Archive for April, 2012

Motherhood

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Sweet baby Kellini

I have eight daughters.

Yes, you read that correctly—eight daughters.  They entered my life in non-traditional ways.

The first one, Kellini, came very easily in April of 1992.  Only forty-six hours of hard labor.  That’s the span of time between the phone call we received from the obstetrician an hour after he delivered her, and the minute I first held her in the adoption attorney’s parking garage.

The first forty hours after notification, her dad and I tried not to get too excited.  We’d been down the road before with babies who had been promised to us, but never delivered.

We had a nursery filled with new furniture that we’d purchased when I’d convinced myself (and almost convinced Allen) that the woman we talked to during a freak snow storm in October 1991, was going to give us the twins she was carrying.

Twenty years ago, when Kellini came into our lives, adoption was very different than it is now.  Consider that statement to be my assumption because I haven’t been part of anyone’s adoption journey for the last thirteen years.   One thing is certain; there was no internet, no email, and no Facebook available to us.

Back then, we told everyone we knew that we were looking to adopt a baby.  Allen worked at a hospital and diligently networked with the doctors there.  Not only did we advertise in the Omaha World-Herald, but also in strategic newspapers nationwide.  I tried to write a clever ad that would tug at a pregnant woman’s heartstrings.  It started something like “Teddy Bear wallpaper lines the nursery, but the crib is empty…”

It didn’t seem cheesy at the time.  The ad was one of three columns of similar appeals in our local newspaper.  Every Sunday, the classified page started with column after column of notices from couples looking to adopt.

Do You Want Fries With That?

We even worked up the nerve to pull aside the pregnant teenager who cashiered for us at a fast food restaurant.  Based on the evidence—no wedding ring, her distressed look—we took a calculated risk that we wouldn’t get tossed out the door by the police.

Sure, it was a hopeful act of two desperate people.  We convinced ourselves it was in the baby’s best interest.  Many people do crazy things in the name of love.

I’ll never forget the conversation.  The teen was amazingly open with us, telling us that she had considered giving up her child for adoption.  Until her brother was murdered the previous month.  Swallowing hard, she said she couldn’t give up her parents’ first grandchild after they had just lost their own son.

Even as I write this, I can still see the pain and grief on the woman’s face.  The burden of her loss and her decision to keep a baby she was unprepared to raise was apparent in her slumped shoulders.

Allen and I NEVER again stalked a pregnant woman. And we never gave up hope we would eventually become parents.

My Baby Hope Chest

Some of you might remember a time when girls received cedar-lined hope chests upon high school graduation.  My mother had one.  The idea was simple.  A young woman would place family heirlooms along with bargain household goods she might buy to use in her first apartment.  I inherited my grandmother’s cedar chest and stuffed it with linens and dishes—just in case I moved out before marriage.

The nursery became my baby hope chest.  Some of the dresser drawers held cute, unisex outfits I’d collected in the ten months we’d been searching for a child to adopt.

I’d picked up a tiny T-shirt on a weekend adventure with my two girlfriends to San Diego.  It was primary blue with a dolphin on the front.  Appropriate for a girl or a boy.  That same weekend, my friends and I visited Psychic Melinda who had an office across the street from the restaurant where we dined.  She charged me twenty dollars and told me I’d never have a child.  I paid an extra twenty buck to argue the point with her.

That’s when I bought the dolphin T-shirt.

Occasionally, I’d run across a sale on baby paraphernalia and I’d pick up a bib, blanket, or a sleeper.  I washed them and arranged them in the drawer in preparation.  I KNEW I’d be a mother someday, some way.

Allen tried to dissuade me from getting too far ahead of myself.  I don’t know if he thought it would jinx us or whether he didn’t want to see the day when I’d become discouraged by looking at the loot in my “baby hope chest.”

Finally…

The call did come and it was from a reputable source—a doctor.  He said the birth mother would contact an adoption attorney who would notify Allen.  The steps proceeded as planned.

We meet Kellini in Larry Batt's office

Kellini was born on a Tuesday.  The birth mother wanted to meet with us at the attorney’s office on Thursday morning.  If she approved of us, we could have a baby sleeping in our home on Thursday evening.

The possibility was as scary as it was exhilarating.

What if the young birth mother didn’t like us?  Conceivably, she could march out of the attorney’s office, return to the hospital to collect her baby, and we’d never hear from her again.

