While seeing patients at Mercer Clinic, I’ve had the privilege to understand peoples’ lives better. We don’t pry, but sometimes the veterinary staff are people that folks just want to share with. I’ve heard stories from the heart-rending to the heartwarming, and sometimes stories that are both at the same time. Pets are always big players in these stories, charming us with their antics, comforting and anchoring as only a companion can, or just soaking up and radiating back a feeling of love that the heart truly needs.
Amidst these touching stories, a term that has really stuck with me is “in transition.” A young man from out of state, eyes touched with just a bit of fear but also filled with a lot of love, describes his concern for his pitbull mix companion. The relocation has been stressful on both of them; they live out of his car as he looks for work and a place to call home. With nothing to his name but his dog and his car, he looks forward to a better day, and describes his situation as: “We’re in transition.” A middle-aged woman, with worry creases on her forehead but also the crinkles of kind, smiling eyes on her cheeks, brings in her sweet chihuahua buddy for vaccine updates and a checkup. Right now, they’re living wherever they can set a tent; but she’s hoping some distant relatives will be able to put them up in a proper home soon. She describes her housing status as “in transition.”
I deeply appreciate the fortitude and hopefulness of that sentiment. Change whirls around us in the world, but there’s a profound strength in the simple act of welcoming tomorrow. To draw close your most faithful friend – four-footed or otherwise – and say, “Here we go, we’re in transition!” – that is a powerful way to live. To refuse to be a victim, to claim a life that is more abundant in joy, to lay hold of every dear and beautiful moment, that is the way to live a life worth living! At Mercer, I’ve seen the way that pets help to empower people to live that way, how they can put our focus back on the goodness of life. The satisfaction of a good stretch, the hilarious thrill of a tennis ball – pets can share with us the boundless joy that’s there waiting in the simple things of life. They can help us stop and appreciate the goodness of living. It is my privilege to work in the field of veterinary medicine, because it is our job to support the health of the human-animal bond, which makes that kind of sharing possible.
My time as Mercer’s webmaster is drawing to a close. As spring progresses, the members of my officer team have been training our replacements for the coming year. This will be my final article as webmaster, and with it comes a mixture of emotions: pride in what my team has accomplished, a touch of sadness at letting go, but also a thrill of hope at seeing the enthusiasm of the incoming team. These are the emotions of being “in transition.” If I’ve learned anything from the pets and clients of Mercer Clinic, I’ve learned that a time of transition is a time of hope. Along with my peers from the current team, I am very proud of the incoming officer team, and looking forward to what they accomplish in the coming year, even as our year of leadership comes to a close. Thank you to my peers and colleagues, to all the donors and grant writers who support us, to all the volunteers, and all our clients and patients. Every one of you plays a part in making Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless one of the most special places in the world, and I wish you all the best blessings in the coming year!
Class of 2021
Webmaster/Historian, Mercer Clinic for the Pets of the Homeless