Krishna’s Flute: The Spiritual Journey of a Holistic Veterinarian is a new book by Dr. Marcie Fallek. Being published one chapter at a time, the book will be completed some time next year. Below you will find a few chapters from the book which have already been released. Hope you enjoy reading these inspiring tales and let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you.
Anxiously, I exited the crowded market in the small town of Puttaparthi India, where they had recently added a minuscule refrigerated section to the only ‘supermarket’ in this remote village. Having just finished the morning leg of my twice daily mission to feed the stray dogs that were wandering solo or in small packs on the perimeter or within the ashram, I was frantic, as I was completely out of cheese. On my way back to the hotel, I had noticed a very young female standing in the middle of the street, seemingly oblivious to the loud screeching of the horns of the cars and the auto-rickshaws. Swaying with weakness, with every rib protruding from... READ MORE
The cremation was prepaid; the jugular catheter already in place to facilitate the euthanasia for the vet tech arriving later that afternoon. Talk about the 11th hour! Claire had gotten my name a few years earlier from a colleague, and had saved it just in case.
Never will I forget that balmy afternoon in July of 1999 when Maria entered my Greenwich Village office carrying her dying cat. Muggins, a male tuxedo, was barely alive. Weighing only three and a half pounds, he lay immobile on a homemade stretcher....
I learn so much from my clients.
Annie had started losing control of her urine and over the months the situation was deteriorating. The carpets were becoming continually soaked and concurrently her hind legs were growing weaker and weaker. My heart sank as I fully understood the situation and saw the writing on the wall. My mind went into automatic pilot and I withdrew into an emotional vacuum. This was the point, where I would normally talk to my clients about quality of life, and the fairness of it all to their dog. Read more about Annie.
One blustery New England morning in the fall of 1997, I received a desperate phone call from an 80–year-old psychologist, Dr. David Ulrich. There was an urgency to his voice, which was totally understandable: his beloved Golden Retriever mix, Phoebe, had just been hit by a car and was laying totally paralyzed, screaming in pain, at the veterinary hospital. The board certified orthopedic surgeon had given the dog a 10% chance of recovery with the help of surgery, a full body cast and many months of rest. Mr. Ulrich had already made up his mind...
“Would you mind if I did an acupuncture treatment on Simon?” I asked. David glanced at his watch and sarcastically said, “Do whatever you want, the dog is going to be put down in half an hour.” Mr. A. had brought Simon to our hospital three days ago. The old setter mix hadn’t eaten in days. Despite all the lab work and radiographs, we weren’t sure what was wrong with him. “Old age” was the diagnosis. A diagnosis that always angered me. Old age is not a disease.
Does your inner voice sometimes warn you that something just doesn't feel right when you are given a certain diagnosis or recommended a particular treatment by your veterinarian? Are you too afraid or intimidated to speak up? You are not alone. The most important lesson we can learn in life is to trust our inner voice. It is never wrong. This lesson is particularly crucial to protect the pet you dearly love.
I have been a veterinarian for almost 30 years, specializing in holistic veterinary medicine for the past 20 years. The most important lesson that I can teach my clients is to trust their instincts. We are ultimately responsible for our own well-being and for the dependents that we love.
"Is it really so bad to buy a collie?" These words were tormenting me, going round and round my head, after my beloved Shadow had been killed by a car at only one and a half years old. My mind flashed back to the day I rescued Shadow from the local dog pound. Carol, the veterinarian I worked for and myself, were part of a dog adoption organization and had dashed over to the municipal shelter to choose two dogs. There were a couple of extra cages in our hospital, so we were able to choose one dog each from this squalid facility and hopefully find them wonderful loving homes. I had five minutes to decide, as we were on our lunch hour and clients were waiting for us back at the clinic. What a difficult position to be in! Feeling painfully pressed for time, I raced down the long center aisle looking for a suitable candidate.
I love to see unusual animals. 99% of the ones I see are dogs or cats. So it is always a thrill when something different comes into my office. One day, there came into my NYC office a young girl with a bearded dragon. I had never seen one before. Patricia told me that Alice, the lizard hadn’t eaten in weeks. I didn’t know how often a beardie had to eat, to be honest, and actually knew next to nothing about reptiles at all. I was candid about my ignorance, but the owner was more than happy to share her knowledge with me. She had just spent thousands of dollars at the Animal Medical Center, the biggest most prestigious veterinary institution in New York City, and arguably in the country. She had seen the expert herpetologist there. Despite a myriad of diagnostic tests, as well as poking and prodding every orifice in the hapless creature, they were not any closer to finding out what the problem was.
Do you know that feeling when the room seems to disappear?
A small inner voice told me to go the North Shore Animal League that morning, even though I had been there only the previous day. “Oh no,” I told it, “I am too tired!” I did my best to ignore the voice. North Shore was a four-hour round trip drive from my home, and I was not feeling up to it. But the voice was persistent, and would not let me relax.
I was on the lookout for a dog again. Annie had died two months ago and this time I didn’t wait. I knew I could not go through the agony of being without a dog for so long, this time around. I understood now that the wound of grief would never heal, as long as I did not have another soul to lavish my love on.
I do not believe that fish are anatomically able to cry, but I do know for sure now, something that I have always suspected. Let me tell you the story of Silvio. There is a wonderful young couple, Michael and Alleli, who established what has since been called the Children’s Project in a small village in India. It is a residential school for abandoned, neglected and abused children.
I received an email from Michael, that their flower horn fish Silvio was desperately ill, his life hanging in the balance. I know virtually nothing about fish, and cannot say I was even a aficionado of them, but I melted when I saw Silvio’s picture on the attachment. He is a large fish (in fact the species often reach 30 cm and more) with a cute dish face, with full puckered lips, that practically beg to be kissed.
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