The meeting with Kellini’s birth mom went well, albeit there were many emotional and strained moments.  We felt confident enough that she would sign the papers relinquishing custody that we dashed to the store to buy a car seat, a battery-powered baby swing, and bumper pads for the crib.  (I said it was a different era.)

As nervous, expectant parents, we also purchased a high chair.  (Don’t roll your eyes.  We didn’t know any better.)

Neither Allen nor I had an appetite as we ordered lunch at the Flakey Jakes (now Fuddruckers) next to the USA Baby store.   A cooler head prevailed as Allen refused my appeals for him to call the attorney, Larry Batt, to see if the mother signed the papers.

An eternity passed before the call came from Mr. Batt.  We had many papers to sign at his downtown office before he would leave us to pick up Kellini from the hospital.

Grammy was surprised

During his absence, we phoned our employers to notify them.  We called my mom and asked if we could drop by her house later to visit.  We surprised her with Kellini at the door.  She cried.  We phoned Allen’s parents from my mom’s house.  His mom cried, too.

A Friend’s Wisdom

My daughters came to me in non-traditional ways—through adoption and by marriage.  I believe most mothers would tell you the mother-child bond grows in the heart, not in the womb.

I worked with Paula Hansen for five years before I left the corporate world to become a full-time mother upon Kellini’s birth.   Paula is one of those perfect friends.  She’s warm, funny, compassionate, and wise.  She’s one of those eternal friends I’m blessed to have.  Even if we haven’t seen each other for years, we can pick up a conversation as though we had started it yesterday.

For a while, Paula and I swapped updates on our struggles with infertility.  We cheered each other on as only women will do.  She dropped out of the race when she and her husband became pregnant.  Upon returning from maternity leave, Paula shared with me a profound truth.  In a hushed voice, as if telling a secret, she explained that falling in love with your child doesn’t happen all at once; it’s a process.

My maternal love started with a desire to be a parent when I married for the first time in my twenties.  That desire didn’t end with my divorce three years later.  On the contrary, the yearning grew until at age thirty-two and still single, I discussed artificial insemination with my OB/GYN.  I dumped the doctor after he advised me to lose fifteen pounds, find a husband, and go about parenthood the natural way.

I took a practice run at motherhood when I adopted my dog, Tavi.  As many young people do, I called her my baby.  Even shared my angst with my colleagues at a Department Managers’ meeting the day Tavi was in surgery to be spayed.  Unprovoked by me, that story got recorded in the meeting minutes as the entry, “We wish the best for Terry’s daughter after her recent surgery.”  I thought it was funny until the company President pulled me aside to offer his condolences.

At the risk of alienating my dog-loving friends, I have to confess.  Owning a dog is NOTHING like being a mother.  Believe me when I say I never cried when Tavi got her rabies shot.  Yet, the first time the pediatrician poked Kellini’s chubby thigh with a needle, her cries stabbed straight through to my heart.

HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY, KELLINI. I LOVE YOU.

To Be Continued…

In future essays, I’ll explain how our other daughter, McKenna, came to Allen and me.  That was a bumpier labor and delivery, but then don’t all babies come to their families in their own, unique ways?

I’ll explain how my six step-daughters came into my life.  Full-grown, lovely, and competent women, my love for them continues to grow.  The love is not based on biology nor was it built during their childhoods.  Nevertheless, my love for them is a cherished part of me.  It nourishes and enhances the love I have for their father, my husband, Alden Lee.

Time Travel

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

From the time my teacher read us Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, I’ve been spellbound by the concept of time travel.  Not only did my eleven-year-old self find the idea enticing, I wanted to do it.  Every day.  Then.  Now.  And forever.

H.G. Wells’ book The Time Machine introduced a possible means.   How cool would it be to climb into a machine, select a specific moment in time, pull a lever, and—whoosh—arrive there in the beat of a hummingbird’s wing?

Revisit the past or zoom ahead in time?

In childhood, I sometimes imagined my sandals slapping against a well-worn path in the jungle as I carried water to our family’s hut in seventeenth century Cameroon.   (I never set limits for time or place in my day dreams.)  Other times, I’d be suctioned along tunnels through space to planets in other galaxies.  These future cities were filled with glass skyscrapers ringed by metal landing ports for personal space shuttles.

Later, I became addicted to anything written by Rod Serling.  He often fooled with folding time and space in on itself for the plots of his “Twilight Zone” television series.  I remember one simple story where a young brother and sister escaped their bickering parents through the bottom of their modern-day swimming pool.  They resurfaced in a pond one hundred years in the past.  They’d entered a simpler era when collecting enough apples for a pie was the toughest assignment any child faced.

