LESLIE CRISS: From Tupelo to Texas, veterinarian will be missed

“Love of animals is a universal
impulse, a common ground on which all of us may meet.
By loving and understanding
animals, perhaps we humans shall come to understand each other.”
– Dr. Louis J. Camuti

“The best doctor in the world
is a veterinarian. He can’t ask
his patients what is the matter – he’s got to just know.”
– Will Rogers

I’ve been fairly fortunate when it comes to finding good veterinarians. At least, my pets have not complained.
During my Vicksburg cat years when Max and Calvin came to live with me, the only real problem when we visited Dr. Bob Anderson was getting Max to exit his carrier.
No amount of coaxing or bribing worked. Ultimately, the carrier had to be taken apart in order to lift big Max out for his examination.
Indoor cats both, Max and Calvin were healthy, low-maintenance kitties.

Maizie
Then I rescued Maizie from a busy Vicksburg intersection. For a dog of the streets, Maizie’s constitution ought to have been made of stronger stuff.
In her first year with me, Maizie led me to the brink of bankruptcy with all sorts of dog diagnoses – a broken leg, several bouts with intestinal parasites, thyroid problems and severe allergies. She was spayed and had several other surgeries we don’t discuss in public.
Dr. Bob took to calling her my “14-karat gold stray, but she was worth every dollar.
When I moved to Northeast Mississippi, finding a doggie doc for Maizie was easy. I met Susan Adams at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Corinth.
She commuted to Tupelo and was on staff at Dilworth Small Animal Hospital.
Maizie loved her and she loved Maizie – and, I believe, every other animal in her care.
One morning after Christmas in 2002, I drove Maizie to see Dr. Adams. She’d gotten sick during the holidays and I knew in my heart something wasn’t right.
I left her with the doctor while I went on to work. Later that afternoon, the call came from Dr. Adams telling me Maizie was gone.
She’d gone back to check on my sweet girl, saw she was in distress and held her in her arms as she died.
Knowing Maizie was with someone she trusted meant the world to me.

Gracie and George
Months later when I adopted Gracie, Dr. Adams gave her a thumbs up on her first check-up. And when George came to live with Gracie and me, she took care of him, too.
My dad drove Golden retrievers Sam and Max from Corinth to see Dr. Adams, and in the final weeks of Sam’s life, she made house calls so Dad wouldn’t have to load him up for a road trip.
In 2008, my Gracie injured her back and lost the use of her back legs. I stayed as Dr. Adams administered the sedative and later the drug that would end Gracie’s life.
She waited with me. And she cried with me.
Now she’s retiring, Texas bound to be closer to her grandchildren.
A large loss for Tupelo.
And so many four-legged, furry friends.
She’ll will be missed.

Contact Leslie Criss at (662) 678-1584 or leslie.criss@djournal.com.

Leslie Criss/NEMS Daily Journal