Our primary vet suggested a specialist and when we couldn't get an appointment for six weeks, she wanted us to head to ER. How lucky am I to live minutes away from some of the best veterinary care in the country? So off we went.
I'm very grateful she was the most stable dog there because no one wants their beloved pet to be so sick they're triaged to be seen first. But that meant a long wait and I was nervous, concerned and a fairly panicked wreck.
Eventually, an incredibly kind and knowledgeable Dr. Henke came out to talk to us and tell us our sweet Islay was doing fine and not in immediate danger. The minute he started talking, I felt the power of his calming influence and immediately felt like I could breathe again. He was smart, compassionate and all-around wonderful — a true Spartan through and through.
Sometime in the not-too-distant future, I expect senior Travis Boling to be a calming influence for other scared pet owners. He's double majoring in zoology and animal science on the pre-vet track and plans to be an emergency and critical care veterinarian. I can't imagine what it takes to be under that pressure and be the one not only caring for animals in distress but also caring for their owners. Bless him and all vets out there doing this important work.
Travis is the latest student we're featuring in our special series, I belong at MSU. Our students come from all walks of life and pursue countless passions and create very different futures. But each one of them is an important part of the fabric that makes up our Spartan family.
That fabric includes a lot of incredible women so it's very strange to think women weren't part of the student body until 1870. From those first 10 students to now making up more than half of MSU's enrollment, women are an important part of our past and our future. Check out a special MSUToday feature, Historic firsts for Spartan women, to learn about some of those early trailblazers.
Speaking of history, it's always distressing to be witnessing tragic history unfold like what is happening in Ukraine. Recently, President Stanley penned a letter to the Spartan community urging us to support each other with "dignity, empathy and mutual respect." In other words, strive to be a calming influence the world needs right now.
This week also marked the ribbon cutting of a beautiful and important health care campus adjacent to MSU. It includes a 240-bed hospital, outpatient care center and a Karmanos Cancer Institute in partnership with MSU Health Care. It's a wonderful addition to the area and will certainly be filled with many calming influences in the form of skilled health care professionals.
Life is hard. Challenges pop up left and right and can be overwhelming. It's easy to forget that everyone is facing something that might be troubling. It's also easy to get wrapped up in our own problems. But it's important to be there for one another and offer support. Strive to be that calming influence for someone else. Offer hope, compassion and understanding. Just a few minutes could completely change someone else's day. Be that change, Spartans. Spartans Will.
Photo by Derrick L. Turner