How does time travel work? 

I want to understand it all.  No matter how many books, movies, and discussions I have, I can never pin down answers to important questions.

Back to the Future--1985

If I travel back in time, could I meet my mom when she was a teenager like Marty McFly did in “Back to the Future?”  Could I stay long enough to convince her never to smoke cigarettes?

Could I leave a letter for my future parents?  Could it include a financial tip like one character gives to another in the movie, “Frequency?”  The police officer, played by dreamy Jim Caviezel, instructs his 10-year-old childhood buddy to remember the key word “Yahoo.”

Better that I travel further back to leave a note for my parents urging them to buy Berkshire Hathaway stock when the price per share is less than the cost of a new car.   It’s doable, right?

I’m not the only person fascinated by the topic.  Hollywood has made numerous movie versions of Wells’ story.  My favorite is the 1960 film with Rod Taylor playing the lead.  Running second is 2002’s adaptation starring Guy Pearce, because of his romantic motivation for using the machine.  I didn’t care much for the 1979 version, “Time After Time.” The premise of Jack the Ripper skipping through time to escape capture was too dark.

I liked how Robert Zemeckis changed the traditional mode of transportation to a DeLorean in “Back to the Future.”  I thought 2004’s “Hot Tub Time Machine” took things too far.  That version was crass.  I’d buy a ticket to see the star, John Cusack, read a grocery list, but I wouldn’t recommend this movie.

Why Make the Quantum Leap?

In 1966, there was a short-lived television series called “The Time Tunnel.”  The pilot episode sent the heroes back to April 14, 1912 to try to prevent the sinking of the Titanic.  They failed.  Of course.

Why don’t writers understand plots that use time travel to change catastrophic past events don’t work?  Why do they fail?  Because the audience knows the ending!  If the writer changes an infamous, historical event so the mission succeeds, the audience will heave the book or DVD against a wall.  No hero, no matter how powerful, is going to save Lincoln, JFK, or prevent the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  At least, not in my lifetime.  Unless….???

Somewhere in Time--1980

I especially like movies where a time shift happens in the name of love—like in “Kate and Leopold,” “Somewhere in Time,” “Peggy Sue Got Married,” and “The Lake House.”  What do the poets say?  Love transcends time.  I believe it.

“Groundhog Day” gives its main character all the time he needs to change from an egotistical jerk to a likable hero, deserving of love.  The movie’s writer/director, Harold Ramis, believes Bill Murray’s character is stuck in Punxsutawney between ten and forty years, although if you count (and I’ve tried) February 2 repeats 34 times on screen.  Yet, it would take several years to reach mastery of the piano and befriend all the town residents.  Phil accomplished both feats by the end of the movie.

The Language of Spirit Conference

Leroy Little Bear

In August 2010, I attended a three-day Time Travel conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It was hosted by members of the Navajo Nation.  I went because I wanted to learn how to shuttle through centuries without using a special machine.  I expected to gain insight into the Native culture.  I hoped I’d hear stories of shape shifting, as well.

The 12th Annual International Language of Spirit Conference was amazing in all aspects.  Leroy Little Bear, former director of Native studies at Harvard, facilitated.  The Inner Circle (the speakers) was comprised of over two dozen Native American elders, theoretical physicists, and linguists.  They engaged in deep dialogue about many underlying principles of Time, not from an adversarial point of view, but out of mutual respect.

I joined over seventy other meeting participants in the Outer Circle.  Our role was to listen and learn.  Over the three-day conference, less than six members of the Outer Circle were invited to ask a question. Their participation was restricted to a special dialogue session.

I’d be lying if I said I understood or remember even half of what the physicists said about Newtonian, relativity, quantum, or string theories as they relate to Time.  I’m probably demonstrating my profound ignorance just trying to explain the scientists’ efforts.

I fared better understanding what the linguists said, since they discussed how the syntax of our grammar still demands beginnings, middles, and ends in our communications and that process significantly influences (limits) our perception of Time.

I learned that for Indigenous societies, bi-location, teleportation, shape shifting, and time travel are not only possible; they were once considered commonplace.  These experiences are sacred in the Native culture, and vivid details of those occurrences are rarely shared.

I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of the conference format.  I’d hoped for a reality show, “tell-all” forum, but only one Native person talked about traveling back in time to a previous life, and how in doing so, she’d relived a harrowing event on the prairie.  She spoke of the incident with profound reverence and gratitude.

