My Human-Animal Bond

Blog Author: Jamie Rauscher, RVT
NAVTA President Elect

The Human Animal Bond is described best by the AVMA as a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors essential to the health and wellbeing of both. This includes, among other things, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment. Veterinary medicine exists due to our clients’ amazing human-animal bond with their pets. In so many cases, our clients treat the pets their own as family members.

They bring their pets to our clinics both when they are sick and when they are well. Over the 26 years I have been in Veterinary Medicine, I have had experiences from one extreme to the next, ranging from the client who can do anything and everything for their pet to the client that cannot even afford an exam fee. Yet, no matter their financial demographic, they all have come in with the same goal, to get their pet the best care possible.

Our patients are more than just pets to our clients. They are part of their families. The stories of their “Gotcha Day” up until it is time for them to cross the Rainbow Bridge all hold different meanings to each person. I am no different in that way.

My Sadie girl is the best. She came to live with us seven years ago when she was signed over to the clinic I work at. She is 13 years old and has officially retired from our blood donor program. Over the years, she was able to help save a dozen lives. She still loves going to schools in the area with me to talk about Veterinary Medicine with kids of all ages.

We ran her screening lab work two months ago and found some abnormal values. This led to us doing an ultrasound of her abdomen and locating a mass. We aspirated the mass, and the results came back strongly in favor of cancer. I held it together until I left my clinic that night, ugly crying in my car on the way home. I sat in my driveway and cried for her. For me. My family.

A few days later, we had her in surgery and successfully removed the mass. Unfortunately, the biopsy results did show that the mass was cancerous but fully removed with good margins. I held my breath for those days until I knew she would be okay. Unfortunately, as most of us do, my years of knowledge left my brain once my own pet was a patient.

Thanks to my amazing team of co-workers, she was able to make a full recovery and will continue to be a part of our family for many years to come.