Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Barbara Memories

The nurses at the rehab facility where Barbara spent her last three months told us that many pet-owners, telephoning Barbara, would first tell the nurses wonderful stories about what she had done for their little Fluffy or Snookie. Barbara herself had so many stories about her work as a veterinarian that she could have written a book, like one of those by Dr. James Herriott.

Some of my favorites can't really be published here, but at least two little vignettes can.

Once, a woman brought Barbara a parrot in a box. When Barbara opened the box, the bird shrieked, "Help, help!" and when she took it out, it looked up at her (all six feet, four inches of her) and exclaimed, "Oh, Lordie!"

Another time a motorcylcist came in wearing typical bikers' attire: tattoos, boots, bandanna, black belt with big, shiny buckle. Out of his big leather jacket he pulled a tiny, orange kitten. He set it down on the examining table and said, "Ma'am, this here's Brutus."

Six months later, he was back with Brutus. "It's time," the biker announced.

"Time?" asked Barbara.


There was a short silence before he added, "You know. He's six months old now."

"Oh!" said the doctor. "Yes. You just leave Brutus here with me, pick him up in the morning, and afterward, he'll be a much better house cat."

* * *

A woman who worked at the vet clinic told me, at the funeral, that once when she had gone to visit Barbara at the rehab center, she found a nurses' aide, "who couldn't have been more than about 20 years old," had crawled into the bed beside Barbara and was crying her eyes out. "And Barbara was patting her on the back, comforting her!"




DebD said...

What lovely memories. I hope you'll share more soon.