You can’t have Bella without Ed­ward to keep her com­pany

Cape Breton Post - - WEEKEND -

Ididn’t do it on pur­pose. My words were com­pletely in­no­cent.

It was im­printed on me early on in my ca­reer that pop­u­lar cul­ture has a rather sig­nif­i­cant in­flu­ence on the monikers we give our pets. When it’s the younger kids in the fam­ily get­ting to choose the name, Dis­ney names of­ten pre­dom­i­nate. It was the sum­mer be­fore my last year of vet school when was re­leased, and I re­mem­ber a tsunami of Sim­bas and Nalas com­ing in to see me the year I started my ca­reer here in Cape Bre­ton. Even Ti­mone and Pumba got into the swell, though not in as sig­nif­i­cant num­bers. But it’s not just the movies, as I’ve doc­tored many a Mul­der and a Scully who had been adopted by an older fan of the tele­vi­sion show.

Al­though not al­ways, very of­ten th­ese names come in pairs. I imag­ine the SPCA re­ally ap­pre­ci­ates this when folks are pick­ing out their new kit­ten Jas­mine, and just can’t leave lonely Al­ladin sit­ting all by him­self in the back of the cage. I’ve of­ten thought of th­ese pair­ings as a good thing, be­cause it’s re­ally nice to see un­wanted an­i­mals find loving homes, and two is al­ways bet­ter than one. I sup­pose this is what was in my sub­con­scious when I meet Ja­nine.

It was quite a few years ago that Ja­nine, at six years of age, wanted a puppy, but the time hadn’t been right. Ja­nine was too young to give a puppy proper care and train­ing and her fam­ily was just too busy to do so for her. It had been a long six years for Ja­nine, but the time had fi­nally ar­rived. Ja­nine even had the name picked out — Bella — cho­sen as a re­sult of her pas­sion for the books and movies.

I could see the ex­cite­ment in Ja­nine’s eyes, and her ner­vous en­ergy when she and her fam­ily brought Bella in to see me. They had just adopted the lit­tle four­month-old lab mix from the SPCA, and the lit­tle lab was the pic­ture of health and sweet­ness. As I al­ways do, I talked to Ja­nine about her new­est fam­ily mem­ber. I al­ways try to in­clude the chil­dren in vis­its with their pets, but in this case Ja­nine was the guardian and she was pleased to ex­plain to me of how she cared for Bella. Know­ing the se­ries a bit (okay, I haven’t read the books, but I did see the first movie) I in­ad­ver­tently, but in­no­cently asked, “But where’s Ed­ward?”

As Ja­nine’s eyes opened wide and lit up, I no­ticed her mom’s go nar­row and stern. I fin­ished Bella’s checkup quickly and sent them on their way, but as they were leav­ing I could hear Ja­nine telling her mom that they had to go back to the SPCA for Ed­ward. Ap­par­ently she knew just the pup. Per­haps I over­stepped my bound­aries that day, and stirred up trou­ble for Ja­nine and her mom. But heck, I did it for love.

Thanks for read­ing. Adopt, neuter and spay, save a life ev­ery day.

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