by Gigi McWhirter
As the reason for the season is upon us, I could not help but be reminded of this beautiful epiphany as told and now written by my friend, Dan Gilchrist, DVM.
Dr. Dan (as he prefers to be called) practices vet medicine at Waterville Veterinary Clinic in upstate New York. I met him when he offered his services at our animal hospital as a relief veterinarian. He took complete delight working at the veterinary clinic in Sells, taking care of the mustangs and burros at Arizona State Prison and seeing patients in our office.
He and I had an instant connection because we have a lot in common, with our love for veterinary medicine being at or near the top of the list. He and I both feel like we are blessed to be a part of such an amazing profession.
I have used a part of this story almost every day. He gave me permission to share it with you. If you know me, you may have already heard it!
Without further ado, here you go:
“I delivered a calf one Christmas night in central New York. I was a little angry at being called out on Christmas, but as a solo practitioner, it was obligatory.
I delivered the calf with some difficulty and moved to the manger to halter the cow’s head up to administer some medications intravenously that would help her pass the placenta and whatever fluid remaining that was not soaked into my coveralls and filling my boots.
As I stood there in the hay, holding the bottle of fluids and watching it bubble down the IV line and into her jugular vein, I felt something on my knee. I looked down and there was the cutest little beagle puppy, tail wagging, his eyes saying ‘pet me, pet me,’ which I did.
Then I looked down the manger and there was a cat laying on her side, nursing four kittens, and I could hear her purring from where I stood some 20 feet away. Then I looked down the manger and every cow in the barn had their eyes fixed on me. There was no hate, envy, guile, or malice in their gaze. Just wonder at who I was and what was I doing there.
At that moment, a light went off in my soul, and I realized on this Christmas day that a manger was the perfect place for the Savior, the only perfect human to ever walk the earth, to be born.
There was no sin in that barn amongst the animals. They were celestial, living beings. No other place amongst the living could offer him such sanctity.
His birthplace was not by chance. I came in anger and left in humility with a truth never to be forgotten.”
May God bless each and every one of you and yours with love. Happy Tails!