i don't think there is a better vet in the world than ours. uncle d'arcy. he's supposed to be retired....his daughter and son-in-law took over the practice years ago. but he's still there a couple days a week and when we're lucky, he's there. we were lucky this morning.
before this morning's story comes out, i'll tell you a few earlier examples of uncle d'arcy's extraordinary kindness. my first great dane, dora was my everything. i hadn't learned the heartbreak of losing a great dane yet. i was 29 and dora and i had been together since i was 21. when i lived in paris, she was the main purpose for return visits home and finally staying home for good because i couldn't bear the distance between us. on christmas eve, i noticed she was limping. i phoned in the afternoon, but the answering service didn't get the message to the vet until later in the evening. he called immediately and asked if we could bring her in at 8.30 the next morning. christmas morning! remember, it was just a limp. we took her in and he took xrays. and he let us know she must have just slipped on the snow and ice and twisted it. that all was fine. he hugged me and wished me a merry christmas. and then 2 days later on the 27th, phoned the house to talk with my dad to tell him that there was actually a malignant tumor in the bone and he didn't want to ruin my christmas and wanted my father to break it to me. even then, when i was so shocked and sad, i was warmed by his kindness, always thinking of the animals and their humans. dora lived for another 11 months because of the wonderful care and advice he provided.
our next great dane, gala, was as dear to me as dora. she was a bit of a wild child, but her last 8 months she was unable to walk. she had a cart and we got along pretty well. except, that although she was fairly immobile, her stomach twisted. this is often fatal for large barrel chested dogs and great dane owners live in fear of it. i recognized the signs very early. again, i called late in the evening and we were told to bring her right in. the operation lasted four hours as they cleaned food from her stomach, and repaired all the damage. this time it was his son-in-law who worked through the night and then had a full clinic the next day. they let me be at her side constantly the next couple of days. and when she was somewhat stable but refusing to eat, they let me take her home with an iv. we worked for days to find something she would eat. but her kidneys and bowels weren't responding either and the fluid we were giving her through iv was not effective. so, i woke up after a week of doing all we could and knew there was really only one choice. i phoned the clinic, and uncle d'arcy was at our house an hour later (the clinic is half an hour away). he put her quietly to sleep on her own bed in the front living room window.
this morning when we walked in with little crabby, coated with diarhea and smelling disgusting, he understood immediately what we've been dealing with. and in his gentle and professional way examined her and soothed her. and offered wonderful advice. i'd been bathing her every couple days, but it upsets her terribly. and i thought last night was our last one together and wanted to just leave her be. but uncle d'arcy gave us options. she appears otherwise healthy, so he suggested we leave her with him over the weekend. he will give different treatments to see if he can improve her food absorption. and then on monday morning, we will discuss her options. he said he will be brutally honest with us monday morning. once again, approaching a difficult situation with kindness and warmth and making it much better than either tom or i expected it could possibly be.
so thanks to our wonderful uncle d'arcy, crabby may be coming home with us on monday. but if she doesn't, we know that she has had the kindest man trying everything to give her comfort.