We wanted to share our March letter. I have realized that if you are signed up to get an e-mail copy of this direct from CVM, it may get caught in a filter, unless you make PL@cvmusa.org an approved sender in your filter settings. If you are not signed up, you may do so at www.cvmusa.org/hassinger.
Rays in the Garden
“They didn’t say anything about this in the books, I thought, as the snow blew in through the gaping doorway and settled on my naked back. I lay face down on the cobbled oor in a pool of nameless muck, my arm deep inside the straining cow, ...” Some of you may recognize this as the opening of James Herriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small.” Perhaps many of you, having some connection to animals, read it as a child. If you haven’t, it is well worth a read. Few probably finished reading this opening scenario, as I did and decided that it described your dream job. What a blessing that I was able to fulfill that dream. It’s that time of year when calving, lambing, kidding, and foaling season is upon us. For me, the wonder of witnessing the miracle of the birth of new life has never grown old. For a veterinarian, as farms have grown larger and farmers have become more experienced obstetricians, getting a call for a difficult birth has meant that I was likely getting called for the worst of the worst - so I was less likely to witness an outcome that was 100% happy. Nonetheless, for all the things that can go wrong, it is absolutely amazing that it ever goes right, and no less awe-filling to see it when it does! I also recently had the opportunity to do a preventative care clinic for dogs and cats - really, who doesn’t enjoy the chance to meet and play with puppies and kittens?
He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth... Psalm 104:14 NASB
This need to eat is certainly common to all humankind and animal kind. Indeed, it’s part of the natu- ral laws common to us all. Less physical things like awe, joy, affection, and love, while being less concrete or quantifiable, are no less real!
As you see baby animals in the pastures you drive by this spring, take a moment to ponder the miracle of that new life and consider that it is no less amazing than the stories of miracles we learned about in church or synagogue as children. Regardless where our politics are at, how much better off would we all be to reflect a little bit more on the awe, wonder, and truth found in the life of a newborn animal or first crocuses of spring.
Dr. Herriot titled his books based on the Cecil Frances Alexander Poem, which begins and concludes like this -
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Besides being just stories about animals, like any good story, they are about relationships. Our col- league, Dr. Kelly Crowdis, recently shared how so many of the blessings that are happening amongst the Hai- tians she works with, and these blessings are not because of the physical work of her own hands (a lot of good results from that too!), but because individuals and groups that wouldn’t ordinarily know each other or collaborate together, are working together through the connection or relationship made via their veterinarian.
Spoiler alert - if you haven’t read the book - this cow and calf both made it, but there are plenty more interesting tales of both people and their animals. Teaching skills like obstetrics provides job skills that open relationships and provide a tangible help in time of need. We thank all who are generously partnering with us to help send us on our way to help meet physical needs and share hope and joy in Haiti.
Wayne, Lisa, Ethan, and Alexis Hassinger