I could “shadow” a splenectomy that was about to be performed on a sweet pit bull who’d been in a car accident. “Sure,” they said.
I was fine!! I was so worried that I would cry, or faint, or have an anxiety attack, or throw up, and I never came anywhere near doing any of that. I was uncomfortable for sure, but nothing unmanageable. Even better, the dog’s spleen was fine, and they couldn’t find anything wrong with him internally, so they closed him back up, and he was okay when I left last night. (Please still be okay when I get back.)
Personally, I’m shocked at myself. I never would have predicted this.
The boys. My little shadows. They are still on the small side. I wonder if they will always be small due to being taken away from their mother at birth? (Quick backstory: These are former neonatal kittens that I helped raise and adopted from the ASPCA’s Kitten Nursery.)