The Waiting Room


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The sick, the wounded, the dying and the diseased enter the blue doors of this hospital. This hospital only caters to patients that have four legs and a coat of fur....

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The Waiting Room

  1. 1. The Waiting Room Rena Iglehart The sick, the wounded, the dying and the diseased enter the blue doors of this hospital. This hospital only caters to patients that have four legs and a coat of fur. The Animal Care Hospital of San Marcos, once located on the historic square, recently moved to its present location off of Hunter road a little over two years ago. Nonetheless, the day wasn’t occupied with watching examinations or witnessing surgeries. Instead, we experienced a place that was occupied with impatient patients and restless pets-the waiting room. With only one doctor, two receptionists and a small team of technicians this animal hospital is a lifesaver to many. Although the doctor never came through the doors of the hospital during our visit, his work was highly acclaimed as a client made sure to mention before he exited, “Make sure you let him know he does fine work”
  2. 2. The entrance of the hospital is guarded by a wounded cat sculpted out of a large tree. The large cat was a little under 5 feet tall and stood on a 3 foot wooden pedestal. Its right arm was in a sling, its wire whiskers were tattered and had only one eye. The entrance was pleasantly refreshing, unlike most animal centers and clinics. It didn’t smell like a mixture of animal smells, instead it had a clean calm spring scent with country music playing softly in the background. The walls looked freshly painted and the floors were swept clean of paw prints and shedding fur. A Puppy’s Busy Day, a book, was placed on the waiting room bench along with a bobble head of a strange breed of dog on a side table. Next to the doorframe was a Veterinarian’s Oath, which stated in its first couple of lines to “swear to use scientific knowledge to relieve animal suffering.” On the front desk laid a bowl of Scooby snacks- or dog treats for those who are unfamiliar. The walls were accompanied with pamphlets Osteoarthritis, Lyme disease, rabies and even pet insurance.
  3. 3. The examination of the calm environment was soon interrupted by the constant purring of a cat named Maestro. He was suffering from an earache. The personalized carriage was being held by his caring owner who whispered in a childish but calming tone “ You’re ok.” The purrs ceased. As Maestro was being attended to, Karen, the receptionist spoke of her experience at the clinic. She said they get animals that are in need of simple check- ups to animals that suffer from car accidents, broken legs and respiratory problems. She also spoke of time when she was squatting down in the hallway gathering supplies when a full sized German Sheppard pounced on her back. The attacked caused her to fall on her tail bone- leaving her with a back injury. Although she admits she doesn’t like German Sheppard’s as much, she “loves her job” and wouldn’t give up it up. As her intriguing story came to a close the door opened with a new patient, a very new patient. So new that the small 4 week old Piebot Dotson didn’t even have a name.
  4. 4. The owner was gleaming as she entered the clinic with the less than 4 pound puppy. All eyes were on him. Everyone decided to pitch into naming the small puppy with names like “Oreo” and “polka dot”, but the owner was too absorbed in the bundle of joy to take any suggestions. As the puppy was being introduced to his first exam, a small family of two young girls and a father came in with a black and tan Chihuahua. The youngest daughter entered with hesitation. She noticed a “ really big dog” coming behind her and moved behind her father. That really big dog was an Argentinean dogo. She was white, with low eyes and a back hind foot that was red, swollen and missing a layer of skin. For such an intimidating dog, Sugar, was as sweet as can be. Simply calm and curious. After asking what had happened, the owner replied in a rugged Texan accent “Her leg got chewed up by a hog.” Sugar had survived an attack by an animal that could kill a human.
  5. 5. Although the owner had only had her for six months, Sugar had been dealing with the wound for over a year. She was given three bottles of medication totaling ninety-six dollars. Her owner said he would pay anything to keep from having to put her down. As the owner paid, Sugar rested and gently placed her foot away from her body. She walked out the door with a few hops but with a run of resilience. As Sugar left our sight, the unnamed newborn appeared, shaking from the cool breeze of the air conditioner. The young owner wore an expression of worry as she hoped her husband would approve of keeping the new addition. Our last encounter was with a 13-pound cat named Spanky. After asking if this was her first time here, the 15 year owner of animals, said “Oooo no, we just found out he was diabetic.” With the impression that Spanky was a frequent visitor, Spanky was soon lifted by one of the technicians who responded with ” O my goodness, you’re heavy.” When Spanky came back his weight was being discussed as he has always had a little weight problem. Spanky calmly sat in his cage as people came in and came
  6. 6. out of the clinic. Perhaps he had gotten use to the place and figured it was just another visit to the doctor. As the afternoon came to a close it was obvious many animals come in and out of those doors. Some leave for good as others are bound to return.