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Vet Talks: A Journey Through a Mother’s Unconditional Love

Vet Talks 4 min read
Vet Talks: A Journey Through a Mother’s Unconditional Love

A mother’s instinct to protect her offspring begins from the moment she knows she is pregnant. As pet parents, we feel a similar connection with our pets. We vow to feed, protect, and care for our furry little ones. But sometimes even we need our mother’s help.

When I decided to take my veterinary studies from Brazil to Canada, my mother was not only MY strongest support…but she also became the perfect grandmom to all the rescued pets I had to leave in her care. 

Ever since I was a little girl, our home was filled with many animals. My parents brought me my first pet and they encouraged me to dream of becoming a veterinarian.

My mother was a big influence on my love for animals. I remember my mom always supporting and helping me with my beloved animals as I was growing up. After I started my journey to become a veterinarian, my mom was always spending nights with me at the clinic or going to the vivarium with me on weekends or holidays.

Some years ago, I faced a very hard decision. The decision to move countries. I received a scholarship to continue my veterinary studies in Canada. At this time, I had two cats and three dogs. I had no idea how I would be able to bring them with me. My pets always lived a long life, so at the time I had two senior animals that I knew would not be comfortable with the long journey due to their health conditions. The stress of a big move and international air travel did not seem feasible.

I shiver when I think of the goodbye I said to little Frederico.

When I told my parents about the scholarship I got, they knew that very moment what was holding me back. My pets! They did not hesitate to say they would take loving care of my pets like their own. My mother knew that if she wouldn’t be the one looking after my children… I wouldn’t leave. She and my father were the only ones I could trust. I left Mel, Big Big, Frederico, Billy, and Tasy behind..and I flew to Canada.

Leaving my dear pets in Brazil was an incredibly difficult decision, as I knew that I may not see some of them again, specifically the senior ones. For example, my lymphoma warrior Frederico was old, and his condition was deteriorating quickly. I shiver when I think of the goodbye I said to little Frederico.

dr amanda vet talks frederico the cat with lymphoma. Mother's cat.
(Frederico was old and fighting lymphoma. I left him in my mother’s care and in her arms he later passed away.)

My mom is keeping her promise. She continues to love my pets like they were hers. In fact, now when I tell her that I have made arrangements and I can start bringing them in one by one, she refuses to let them go. They are her fur babies now.

Tazy the cat. Mother's cat.
(Tasy was the last pet I adopted before I moved. She was left outside my door. She was my kitten. But she is my mother’s cat.)

Unfortunately, along this journey Frederico passed way, with Big Big, my “Fila Brasileiro”. I can tell you that my mom suffered the loss more than me when it was their time to go.

Mother's cat.
(Big Big was a stray I had rescued on a holiday. He spent his last 2 golden years with my mom and I did not get to say goodbye to him. But I know he was so loved and pampered.)

My parents always send me videos and photos to show me how happy my animals are with them.  As good grandparents of my pets, they love to spoil them with love, affection, and treats (Because of this, they have gained some weight!)

dr amanda from NHV with dog Billy. Mother's cat.
(Me and Billy – Twinning for a game. I rescued him from the highway. He is my mom’s dog now.)
Tazy the cat. Mother's cat.
(Tasy is almost 10 years old. She is my mom’s shadow)

I often think of bringing Mel and Billy home to me. However, now? It is practically impossible. My mother has made her claim as their grandmother. This reality is bittersweet because I miss them so much. But watching them have so much fun together, and knowing that my mother has so much love for them fills my heart with joy. I don’t worry about them because I know they are safe and happy with my mom.

Follow Dr. Amanda’s vet talks blog series

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda Nascimento DVM, MVSc, PhD

Dr. Amanda completed her undergraduate degree in veterinary medicine in 2010 and graduate studies in veterinary pathology (MVSc. 2012 and PhD 2016) at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo. She completed her post-doctoral training at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine – University of Saskatchewan in 2018. Dr. Nascimento will be hosting her own blog series and sharing her knowledge with our extended NHV family.

Published: May 3, 2019

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