Saturday, March 5, 2011


I consider Emily to be one of my most special clients and a friend. When she comes into the clinic it brightens my day and makes me smile. We have good conversations about different breeds of dogs and what's going on with her cats. She's one of those clients that all veterinarians love to have.

Oh. Emily's 10. 

Ten going on 25.

I first met Emily when she was about 7. For the last 3 years I've been sure she's 12. ( I don't have my own kids and I'm not as sure about their ages as most of my staff. But I think I can be forgiven, since Emily is certainly not your average kid.) The earliest moment that sticks in my mind is Emily coming running up to me one night at the Cape Fear Regional Theater at intermission, dancing and chanting, "Mom! It's Dr. Blackmer!" I felt like a sport's hero.

Echo on her first night home.
When we brought Echo home our breeder reminded us of how important it is to socialize her with lots (her words were "hundreds") of people. That goes double for kids, since we don't have any. My first thought was Emily. She's exuberant and energetic, but she's also really good with animals. I was fairly certain she'd be a good choice for Echo's socialization with young girls. (Hannah had ensured that the litter met many people, including kids, but, as she reminded us, it's different when the pups are away from their litter mates.)

Emily was beside herself for two weeks, as Echo settled into our home and became more comfortable. Then yesterday I had Echo with me at work (safely in our grooming area, away from any other dogs, since she's not yet fully vaccinated) and Emily and her family were coming in to pick up Murray, their noble and gorgeous Maine Coon cat that I'd just neutered. 

Emily and I went to visit Echo alone first. I put her on the floor and as suddenly as a spring storm, Emily turned from dancing, enthusiastic bundle of energy to calm, still, and gentle. She sat in one place and talked in a low voice and Echo approached her and ate treats from her. Within 30 seconds she was climbing all over Emily and licking her face. Her tail was wagging and Emily was smiling and giggling. We took her out for a walk and Echo would as soon go to Emily as to me. I wish I'd had a place to let her off leash, because I'm sure they would have happily romped around together, exhausting themselves.

I could not have been more thrilled at my puppy's first experience playing with a kid.

Echo is already asking when we get to visit with Emily again.

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