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Extra Kindness Can Mean So Much

By January 10, 2017WNIJ

Booker Lighted up.

Booker was so ill, he needed to get to Madison for a biopsy and possible treatment.

Dr. Yocum made arrangements for us to get in on an emergency basis, that week before Christmas.I was so distraught they showed me to a room while they ran their tests.

Dr. Clare sat down next to me. Her eyes sparkled, but I couldn’t meet them. “I have good news,” she said. “It’s a prostate tumor that grew backwards into his abdomen. Neutering will fix him. He will be fine.”

Since Dr. Yocum was booked solid for two weeks and Madison was tied up, Dr. Clare arranged for a resident to operate a few days later.

She saved my dog’s life. She saved mine.

I was so full of sorrow and difficulty from my job and pneumonia and a possible MS diagnosis that losing Booker would have been more grief than I could bear.

But this professional who stayed late — who figured out how to fit me in — not only helped Bruce and me, but she also helped my forty-five students who needed me to be present as I taught them how to write and come to terms with authors like the Dalai Lama.

Dr. Clare didn’t have to put in those extra hours to help Booker, but she did. Sometimes that inconvenience, that weariness that comes with dropping a boundary –that kindness — can save a life.

I’m Katie Andraski, and that’s my perspective.

This was first published on WNIJ. If you’d like to hear me read this on WNIJ click here.

Booker framed by the cellar stairs


  • I am reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, “The answer’s waiting for you, but it’s not what you may think. It won’t steal your soul or leave you blind. It’s just a cup of kindness all along.”

    How simple and how lovely to turn and, unexpectedly, encounter the person who holds out that cup, without fanfare, without melodrama. There are acts in this world that are kind, and I believe there are people who just are kind, who have compassion because they ARE compassion.

    And when that compassion flows out to our animals, we are doubly blessed, because our animals in so many ways carry our souls.

    Thanks, Katie

    • katiewilda says:

      Thank you for those wise words. Yes it is indeed true that our animals carry our souls. You speak truth about my friendship with Booker and how this vet helped us. He lived several good years until he passed away last year, when it was time. We are also grateful that our vet figured out how to help Onyx, who is sitting next to me, and is still a great mouser. Hugs and blessings to you.