Tuesdays with Auntie

Filed under: @ 5:52 pm

When Anastasia was -oh- four or so she asked Shawn where Beauford was.
Beauford, their greyhound, had died of complications of being exposed to blue-green algae at Greenlake and had been buried about 18 months previously.

Shawn told Anastasia that Beauford’s spirit was with his ancestors.
“No”, Anastasia responded “Where’s Beauford’s BODY?!”

Turns out she was asking because she wanted to go and dig up Beauford’s remains so she could have a dog skeleton and learn to be a veterinarian like Auntie Margaret. Beauford’s spirit, we were given to understand, would want Anastasia to have his skeleton so she could learn from it.

A four year old.
A four year old *girl*! 😯

This is a weird kid.
And she hasn’t gotten any notably less weird in the following 8 years.

So this year for Anastasia’s twelfth birthday Andrew and I gave her a certificate that entitles the bearer to an August’s worth of Tuesdays With Auntie.
August because on even months of the year I work the morning shift (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and whoever is working the morning shift spends Tuesdays in surgery.

Yes, I’m having my 12 year old niece watch me take dogs and cats apart and put them back together again.

Today, of course, was the first Tuesday in August.
Anastasia watched me spay a dog and remove its dewclaws. Afterwards we dissected the uterus and looked at the ovaries and the inside of the uterine horns.
Anastasia watched, and helped, me remove a lump off of the side of a cat’s neck. This one was a sweat provoking procedure because the lump was up close and personal with branches of the cat’s facial nerve and with his jugular vein. Shawn, I’m afraid your daughter was exposed to some *special* surgery words this morning. Anastasia helped in that she got to hold instruments that were attached to the lump so that the lump would stay out of my way while I was teasing it away from the cat’s jugular vein. I believe I may have nightmares about that (heh) bloody jugular vein. Ergh!
And my technician showed Anastasia how to clean dog teeth.
Anastasia also got an introduction to anesthesia protocols, placement of IV catheters and endotracheal tubes, and surgical monitoring and anesthesia recovery.

I may be reading into it, but it seems like Anastasia was in hog heaven (to put a veterinary metaphor to it). Next week, among other esoteric delights, we get to neuter a kitten that belongs to one of my assistants.

Some of you will be familiar with the fact that we had a housemate when I was about Anastasia’s age. Jane, the Troll That Lived In The Basement, was a wonderfully warping influence on me as an early teen. I’m glad to be able to continue the legacy and warp an early teen in my turn.

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