Sarah looked out the car window at the changing leaves. She couldn’t wait to get home so she could ride her pony Bobbi down the country lanes under the trees’ golden canopy. Once home, Sarah skipped out the back door towards the corral.
As she got near, what she saw made her heart stop, not believing her eyes. Bobbi, her best friend in the world, was lying on his side, one leg tightly entangled in the barbed-wire fence.
Sarah rushed to Bobbi, her chest bursting and eyes welling with tears. He was still alive but exhausted from his struggle to free himself. Sarah ran to the house, screaming.
Sarah’s dad raced back to the fence and cut the wire free of Bobbi’s leg. Bobbi just lay there, sides heaving and wet, exhausted from the struggle. Sarah cradled his head in her lap and sobbed.
Inside the house Sarah’s mom, Linda, was busy making phone calls. After getting an answering machine at their vet’s office, she was desperately trying to find any veterinarian available on a Sunday afternoon. Repeatedly, she was greeted by recordings telling her to leave a message. Bobbi might not have that long to wait.
On the verge of tears herself, Linda called the Joliet Animal Hospital. To her relief, a person answered. Linda’s words spilled out in a confusing jumble. The receptionist helped Linda calm down so she could explain her emergency as well as the condition of Bobbi. She promised to dispatch a veterinarian promptly. Linda hung up the phone and rushed outside to Sarah.
Unknown to Linda, the person she spoke to was not at the animal hospital, but worked for a telephone answering service in another state. The answering service was hired by the animal hospital to ensure that no family within its area would go without emergency animal care after hours. In accordance with the hospital’s instructions, the lady Linda spoke to contacted Dr. Trindle, who rushed to help.
Thirty-five minutes later, Dr. Trindle was attending to Bobbi. Soon, the doctor had Bobbi on his three good legs and his wounds carefully cleaned and treated. Sarah wrapped her arms tightly around Bobbi’s neck and buried her face in his mane, crying with relief.
As Dr. Trindle packed his instruments, Linda thanked him for having a person to take their call and reach him on the weekend. Linda went on to say that his operation was the only one who didn’t use a machine, instead offering a personal touch to answer their call. They would be bringing all of their veterinary business to Dr. Trindle and his animal hospital in the future.
By Peter DeHaan
Peter DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Contact Constant Link to learn how a Live Receptionist Service can answer your emergency calls 24/7.