OCHAZUKE: A Day At The Vet


(First published in
The Rafu Shimpo on October 16, 2010.)


Sitting in the waiting room at the veterinarian’s office or any other medical office  really defines the word, “patience.” That’s why when one sits in any doctor’s office waiting room, they are known as patients. Since I did not have an appointment, it was necessary for me to wait from 10:45 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. It was not only the waiting time, but the expenses $$! Thank God, I do receive a senior citizen’s discount!

It is very interesting to observe the owners, as well as the sick animals.

Some come in their shorts and T-shirts, others wear suits and properly dressed, others wear jeans and very casual. Some men and yes, women have large tattoos visible on their legs and arms. One man had a large tattoo on his leg in Japanese which said, “God Is Love.”

I have never seen so many different kinds of dogs, large and small, as I have seen in the waiting room. Owners come in with two dogs, one being small and the other large. Some dogs will bark and bark and sniff every new dog which comes into the room. It truly amazes me that no fight or growling ever occurred at any time I have visited the vet. Cats are meowing in their carriers in such a mournful way that it almost breaks my heart.

It is easy to strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you, because the situation is similar. That is to say, they are here because of a sick pet. I met a lady who lived in Tokyo and speaks Japanese. She and I began speaking Japanese, to the amazement of those sitting nearby. I find that people who have pets and are animal lovers are somewhat more friendlier than those who do not own a pet and/or sit in a waiting room of a doctor’s other than a veterinarian.

The veterinarian came to the waiting room with Tika, my precious cat, in her arms. She told me Tika required medication for the next three to five days, three times daily. When she told me this, I groaned.

Tika is so intelligent she knows that when I take her to the table in the kitchen, it is time for that horrible medicine. She embeds her nails into my arms and shoulders trying to get loose and OUCH, I yell. I try to soothe her by talking softly to her and petting her.

They say, “Animals don’t talk,” but if you ever had or have a pet, you know they do. They respond to love and show their love for you by licking your hand or cheek and/or rubbing against your face, shoulder or legs. They don’t tell you verbally where the pain is, but by touching and feeling the animal, it doesn’t take a veterinarian to know where “it hurts.” Cats and dogs are, in a way, similar to babies. They have a different kind of “cry” when they are contented, sad or in pain. Oh my, this  article was suppose to be a Day at the Vets and I did get carried away. Oh well.

Being a veterinarian must be a fulfilling occupation for anyone who is interested in medicine and/or has a great love for animals.

I am truly grateful for all the wonderful and caring veterinarians I have had for my two previous cats and present cat.

Meow and Amen

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist. She can be reached by e-mail. Ochazuke is a staff-written column. The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.



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