Sep
15
2012

Hello AAHA members, and welcome to my blog. Over the next several months I will share the “happenings” of my year as AAHA president.

I travel a lot for AAHA and am on the road anywhere from 10 to 20 days every month. Now that I’ve been doing this for almost two years, I’m starting to feel like the George Clooney character in the movie, “Up in The Air”…not a million-miler yet, but getting close.

During my travels I always wear shirts with the AAHA logo. It’s amazing how many discussions about veterinary medicine I have on planes when flight attendants or passengers find out I am a veterinarian. I’m proud of our organization and love to spread the word!

One of these chance encounters ended up leading to some wonderful unintended consequences. I engaged in a conversation with a flight attendant who proceeded to tell me about her very old cat that was in the last stages of kidney failure. Everything that could and should have been done for this cat had been done. It was truly the end of the road and decisions had to be made. This kitty meant everything to her and she was unable to make the decision to euthanize him, even though he no longer had a good quality of life. We talked for about ten minutes, discussing why the decision needed to be made and how it was tough but it was the kindest thing she could do for her beloved kitty. She thanked me and asked for my card and said she would be in touch. She was visibly upset but seemed more at ease.

One week later, she called to thank me for helping her through a most difficult time. She did euthanize her kitty and told me how our talk helped put everything in perspective and how grateful she was for my help.

About two weeks after that, I received a phone call from the flight attendant’s sister who told me how distraught her sister had been during this ordeal. She had been quite worried about the physical and mental effects this was having on her. She said that after our talk, her sister had the strength to do what needed to be done, and her attitude changed for the better. She told me I would never completely understand what a positive difference I had made for her and her sister.

What I did was nothing special, nothing that any other veterinarian would not have done. At the time, I never contemplated how a little act of kindness could change a life so significantly. I have never seen her since (I hope we will cross paths on another of my many flights), but she emails me periodically to happily update me on what is happening with the two new shelter kittens she adopted.

Life is good!

I look forward to sharing more tales of my days as AAHA president with you as time goes on, and hope you enjoy reading them!

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About this Blog

Red is your guide to everything AAHA. Whether you’re looking for association news, updates on our educational offerings, the latest books from AAHA Press, deals from our Preferred Providers, or fun reads from various AAHA staff and AAHA-member veterinary professionals, this is where you’ll find it.

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