We arrived at the vet’s office a few minutes early. I pulled into the small parking lot and was slightly annoyed that I had to maneuver around a truck wrongly parked in the driveway next to the building.
I opened the door, grabbed the leash and Mickey, rambunctious as usual, leaped out of the backseat. As we walked by the open tailgate of the truck, I looked at the woman who sat in the bed of the truck stroking a large black dog lying very still next to her. She gave me a quick, weak smile and then watched Mickey as we walked by.
Memories of painful needles and uncomfortable probes must have kicked in just as I was opening the front door, because Mickey started tugging to turn around. I was having trouble pulling her in while keeping the door open when a man inside the office stepped away from the counter to hold the door for us. I thanked him. He turned back to the woman and the paperwork and continued somberly: “We’re just outside,” he said, “parked in the shade.” The doctor’s assistant assured him someone would be out soon.