Ginger’s Vet
My Shrink

This is the backstory. Four decades ago, in Kingston, PA, I worked with someone for several years. She was bright, quick, and thought outside the box. She was reliable and could be trusted. However, I moved away and a couple years later she did also, and we lost touch with each other. Then I got a card from her about her wanting to visit me this summer. Was I excited? Since a don’t like writing letters, I called her.

We tried to catch up with 40-years…both of us talking at the same time. However, it was obvious to me that she had done the dance with death. If you have done the dance, it is often apparent to people that have seen Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture. It has to do with the drive to express oneself. I had done the dance but hadn’t noticed the change in me while talking. Someone who I had just met, asked me whether I had seen Pausch’s The Last Lecture. It was obvious to this person that I had done the dance. What is interesting is that my friend has also gone down the tunnel after a car accident. My friend will be interviewed by me when she arrives.

Soon my friend will be making her journey to thank people for what they did to assist her in life. Interestingly, Pausch pushes the issue about thanking people. I told my former colleague that I had done a similar journey to thank people several years ago.

We have talked regularly since my first call. Last week, we got into a discussion about our families. However, after I mentioned my mother dying from lupus in her early 50s, I happened to mention my Irish Setter, Ginger. I love my pooh dog who will be three in October, but she developed irritable bowel syndrome several months ago, which created multiple medical problems. After having Ginger’s vet, Dr. Sabedra, run all sorts of tests, nothing was found. Dr. Sabedra suggested taking her to Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital. I took Ginger there for a two-day exam. They put a camera down her esophagus, into her stomach, and into a part of her small intestines.

The device also took a number of biopsies. They concluded that Ginger had irritable bowel syndrome. She has been on meds for six weeks and is doing much better. She is back to normal, except for occasionally scratching her ear, which seems to be a symptom of her medical problem.

However, I was really concerned about Ginger. I didn’t want her to die when she was such a young dog. I owe more to Dr. Sabedra than this letter, which was sent to the owner of the Hobart Animal Hospital where she works.

E.  A L L E N  C A M P B E L L
8355 Doubletree Drive North
Crown Point, IN 46307
(219) 310-8064
cell (219) 928-5598

July 15, 2019

Dr. Brian Thompson
Hobart Animal Clinic
2650 East State Road 130
Hobart, Indiana 46342

Dear Dr. Thompson:

In the beginning of my adult life, I got an Irish Setter whose name was Ginger. I loved her, and we had a great deal of fun together. When she died after a dozen or so years, it was one of the worst days of my life. There was nothing that my vet could do for her. One day, it was apparent that she wasn’t going to make it. Since she wasn’t in pain, I just laid down next to her and petted her until she died.

In the twilight years of my life, I got another Irish Setter. Guess what her name is? As a puppy, I brought her to your clinic. The vet that saw my two month old Ginger was Dr. Sabedra. Ginger was cared for by Dr. Sabedra for over two years. From spaying Ginger, to various other minor issues, and her routine shots, she has been the person who treated my dog.

I have told Dr. Sabedra that she is Ginger’s vet and my psychiatrist. Her being my psychiatrist started on probably the second visit when I told her about how Ginger didn’t want to be in her small crate at night. Dr. Sabedra analysis of me was, “Either you will train her, or she will train you.”

All went well for Ginger and me until several months ago when she started drooling, scratching her ear, and vomiting. Dr. Sabedra ran all sorts of tests and nothing was out of the ordinary. I asked her what she would do? She said that she would take her down to Purdue Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which I did. Ginger was down there for two days. They put a tube down her esophagus, into her stomach, and into a part of her small intestines. They looked around and took a number of biopsies. They concluded that Ginger had irritable bowel syndrome. Ginger is on medicine, which has stopped her vomiting and drooling completely. Also, her scratching of her has been greatly reduced.

While Ginger is recovering quite well, it really worried me. I didn’t want to lose my second Ginger so early in her life. I’m grateful for having Dr. Sabedra as Ginger’s vet and my psychiatrist. I just wanted you to know how I feel about one of your vets, Dr. Sabedra. If you go to and type Dr. Sabedra into the search box, you will find several essays about her.


These pictures are of her visit after six weeks of medication.

Apparently, Ginger was reluctant to get a shot.