"Where is she?" asked the widow.
"Can we see her?" asked the daughter.
I continued, "The present owner cannot keep her, so if you like her, she is yours to keep forever."
The daughter wrung her hands. "Can we see her, Dr. Miller? Where is she?"
I led them into the kennel room, and still keeping them in suspense and ignoring the barrage of questions they fired at me,
I reached deliberately into a cage. Turning around, I deposited the enormous -eared, loose-skinned, tricolored puppy into
the daughter's arms.
I wasn't prepared for the reaction. Happy smiles gave way to tears. Mother and daughter hugged each other and the puppy, and
they cried. I heard and saw simultaneous joy and sorrow, both expressed in tears. Soon I too had tears streaming down my face.
The puppy, in gratitude, was named Roberta and, of course, lived happily ever after.
Every veterinarian has known moments like this one. I went home that evening feeling satisfied with the world, with my profession,
and with myself. Good moments like that one more than compensate for the many bad moments we inevitably face in life.
Robert M. Miller, DVM, is an author and a cartoonist, speaker, and Veterinary Medicine Practitioner Advisory Board member from Thousand Oaks, Calif. His thoughts in "Mind Over Miller" are drawn from 32 years as
a mixed-animal practitioner. Visit his Web site at