Cynthia Sue Larson

A Kindred Spirit

Cynthia Sue Larson, a physicist and intuitive life coach, (also from the Inner Circle) detailed a visit she once had from her future self.  Cynthia is one of the main reasons I had decided to attend the conference.  I’ve been following her work for many years through her newsletter, found at RealityShifters.com.  My discussions with her over breakfast and at breaks were so insightful.  Meeting her made the trip a complete success for me.  It was a great pleasure talking with her.  She is the gentle, down-to-earth, enlightened soul I’ve always imagined she would be.

If only I could truly master time travel, I’d return over and over again to August 2010 to re-experience the three-day Language of Spirit Conference.  I’d listen more intently, each time soaking in more scientific information and more understanding of Native culture.

And I would write down Leroy Little Bear’s jokes.  I could fill an entire blog with his subtle humor.

Let’s Start a Discussion

Tell me –Where and when would you travel in your Time Machine?

Here is Cynthia’s blog about meeting her future self.

http://cynthiasuelarson.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/meeting-my-future-self/

You can learn more about the this year’s Language of Spirit Conference at the following link.

http://www.seedgraduateinstitute.org/

 

Let the chills run through you as you listen to the opening of the “Twilight Zone.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKqNTIsHLp4&feature=related

Does Your But Look Big?

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

I’m a writer, so it’s no surprise that I love words. I love long words like “onomatopoeia.” Short words like “we.” Active words like “scamper.” Passive words—well, they are sometimes necessary in writing, but they’re not my favorites. I do like the word “is” and sometimes I use it too much. I love concrete nouns like “toddler.” And active verbs like “whispered.”

Even saying “whisper” is fun. Try it. Now. Go ahead.

I’m waiting. Say it out loud, but not too loud. Whisper it. “Whisper.” It’s soft and airy. I dare that word to be anything but gentle.

The Spelling Bee

Spellbinding

I used to be a great speller. Consistently, I was one of the top two students left standing in Mrs. Cudley’s fifth grade spelling bee. Steven Stiles was my keen opponent. I even learned to spell “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” just in case the teacher pitched it to us as a tie-breaker.

You stopped reading at Mrs. Cudley’s name, didn’t you? I swear that was my teacher’s name. She was a hoot. She’d prop her hip on a student’s desk and tell us the most hilarious stories. Fifth-grade humor isn’t easy for an adult to master, but Mrs. Cudley was an expert. Yep, she was funny AND she knew how to build volcanoes that really erupted. No wonder Mrs. Cudley was everyone’s favorite teacher. Did you notice how much I love typing Mrs. Cudley’s name and it’s even more fun to shout. From the back of the room. While waving an eager hand in the air. Stiff-armed.  Which I often did.

I say I used to be a great speller because my brain mutinied when I began studying Spanish in the eighth grade. So many Spanish words are similar to their English counterparts and sometimes I’m confused—for a moment—on which language I’m using and which spelling is correct.

Take the word, commence—English for “to begin.” In Spanish, the word is “comenzar.” To say “she begins her class at 8” in Spanish is “Comence la clase a las ocho .”

See what I mean about the confusion? Commence and comence? Even as I typed that last phrase, spellcheck corrected commence. Drat! It did it again!

I don’t usually curse spellcheck because it helps more often than it frustrates me, but honestly, couldn’t it just once give up correcting me when I string together more than three words it doesn’t understand? I’m writing Spanish, for Pedro’s sake. Don’t you see? Instead, I get the red squiggly lines under the Spanish words.

Red—the editor’s stop sign. Red—it always means “You’re WRONG. STOP. FIX THIS.”

This takes me to a topic that might be interesting to people who don’t manipulate words for a living. You people who don’t have multiple characters living in your heads.

I’m talking about the overuse of the word “but.”

I deliberately used “but” several times in the initial paragraphs.  Did you notice?  It’s a necessary word to link contradictory clauses in a sentence. Too heavy for the non-word-nerds?

I’ll break it down.

Take the statement I used above when I asked you to repeat “Whisper.” I wrote, “Say it out loud, but not too loud.” It’s a pretty benign statement, right? “But” is part of the instructions. However, you probably didn’t feel pushed around or insulted by the “but.”

Who caught the fact I used “however” as a synonym for “but?”

In space, no one can hear you scream

How about this statement muttered in horror movies? “Scream all you want, but no one will hear you.”

