Those of us who are animal lovers know how quickly our beloved pets become important parts of our lives and members of our families. Seeing pets in pain or afraid is heartbreaking for their human companions, and most pet owners will go to great lengths to make their pets feel more at ease. People whose life work involves working with animals are exactly the same.
When someone makes the decision to work with animals, it’s not for the money. Although a veterinarian can earn a good living for his family, you can be sure that if someone decided to become a vet, it’s because they love animals. The best veterinarians are skilled in not only helping an injured or sick animal, but they’re also adept at helping calm the nerves of worried pet owners.
Sonya Schiff is an animal lover with a big heart. The London woman adopted her dalmatian, Rupert, from The Dogs Trust with the full knowledge that he had been abused. Sonya knew that it would take time for her to earn Rupert’s trust, and it took her a full year to convince the sweet boy to bond with her. Rupert had what Sonya describes as aggression and “serious guarding issues.”
Slowly, Rupert grew to trust Sonya fully, and more and more, he began to rely on her for love and comfort. So deep was Rupert’s need for Sonya that even leaving her side was incredibly difficult for him. There’s just no love as true and strong as the love that a formerly abused dog has for his new human companion. Dogs are pack animals, and they consider their humans to be members of their pack family.
Particularly when a dog has been abused, he will become more attached to the people he trusts. Because of this, Rupert developed separation anxiety and hated leaving Sonya’s side, especially when it came time to take the good boy to the veterinarian.
On a routine vet visit, Sonya was dismayed to discover that Rupert would need surgery. The veterinarian who would be taking care of Rupert was a seasoned vet named Mike Farrell. The problem was that Rupert refused to leave Sonya’s side and became very nervous as Farrell tried to examine him. Sonya had placed a muzzle on Rupert so that he couldn’t harm anyone, but this seemed to make Rupert even more nervous and agitated.
Sonya made a decision that probably wasn’t an easy one to make. She knew that in this state, she couldn’t subject Rupert to the surgery. However, the operation was essential for his health, so an elaborate plan was hatched. Sonya had a brilliant idea.
When Farrell asked Sonya if there was anything she could bring from home that would make Rupert more comfortable, Sonya remembered something that she thought might help. She rushed home, then returned to the vet’s clinic with something Farrell never expected: A large mouse onesie that would fit the veterinarian perfectly.
Farrell could scarcely believe what he was seeing, but as a dedicated animal lover and veterinarian, he was game for whatever would make Rupert more comfortable. Vets are practiced at having to get extra creative when it comes to making animals comfortable and relaxed. It’s impossible to explain to a pet that the strangers at the clinic are well-meaning and are there to help them. For some pets, it takes a little extra effort.
As it turns out, Sonya often lazed around in her mouse onesie at home, and Rupert grew to cherish and love her scent on the onesie. Sonya had the idea that her scent on the suit might override the vet’s scent, thereby making Rupert much more comfortable. This was a great idea because as soon as the vet put the suit on, Rupert instantly relaxed.
They were able to perform the needed operation, and the surgery was a success, thanks to Rupert’s quick-thinking mom.