It’s time for Dr. Jasny’s Used-to-be-Annual Labor Day All Creatures Great and Small Awards. I last bestowed these prizes in September 2016, but soon thereafter lost my sense of humor — on Nov. 8th, to be exact. If the Obamas are buying property here, however, perhaps it’s time to say Yes, We Can Make Jokes Again. But first, the Hillary Clinton What the Hell Happened Award for unexpected turns of events that really weren’t humorous. The blue ribbon goes posthumously to Twig, a majestic 15-year-old cat who, after multiple veterinary visits, tests, and extensive paperwork to move with his family to Hawaii, suddenly died the day before departure. Rest in peace, Twig. The Maya Angelou Make America Great Again Award goes to anyone ± Republican, Democrat, or independent — who reads the rest of this column, laughs, and keeps talking across the aisle. Because “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
The What’s With the Hair, Donald, Award for fur-related problems goes third to Teaser, Binx, and Scooter, who are all looking good now. Second to Mattie, whose mother loves him anyway. First to Booley, the field spaniel, who finally has an (almost) full coat of fur thanks to owners who persevered for years as we figured out his hair loss issues. Very Fine People on Both Sides Blue Ribbon to Mama, Hafiz, and Rumi, three white cats adopted all together. This is the only kind of White Supremacy anyone should tolerate. The Mueller Report Award to Bastet, whose owners left me this review on Google. “Intelligent patience in the face of idiot summer vacationers.” Their words, not mine. Thanks.
The AOC 116th Congress Bring In the Young Folk Awards go to all the new puppies and kittens making people’s lives better — Pip, Artichoke, Tam Lin, Wren, Twinkle, Huckleberry, Copper, Finn, Griffin, Henry, Brady, and more. Maybe we need to get every member of Congress a kitten? Give Mitch McConnell two. And I vote that with ASPCA supervision, the residents of the White House shall personally foster all the huddled masses of homeless, lost, or abandoned puppies. No cages allowed.
In the Democratic Primary Category, we begin with Too Many Candidates Ribbons for every single special pet whom I’ve forgotten, don’t know personally, or don’t have room to mention. Marianne Williamson Harness the Love ribbons for responsible rehoming go second to Chappy and the goats. First to Jack, the big, overly exuberant Newfoundland puppy. When his family experienced a series of personal tragedies and were unable to keep him, they enlisted the help of dog trainers Pawsibilities LLC. Jack is now a well-behaved working boy, happily rehomed as a service dog. Love matters.
On to Health Care and our Pre-Existing Condition Awards. Honorable mention to Gunner, who needed corrective eye surgery, diabetics Blitz and Rocky, and cardiac patients Tinker, Maggie, Amando, and Bruno. Third to Leo, whose owner has medically managed this German Shepherd’s perianal fistulas for over two years. Second to Spice and Charlotte, two cats with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and Sophie, with a chronic neurological disorder. First to Star, the Bengal kitten born with severe cleft palate. We pray for a positive outcome to her journey. Medicare for All ribbons go third to Rocky for albuterol toxicity. Second to Sir Grey and Obie, the two dogs who each lost one eye. First to kitty George, whose cancer caused a rare condition called chyloabdomen. Notorious RBG Ribbons go to all the amazing senior pets out there who keep on going, even while dealing with chronic illnesses or pain. Hobbes, Buddy, Lucy, Lea, too many to name. You know who you are. We hope you live forever. Of course there are many more I should acknowledge in these divisions, but I give myself the Joe Biden I’m Old and Forget Stuff But You Like Me Anyway Award.
Moving to the We Ain’t Greenland Local M.V. Events, we start with Weather Alerts. Gale Warnings for dogs who sometimes blow through my office with a little too much energy: Sam, Skye Blue, Evelyn, Henry II, and Wilson. OMG It’s a Tornado ribbons to those wonderful puppies who play wildly with my dog Quinna. Grady, Conan, Dinghy, Schooner, littermate Reckless, and the love of Quinna’s life, Fergus, who so generously shares his backyard and doggie pool.
The VTA Strike Award for overcoming transportation issues goes to the poor sailor fellow whose mini poodle fell down the boat stairs one night, resulting in a compound fracture of the foreleg. That means bones protruding through the skin. With no car, he relied on the Animal Control Officer, who, due to a miscommunication, first drove them to the wrong veterinary practice, which was closed, of course. By the time they got to the on-call vet (me), there was barely time to splint the fracture and rush him to the last ferry to get to the specialists. Hoping surgery and recovery go well.
Great White Shark Awards are for pets who sometimes threaten to inflict bodily harm. Honorable Mention to Charlotte, Nelson, April, Baris, and Aly, all of whom are putting up with me pretty well these days. Third to feisty cats Sophie and Chloe. Sophie did great this year with two doses of gabapentin and a house call. Let’s try this with Chloe. Maybe she’ll let me walk into the room without attacking me. Second-place ribbons to Pinot and Juno, with special kudos to their owners for exceptional patience and assistance. First to Rosalie, who I’m sure is lovely at home, but who took an immediate, intense dislike to me. Her owner graciously accepted referral to another veterinarian braver than me.
Finally, the Last Ferry Home ribbons go to all the pets we’ve lost this past year. Corky, Cody, Beano, Traveller, Honey, Leo, Spooky, Bobo, Kitty, Bella, Bosco, Frankie, Max, Allie, Loretta, Kiwi, April, Maggie, Charlie, Curious, Strummed, Simon, Bodi, George, Opal, Salem, Buster, Ohno, Oscar, Stormy, Mickey, Smooch, Mistie, Mr. P, Finn, Jen, Magic, and many more. Fair winds and following seas, old friends.