{Ambedo} The Original Rescuer

If you've checked out the Sanctuary Roster, you'll know that Toki Wartooth (Not A Bumblebee) was my first rescued animal all the way back in October 2010. Like with most rescue stories, he really rescued me. He's the reason I'm here today, that I'm still alive today.

Last Wednesday, I took Toki into see Dr. Miller. Dr. Miller has been our bird vet since shortly after I brought Richmond and Dalton home and Richmond started showing signs of being ill. Deciding to take Toki to see her was a tough call for me because Toki does not do well with change or people he doesn't know. He doesn't do well with most of the people he does know, if I'm honest. He's a very particular dog who would be perfectly happy if it were just me and him for the rest of our lives. However, the whole unemployment thing meant that I needed to cinch in my budget and the vet he had been seeing since I adopted him was a little too expensive and doesn't see exotics/birds. Seeing a single vet that would/could treat all the animals was the better economic choice in these financially strapped times.

He needed to go in and see her because the growth on his eyelid had gotten bigger from the last time we saw his original vet in the summer of 2015. I knew she was a very nice vet and a soft-spoken person, so I thought my chances of him not putting up too much of a fuss with her would be pretty good.

Thankfully, I was right. He was very panicked while we waited for her, and he was a little growly when she came in, but he eventually calmed down enough for them to take him in the back and get blood drawn to make sure he could go through surgery. They even trimmed his nails while he was back there and I can't even believe that happened without someone losing their face. Toki HATES having his feet touched. He's snapped at me before when I've tried to clip his nails.

The good news of the visit was that the mass, while it had gotten bigger and has started to bother him, it hadn't caused any damage to his actual eye. His blood work showed he was in good health and could go through surgery to remove it.

So, I had to take a few days to think about putting him through surgery. He means a lot to me and surgery is always a risk. I don't think I could ever explain to anyone what he means to me other than to just say he is me and I am him and if he dies before me I'm not entirely sure I'll take it well at all. I'm positive I'll probably have a complete Krakatoa-sized meltdown. While surgery is always risky, so is leaving the mass on his eyelid because they can't tell me if it's something to worry about unless they take it off his eyelid and run tests on it.

In the end, my need to know instead of not know won out. He will go in and have surgery on 16 March 2017. I'll be able to pick him up and take him home shortly after they're done with the surgery, and that was actually the fact that tipped the scales toward going through with the surgery. I did not feel confident that he wouldn't have his own Krakatoa-sized meltdown if he woke up and had to stay there overnight. I had flashbacks to the last time, and the only time since my car wreck, that I took him to the groomers. We can never go back to Arizona.

In the meantime, he's been acting like nothing different has been going on. He's still my grumpy pumpkin that keeps trying to kick me out of my own bed with the help of Arya.

Summer Suzuki