Holly Woltz

Doc Holly

Last week, while in the grip of coronavirus terror and watching the frenzied, shark-like attack of politicians and the media, I received an email from another veterinarian saying she was bringing back “Thankful Thursday.” I squinted hard at the email, wondered what that was all about, and then went on to more pressing matters (and no, it wasn’t to go to the store for more toilet paper).

Several hours later I decided it was time to finish emails and was amazed that her one email had started a tsunami of gracious caring comments amongst veterinarians. They were thankful to leadership for staying calm and making difficult choices to protect all of us, for clients who understood that business is not “as usual,” for staff who have adapted to new cleaning protocols and running pets back and forth to parked cars, and for all individuals, everywhere, who maintain positivity and a ready smile. We’re in this together.

I now understood what Thankful Thursday is. It precedes “Thank God it’s Friday” as we wait with great anticipation for the end of the week. We are grateful our work week is nearing the end, and we have one more day to admit a mistake or to finish a project.

In today’s coronavirus world, it means we will be able to stay safely at home, after one more day, for an entire weekend … and pray the curve begins to flatten.

However, being a great fan of Jimmy Buffett, I admit that I love his definition: “If I don’t die by Thursday, I’ll be roaring drunk, singing Friday night.” And to do that in the Keys? Priceless!

I then thought it would be a nice idea to do a little social media philosophizing and put the concept of Thankful Thursday on our Veterinary Services Facebook. We got three comments back from readers. When I posted a similar Thankful quest on our “secret” Veterinary Services Staff Facebook, no one commented. Oops, that’s not entirely correct. I received four thank you’s the next day for Friday’s lunch pizzas. That’s a good start!

My daughter has always said that I see life through rose-colored glasses. I’m an optimist. When a door slams shut, I find there is usually a window opening somewhere. That’s one of the things that God does so well – opening windows.

Nothing like a good long walk with your dog to gain a new perspective. Dora and I headed out this past Saturday for a Gratitude Walk. Mindful steps for the human and the usual craziness of squirrel stalking and sniffing out hoodlums for my red devil.

This is such a beautiful time of year. The dogwoods with their snowy white blossoms and the bright party-colored azaleas are all beginning to show off. Trees are budding bright green. The purple, dripping wisteria clusters are falling from high branches. The world just seems so new and uncharacteristically quiet. There’s that coronavirus creeping in again.

We passed six horse riders and five other dog walkers. They’re all neighbors, but we had never met before. We had nice conversations, keeping our respectful distance, and talked about the inevitable coronavirus.

I believe good things will come out of this pandemic. I already see it and feel it. We will learn how to plan for medical crises better. We will meet our neighbors and draw closer together. We will learn how to be grateful for what we have. As a nation, we will know how to make better choices in stopping these microscopic terrorists at our borders while keeping our economy strong.

Which reminds me: It’s not Thursday, but I’d like to thank a few of those who are standing behind us, not even knowing who we are: Public Safety and first responders, medical personnel, folks who stock the shelves in grocery stores, Home Depot, Dollar General and the like, educators who struggle to provide online education for our children, people who pick up trash, read our meters and deliver our mail. Thank you to those who are the silent helpers of our lives. Truly, what would we do without you?

Put on your own rose-colored glasses and know that we will rise above. Stop complaining and follow the guidelines. Help those who need help. Smile, lend a hand (don’t forget to wash and sanitize afterwards) and let’s move forward.

Dr. Holly Woltz (Doc Holly), Chief of Staff at Veterinary Services, has practiced veterinary medicine for 30 years and specializes in senior care. A former teacher and writer, she enjoys talking and writing about the human-companion animal bond and its importance. Visit her at www.aikenpetvet.com.