Bee’s story isn’t just a success story for me. Her story is also a story of hope.
When I look at Bee, I see how far medicine has come, even within the too-short span of time measured by a dog’s life. I see the potential for how much could change within the next few years. Three years ago her life-saving surgery wouldn't even have been recommended to me. What is possible for other dogs three years from now?
Sometimes it’s hard to remember how very much is being accomplished every single day, in every single lab across the world. Some days I’d come home frustrated with what I saw as slow progress.
I’d come home to Bee nestled into her spot on the couch, with my dad sitting next to her, narrating the football game for “his girl”. He’d always ask me which mice I was working with, what they were used to study, and if I had any favorites that day (I had favorites every day; mice are stinkin' adorable!).
Dad was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s four years before Bee’s life-saving operation.
Today his spot on the couch is empty.
Today I still come home each and every day and tell Bee about my day at the lab. I tell her about the exciting research we’re doing. I tell her all about my mice and their antics. She patiently listens to me gush about the research my new friends are involved in at the veterinary teaching school where her life was saved.
I confide in her all my hopes for our Alzheimer's mouse models.
And each night when we go to bed, as I give her the last hug for the night, I tell her my hopes for the future. The future she represents, because she wouldn’t be here today without the lab animal research performed in the past.
Bee is a goofball, a clown, and a good girl. Bee is a lot of things.
But mostly, Bee is hope.