Nobody was as patient as Pualu.
Curled up outside, with her white toes and brown eyes, she waited. The wind sweeping minutes past her nose until full days had come and gone. She calmly watched them go, lifting no more than an eyebrow. She was the first to the clinic every day, without fail, accompanied by her hostess, a dedicated shelter volunteer.
Pualu had come all the way from Pang, a town above the arctic circle, to be able to receive veterinary care. She was on the schedule to be spayed from day one of clinics. But so many patients ended up coming in those first few days that Pualu’s surgery was postponed because we knew she was staying with us in Iqaluit for the duration of the clinic.
For three days we were greeted in the morning by her adorable face and pink nose, always subdued in the most well-mannered fashion until she was sure you were staying. Then her tail would start thumping, and her paw would reach up, and she would melt into you.
She affected each of us.
On the third clinic day we all came in a little earlier, just to make sure Pualu was the first patient to be brought into surgery.
Being used to an environment that always seems so rushed, everything on the fast track and never enough time, it was especially remarkable to see what so many lack exemplified in this little dog: complete and utter patience.
Vanessa Gerber, AVC 2017, traveled to Iqaluit in 2016 as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of reflective writing. This is one of Vanessa's pieces