Who can resist a sale? Especially when it’s just days after Christmas? And on this particular day, it was the last day of 2010. So, I rushed to the nearest PetCo in hopes of finding the (promised) toys for my critters, having explained for nearly a week that Santa was lost in the East Coast blizzard. It was time to make good on my promise.
As I perused the store, a woman pushing a toddler – and a lot of dog and cat food – kept catching my eye. After finishing my own thoroughly vetted purchase, I boldly approached this young mother and asked her if she would help me with a project. We shifted the cart, child, and critter food out of the line so others could move forward.
“Sure, I guess,” she said hesitantly as I handed the $10 to her. What I remember most of all about Kristin was that she was either quite shy or a bit confused about the entire situation. Perhaps it was a bit of both.
I asked her what she did for a living, besides raising a cute toddler. “I’m a Vet.” Well, “dah,” I thought. What a great place to find a veterinarian, besides an actual animal clinic.
“It’s over in West Seattle. The Lien Animal Clinic. But I’m on maternity leave. I have a new-born at home,” she explained. And I think I have a handful with a small dog and an indoor cat to take care of! My heart went out to this woman, who was, by every measure, in every way, a caregiver. And a giver of tender loving care to so many, regardless of how many legs they have.
“My husband is also a Vet,” she continued. Both attended veterinary school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She graduated in 2005. “What do we say?” she asked her son. “Go Badgers!” he shouted as he punched his fist high in the air.
She is originally from Menasha, which is about two hours north of Milwaukee. After graduating, it was work that brought both she and her husband to the great Pacific Northwest. Kristin confesses that she misses the snow, but not the mosquitoes (okay, I prompted her about the mosquitoes because I hate mosquitoes).
Kristin needed to think about what she might do with her new $10 bill on this, the last day of the decade. As I took her picture and then thanked her for her time, I secretly hoped that an orphaned animal in need would be helped because of a chance encounter at a PetCo store on New Year’s Eve.
-Petra from Seattle, WA