Spring cleaning. Depending on the state of your home, and your personal preferences in the cleaning department, this can be a tedious task. Windows are scrubbed and opened wide to purge stale, stagnant air. Floors are cleansed with lemon-scented disinfectant. Bulky winter gear is folded and packed away into water-tight plastic containers, banished to the lowest levels of the dwelling. Each of these processes transforms your home from the cave-like place in which you spent the cold months, to a warm comfortable place.
Now, I’m not saying that I did all of these things. That would take a lot of time that my husband and I never seem to have. However, we recently busted out the lemon Pledge, disinfectants and plastic boxes. Random collections of small detritus were gathered and sorted. The cleaning marathon can really be summed up in two words—we organized.
It feels great to have everything in it’s own place, making the hours spent sorting random things worth it. What ended up making the whole process even more worthwhile was a little discovery.
There are things that you just hold onto. Sometimes there’s a reason—sentiment, perhaps—but other times you just keep it. I am by no means a hoarder. I know I can’t keep everything and I don’t want to. However, there are some small items that are linked tightly to memories. When they pop up again unexpectedly, it always leads to a trip down memory lane.
This time, my busy hands stumbled across a small metallic object. It was dull, scratched with years of wear, but the deep blue color was still there. The small stop sign-shaped tag had belonged to my first dog. Wilma was a salt and pepper Schnauzer that my parents had brought home on Valentine’s Day when I was four years old. To say that the little bearded lady was an amazing, loyal, family dog—though 100 percent true—might feel like a hollow cliché. However, she was a part of our family.
Anyone who has experienced the bond that forms between a human and a loving pet will understand this. If you haven’t, it can be a little difficult to explain. To us, she wasn’t just four-legged and furry, she was a bundle of personality. The love was mutual. We had many wonderful years together before she became sick with diabetes. My parents worked closely with our local veterinarians to treat her and keep her happy. The treatments granted us about two more years with our beloved girl before she passed away.
As I looked at one of her Fulton County Dog tags, I wasn’t overwhelmed by sadness. Instead, I started to think about what the veterinarians had done for her. Just like a great doctor can help a human through a difficult illness, a great vet can help a pet. This month I had the opportunity to speak with several passionate veterinarians in The 330. Each of them understands the love between an owner and their pets because they have experienced it first-hand. I asked them about not only their work, but their fuzzy—and feathered and scaled in a few cases—family members. Each of them explained how being pet-parents has helped them connect to their clients.
Spring cleaning allows you to open your home, making space for new memories to happen. Each time my puppy, who’s almost two years old, bounds through our home, I think of the past puppies. So happy and such wonderful additions to our lives, I’m glad there are people like the ones in this issue keeping their tails wagging. So here’s to many more days of playing ‘give me back the roll of paper towels,’ or ‘let me wipe your muddy paws please,’ with our furry family member.