It’s time for Dr. Jasny’s Almost Annual Labor Day All Creatures Great and Small Awards. Last year September slipped right past me without an Awards column. This year due to space limitation and my aging memory, I probably won’t acknowledge everyone who deserves mention. So for all who feel they aren’t getting fair media coverage, I bestow the “Bernie Sanders What Am I, Chopped Liver” Award. In the related “I’m Not With Her” division for the local animals I don’t know personally because they see other Island veterinarians, pick your own ribbon from a selection including “Make My Animal Great Again,” “The Gary Johnson Not Quite 15 Percent,” and “Jill Who?” awards. To those disgruntled with current political or veterinary choices, there’s a “Write In a Candidate or Off-Island Veterinarian Of Your Choice” ribbon.
Now down to serious business — the Donald Trump Category. “What’s That on Your Head” blue ribbon goes to Miss Sophie, the shih tzu who grew an odd bony protrusion on her forehead. Thankfully the specialists are not concerned about it. We are, however, concerned about really bad public behavior. “Sticks and Stones” ribbons are for pets who sometimes threaten. Happily, their barks (or hisses) are usually worse than their bites. Third place goes to Tigger, Baxter, Aly, Nelson, Barkmulch, Zadie, Henry, and Magic. Second to German shepherd Sophie, Staffordshire terrier Stella, and border collie mix Charlotte, whose owners excel at understanding and handling them. First place to Traveller. This 80-pound malamute could seem scary, but his mom has him well trained, always balancing keeping everyone safe and not overreacting. The “I Don’t Know Anything About David Duke” award goes to Willy, whose owner seemed unaware of his dog’s potentially dangerous aggressive behavior.
“Not Temperamentally Fit to Be Patients” awards for serious aggressiveness toward veterinarians go to three cats: Sophie, Suzette, and Chloe. Although they are lovely and affectionate with their owners, I can’t get near them. Thanks to tranquilizers and Dr. Buck’s bravery, we managed to vaccinate Sophie recently. Chloe gets a special “Throw ’Em Out, Get ’Em Outta Here” ribbon. I tried making a home visit a while back to see if she would accept me better on her own turf, but she literally attacked me and chased me out of the house. Not one of my better moments.
In the Hillary Camp we have “Private Server Telemedicine” Awards for working well with me via text and email. Third-place ribbons to Xochi, Honey, Hansel, and Jaspur. Tied for second are Isaac and Izzy. Isaac’s owner took video that proved her pup’s intermittent lameness was genuine and pronounced. Izzy’s mom texted me photos of worm-laden feces (at my request, so I could identify the parasites). I keep forgetting to delete them from my phone. Ew. First place for his owner’s respectful long-term texting back and forth goes to Cooper, who survived autoimmune thrombocytopenia and now is coping with nasal carcinoma. Honorable mention to Spencer, who always seemed fine in the office, so I asked for a video of the worrisome behavior exhibited at home. The film they sent was almost completely black, so I couldn’t see what Spencer was doing, but it did have useful if nauseating audio of his retching and gurgling. In the “Love, and Apparently Politics, Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry” Division, I send apologies to the owners of Cochise, and Stella. I got a tad testy trying to separate my personal technology from my professional. For others to whom I owe a mea culpa, but whom my fried motherboard has deleted from memory, I’m sorry.
Interrupting politics for a brief visit to Rio, we have “Michael Phelps Go for the Golden” gold medals for a raft of golden retrievers — Moose, Yoda, Cooper, Xochi, Zach, Chillie, Harper, Dory, Casey, Nanuk, Bailey, Kaya, Honey, Jacob, and more. The Olympic Spirit Gold Medal goes posthumously to Hashbrown, who wagged his tail with a loving, happy attitude throughout two weeks of heartrending, debilitating illness. His owner faithfully nursed him until it was clear the only humane course was to say goodbye. He and his mom are champions in my book. The “1,500-Meter Freestyle Blue Ribbon” goes to Chesney, the dog that fell off the ferry and was rescued by passing boaters. The “Ryan Lochte Inappropriate Urination Award” has many contenders. Third to Spot, Sasha, Jilly, and Ziva. Second to Sammy, the intact male dachshund whose mother loves him so much she opted to leave him his family jewels and tolerate his urine-marking behavior. (However, we give the associated “Please Don’t Defund Planned Parenthood” award to all those who do neuter their pets.) I have to give first place to my mother’s new cat Taylor, whose initial penchant for peeing in potted plants and on rugs resulted in my mom calling me multiple times every day for weeks. After all, if your kid’s a veterinarian, she should be able to make your cat stop doing that, right? Even from 200 miles away. Hi, Mom.
I always close these awards by remembering pets who have passed away. Naming this category can be a delicate endeavor, but not today. It has been two years since Robin Williams died. I still miss him. And now Gene Wilder is gone, too. To me, and I say this with the deepest respect, these men embodied all the qualities that also make us love our dogs and cats. They make us laugh. They touch our hearts. They are full of affection, loyalty, playfulness, and innate wisdom. So for all the loved ones lost, we give “Mork and Willy Wonka” awards to Shlomi, Rosie, Simba, Beatrice, Pickett, Ringo, Nacho, Cupcake, Peaches, Kiwi, Skittles, Olive, Henry, Chancy, Cozy, Ricky, Justine, Jazzmin, Jaspur, Jeter, Joey, Chloe, Zoe, Ella, Stella, Lola, Dollie, Ollie, Callie, Yogi, Woody, Warren, Teddie, Sylas, Stanley, George, Georges, Angel, Bigfoot, Slick, Flip, Sammy, Edison, Betty Boop, Kitty Wampus, Beau, Maxx, Fiona, Audi, Zak, Boo, Mina, Phoebe, Hannah, and many more, including Houdini, who taught me how much someone can love even a wee hamster. Nanu, nanu.