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Barbara’s smile….

I miss Barbara…..

This morning, it just hit me how much I miss her. I still remember the last time I saw her at her office. I was in the lobby, and I saw her coming towards us, Maia and me, a huge smile on her face.  There are smiles and smiles; this one was in her eyes as well. Last time I saw her alive. She was supposed to come for dinner a few days later. She never made it.

Today, I know she would be the only one to get me. We were not clones, but very similar when it was regarding our pets. I forgot to mention that she was the dermatologist for my mutts first, then later on, she became a friend.

I remember one time; we were talking in her office and crying our hearts out while she was telling me that one of her beloved dogs was put to sleep. Her husband came in and had a look of panic when he saw tears running down our cheeks, and she said: “I was talking about “his” passing.” The look on his face was precious even through my tears like trying to find any possible exit from a place where he did not want to be, like if we were aliens.  He was not much into dogs, he was just married to a dogs person….. I realized that after Barb left us.

It’s just moments I remember with Barb, always linked to our beloved four legged buddies! One time, one of hers escaped and she took her bicycle and went through her neighborhood screaming his name, and concluded that the neighbors must have thought she was crazy, like she cared….. And her husband replied: “Don’t worry, they already knew you are crazy.”

She got me, and I got her, and today she would have understood my sadness mixed with love, and laughter. Three months ago today, on a Tuesday, George was put to sleep, and sometimes like this morning, I swear the darn dog is still around. While I was giving the mutts their vitamins, I realized I took one too many and I could almost see George jumping on the counter to get his. He was always the last one to get it because he knew that he was going to get more cream cheese….. I think about all the walks we did not take, all the bumpers I did not throw…. I also wonder if he did not know in his own way that he was not going to be around that long, and that’s why he was so clingy. He never missed an occasion of sitting on my lap, or greeting me with his big smile. Did he know something I did not?

Today is also Maia’s birthday, and we celebrated it with a long walk along the canal with her girlfriend Lola. It was such a lovely and warm morning that they were allowed to go swimming in the canal. Maia has always been more of a follower regarding water, but still, they had fun, and of course, the last dip that Lola took was in the mud, so I went back to the truck with black and chocolate labs!

So, yes it is a bitter sweet day. Tonight, it will be roasted chicken night for Maia’s birthday as well as like every 4th of every month to remember George and his favorite dish. Most people would shake their heads thinking there is something wrong with me. That’s why I miss Barb today. She is probably the only one who did not need words to make me feel understood.

Barb was also the only one that I trusted 100 % for anything related to animals. Yes, she was a vet, but as a dogs Mom, she had taken before all the decisions that I took or will take, and her opinions were free of the dollar sign. She just did not care. She always wanted to do what was the best for them, not for her or for me, and I followed her path, because it was mine as well.

She had a way with animals that no other vets I met ever had or even were close to. She was treating them as living beings, it did not matter for her that they had four legs and a tail! There was no inferiority or superiority, just differences… I never have heard her doing puppy talk or kitty talk with them.

My last vivid vision of her is in her exam room with Maia. She was talking to me and Maia must have felt neglected because suddenly she lifted her paw to grab Barb’s arm and attention. The smile she had at that minute was one I put in a box, and I will always open the box carefully, in order not to let it escape: it was a moving smile made of love, care, fondness, tenderness with a tiny bit of surprise.

Today, I greedily open Barb’s smile box to warm up my day. It was the only medication that helped me going through the day.

Dominique

 

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One Response to “Barbara’s smile….”

  1. Ric says:

    ON a morning when I havent been feeling up to snuff lately and mortality seems to find a way to just hang around, your reminiscence reminds me of life’s grace and the need to not forget it, because someone close to us will remember and you want them to remember the best. Thank you!

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