Ooh, I just shivered. But not as much as I shuddered the first time I heard this line from a popular movie, “In space, no one can hear you scream.”

In the first movie line example, the word “but” weakens the fear factor.

Watch your but…

The word “but” can get you into a lot of trouble if you’re not careful. I’m thinking of the scene where the poor husband is caught off-guard by his wife returning from the hair salon. When pressed, he answers, “Sure, I like your new hair color, but it’s a little too orange.”

Seriously? Does the man really think his wife won’t be insulted? The “but” used here negates his comment about liking the hair color in the first place. She’s not stupid and he won’t get away with that attempt to soften his comment. Because he used the word “but.”

What if he said instead, “Hmm, your hair is the same shade as my basketball and you know how much I love shooting hoops with the guys. In fact, that’s where I’m headed now.”

He might get away with it.

Try on this statement, “Daisy is a good girl, but she’s such a tramp.”

See the contradiction? Can Daisy really be both? The “but” totally reverses the first clause. Better just to call a tramp a tramp and be done with it.

Parental Guidance

Parents sound very wishy washy when they pepper their statements with “buts.” Like when the mother says, “Of course you can go to the mall with Tiffany, but only after you clean your room.” Her teenager shot out the door right after she heard the first two words.

It’s better when the mother takes control of the situation from the outset. No “buts” about it. She should say, “Clean your room first.” Teenagers only listen to the first few words their parents speak. Make them count.

And while we’re on the subject of teenagers, you should know that they have their own version of “but.” It’s the phrase “I’m just sayin’.” It sounds like this, “Sure, I like your hair. I’m just sayin’ it’s a little too orange.” Most of the time, the phrase “I’m just sayin’” is accompanied with a hand held up in the air to stop any sass back.

“In my opinion” and “just so you know” are interchangeable phrases for “but,” “however,” and “I’m just sayin’.”

You can use the word “but” and any of its synonyms anytime you want, but if I were you, I’d be careful.

Using “but” willy-nilly works; I’m just sayin’, it’s better to say what you mean and mean what you say.

Fill up your intimate conversations with all the “buts” you want, just so you know the consequences.

Try this instead

Imagine all the “buts” you use in conversations have red squiggly lines beneath them. Stop. Examine the comment to see if it’s really what you mean to say. Do you really want to negate the first part of your comment?

Like in the comment, “I really enjoyed your blog, Terry, but I didn’t understand the point you were trying to make.”

Try the word “and” instead. Or make your comments two separate statements. “I like your new hair color. It’s so orange.”

Just like Lucille Ball.

My Dog, Tavi

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Lately, I’ve had the privilege of helping my nephew and niece (Andy and Elizabeth Myers) as they expand their businesses. I’m excited to be their coach because it takes me back to the time when my own business partner, Allen Hager, and I started Right at Home.

At Allen’s suggestion, I’m guiding Andy and Elizabeth through the steps outlined in Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth Revisited. His book was on the best-seller list in the 1990s and the concepts were never truer than they are now. Gerber explains the Entrepreneurial Model for successful business development.

For this week’s assignment, I asked Andy and Elizabeth to look for examples of exceptional customer service. They are to document their experiences to discuss at our next meeting.  Yes, I used to be a corporate trainer.

Back in the day, we called this process “benchmarking.” Since I’ve been entrenched in writing fiction for the last decade, I couldn’t say if this term is still used. (Maybe my corporate training friends could leave a comment below to let me know.)

Aristotle

Because Andy’s and Elizabeth’s businesses relate to using intuition, I often quote Aristotle, the Father of Metaphysics, to illustrate a point. Today’s quote is, “Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion.”

Just the other day, I was reminded of a personal instance of exceptional customer service.

I ran into the veterinarian who cared for my two dogs and two cats for over 17 years. She is Dr. Barbara Teter, co-founder of The Pet Clinic in Omaha, Nebraska. And although my last pet, dog Henry Hager died five years ago, I’ll never forget the extraordinary service I received at Dr. Teter’s office.

I recall several fond memories of The Pet Clinic. The front desk staff had a wonderful way of greeting patients. They called clients by “Mr. or Mrs.” Everyone was pleasant. The office was kept exceptionally clean.  They had free treats for the pets. The technicians were patient and tender with reluctant animals. All this was remarkable enough, but what sealed me to Dr. Teter’s practice forever was the response she had to the emotional call I made letting her know it was time to euthanize my dog, Tavi.

