The Meenister’s Log
In one of James Herriot’s ‘s books (“The Lord God Made Them All“) – stories about his life as a rural vet, he relates this tale .
He was called out one Sunday night to a couple who lived ten miles away, to see their dog.
When he got there, the woman, whose home it was, invited him into a shabbily furnished room, one end of which was partly curtained off.
She drew back the curtain and introduced her husband, Ron, who was in bed. He was a skeleton of a man, hollowed-out eyes, yellow complexion.
“That’s the patient,” she said, pointing to a dachshund sitting by the bed. “He’s gone funny on his legs; he can’t walk”
The vet was struggling by this time with irritation for being called out on a Sunday for a case which could easily have waited a day or two or the dog could even have been brought to his surgery.
Then Ron said, ” I were a miner. Roof fell in on me. I got a broken back. Doctor says I’ll never walk again”……
….. and, after a pause and in a husky voice, he continued, “I count my blessings. I suffer very little and I’ve got the best wife in the world”
The vet couldn’t help wondering what his blessings were – the wife,obviously, the dog who provided companionship when his wife was out, and the magnificent view across the Yorkshire Dales where he used to tramp for miles. That was all. But that was enough.
By then, the irritation had seeped away.
Driving the ten miles home across the Dales, he felt very humble