Growing up, I wanted to be a vet. I loved and still love animals, and I loved the prospect of being there for them so that they can live healthy and fulfilling lives. Most of all, I adore dogs and cats. Dogs, I observed, grow up in the personality of their owners. For instance if you are a quarrelsome owner, you will have a miserable dog, if you are a happy owner, you would have a happy dog. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
We lived about 15 mins by taxi from Port of Spain, in a small, simple home with lots of yard space and Avocado trees, with a mango veare(?) tree and guava trees. Some days when no clients came to do their hair, mom used to pitch marbles with my sisters. As a single parent, she opted to have her hair salon at home to be closer to her children. I remember coming home from school and smelling the misty finishing spray in the pink can. I also used to hear the hair dryer running, and seeing mom apply the relaxer to a sitting client's head. She used to look so tired. Moscle and Truskey, used to greet us at the gate when we came from school. Some days, there were lots of laughter coming from the salon, especially on a Saturday.
The salon was a gray and white building with a sign in the road that says, "The New You". It was wooden and sat just outside our home next to Matapal Street. Some days it was empty of clients, and mom used to send us to Ewing Grocery with $40.00 to get items for the day. Back then, it was alot of money. When we returned home we used to have brown paper bags in our arms filled with bought items. Yep, life was simple.
One year, we were blessed with nine animals in our home. That year, Truskey gave birth to six pups: Moscle, Whitey, two other females and two other males. I remember, because I had on a pair of yellow gloves that were too large for my hands, and I squatted beside Truskey and helped her to give birth her pups. I was 13 or 14 at the time. The puppies came out in a slimy clear sack, which I tore open to relieve them. Each puppy was connected through its umbilical cord, to a dark sack, which was promptly consumed by Truskey. I was aghast, then Mom explained the those sacks were the placenta, and it is full of nourishment, and Truskey the dog, is consuming this mass to feed the puppies through her milk. That day Truskey ate no food. Ever since then, I have yet to see puppies as healthy as the ones that came from Truskey. We had a cat called Tiffany, who gave birth to three kittens a week later.
From that moment on, I wanted to be a vet. The desire is still alive, though, it is not as pronounced as before. It seems that everything is driven by money. Where is the passion and pride of being in an occupation because you can help someone live a better life, or because the idea is fantastic! If you are in the medical field, where is the compassion and gentle sensitivity for the sick, elderly and dying? Times have changed. It is with great sadness that I read the plight of a young mother who is in a coma because pieces of placenta was left in her after she gave birth to her child. While I don't know all the facts, I hope that she recovers quickly to care and nurse her beautiful baby daughter. We must cherish each day as it is our last....until better times come.