Tavi and me

My Beloved Dog

I adopted Tavi from the animal shelter when she was three months old. She was a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix with some other breed combined that kept her a slim 25-pounds. She was sweet, a little timid, and as fast as a greyhound.

Tavi was the first “unflushable” pet I ever had. Growing up, my brothers and I begged for a dog, but my parents didn’t want long-term pets. So we made do with temporary animals—fish, sea horses, a hamster, and a bird.

I had no clue how to handle a dog, so I read books and employed a trainer to help me. A former Marine, he’d trained German Shepherds for years. His regimented methods seemed harsh, but I used them because I didn’t know any better. (Where was “The Dog Whisperer” when I needed him?)

Tavi and I mastered housebreaking very quickly, which puffed up my confidence.

Until…

I left my fiancé, Allen Hager, in charge of Tavi when I went out of town on business. While he was at work, Tavi ate a couch. Well, only the back side and one corner.

This prompted another visit to the dog trainer. We began kenneling Tavi when we weren’t home until she was older and more settled.

At seven months, we left a calmer Tavi to roam free in the house while we went to dinner. She ate half a sofa cushion. Thankfully, it belonged to the partially eaten sofa. We flipped the cushion over and no one was the wiser until we had a houseful of post-wedding guests and one of them re-flipped the cushion for a more comfortable seat.

Eventually, Tavi settled down to become a wonderful family pet. We adopted dog Henry to join two cats, Calvin and Emily, completing our animal family.

Our daughters Kellini and McKenna came later. The girls adored the pets and our family was complete.

Doesn't Tavi look regal?

Sadly…

When Tavi was fourteen, she developed kidney failure. My marriage was on the rocks and I confided in Tavi more than anyone else. I wasn’t ready to let her “go,” so Dr. Teter taught me how to give Tavi IV infusions to flush her kidneys and keep her hydrated. Allen and I gave Tavi the infusions three times a week. That, along with a special homemade diet of rice, eggs, and hamburger kept her going an additional five months.

But she was suffering. Finally, I came to realize I was being selfish, only prolonging the inevitable. Tavi relied upon me to give her relief and I’d let her down.

I called Dr. Teter. I told her that it “was time.” Told her that I worried because this was going to be the first family member Kellini (age 10) and McKenna (8) were going to lose.

Dr. Teter offered to come to our home, after hours, at the end of her shift, to put Tavi down.

You can imagine my relief not to have to drive my beloved dog to a clinic, walking her through a lobby full of strangers. I knew I’d be a mess of emotions and no doubt I’d break down into sobs in the treatment room. This offer was heaven-sent.

I prepared the girls and myself for the event. On her last day with us, we snuggled with Tavi non-stop. I swear she knew what was going to happen and she showed her gratitude for my decision by playing more with us that day than she had in the several weeks before. She even raced ahead of Henry to chase a squirrel up a tree, giving us a glimpse of times past when she was a puppy.

Too soon, Dr. Teter arrived at 10pm. She explained the procedure. Slowly. Calmly. She didn’t rush us. After we all had said our good-byes, I sat on the couch, cradling Tavi on my lap.  Dr. Teter kneeled by my side to administer the final injection. It was a sad but peaceful end. A private one shared by our family. It was the environment we’d needed to say farewell to our beloved friend.

I’ll be forever grateful to Dr. Barb Teter for the caring she showed and the dignity she allowed us. When it was over, we wrapped Tavi in a special blanket my mother had croqueted and Dr. Teter took Tavi with her.

Over the years, I’ve wondered how many similar house calls Dr. Teter has made. Obviously, she didn’t have to extend herself to us. Certainly, it would have been more comfortable for her to have euthanized Tavi on the examining table in her office. During office hours.  But she’d come to our home and into our hearts with a special gentleness. She’d made Tavi’s transition a loving and humane lesson for our daughters.

For that, I’ll be forever grateful.

And I would never take an animal anywhere else for treatment. Because no vet’s character could be more persuasive than that of Dr. Barb Teter.  No professional could have shown more dedication.  My family and I could not have been treated any better.

Aristotle also said, “A true friend is one soul in two bodies.” If you’ve ever had a dog, you know the deepest meaning of this quotation.

 

Below is the link for Dr. Barb Teter’s practice at The Pet Clinic.  While Dr. Teter will always be my favorite, all the veterinarians there are exceptional.  They’d have to be.  Because they work alongside Dr. Teter.

http://www.myvetonline.com/thepetclinicpc/general-information.html