Miscommunication does happen. People make mistakes. But when does an error intensify from an accident to intentional? If you’re an animal lover, you’ll understand and empathize with Tawny Coates, the pet owner in this story, and her children.
Coates and her children have a beloved boxer named Zoe. Nearly 10 years old, Zoe began suffering from seizures and a tumor developed on her back. She became very ill and her family knew her end was near.
The Coates loved Zoe so much and knew the best thing for her would probably be to put her down, but they couldn’t bear to take her to the vet themselves. Coates asked her father if he would take Zoe for them. The decision was one of the most difficult ones Coates and her children have ever endured.
Coates paid $215 for the euthanasia and cremation. The vet even sent them a condolence card. They were touched, but the grieving process wasn’t easy for the family.
Six months later, Coates and her family decided to adopt another pet to help fill the void Zoe’s loss created. They wanted to bring home another boxer. Coates went on Facebook and browsed rescue groups with boxers ready for adoption, but as she did so her jaw dropped in shock. Staring back from her computer screen was Zoe.
But Zoe was dead. Wasn’t she?
To be sure she wasn’t seeing things, Coates peered closely at the photo. Indeed, the boxer up for adoption was her Zoe. She was listed for adoption at the very veterinary office where she had been taken six months earlier to be put down.
This is the point where the story becomes a little hazy, and I can’t blame you if it brings about feelings of anger on the Coates’ behalf.
The vet, Dr. Mary Smart, informed Coates that she told her father Zoe didn’t need to be euthanized when he brought her in – she simply required surgery.
Coates’ father, on the other hand, insists that conversation never happened.
It seems Smart used the funds he handed over for the euthanization to operate on Zoe. She said she assumed the Coates didn’t want the boxer back and insists she was just acting to save the dog’s life. Her only crime, she contends, was not contacting the family first.
It’s hard to separate fact from fiction, but the sad part is the Coates – and Zoe – could have been saved a lot of grief and the pain if the truth had been revealed earlier. Thankfully, Zoe is now healthy and back where she belongs – with the Coates.
Whether the conversation between Coates’ father and the veterinarian took place or not, this story is an example of how miscommunication can cause emotional harm and distress. In the end, what’s important is that both sides learn a lesson from how this problem was handled. Yes, people do abandon their pets, but to simply assume they no longer want them is incorrect.
Hopefully, everyone took something away from this story. Thankfully, it’s one that ended well.
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