01 December 2009

Bless the Web!

I am a big believer in Synchronicity. I've simply lived through too many what an amazing coincidence moments to not start thinking that the universe is leaving a very clever bread crumb trail for me to follow and that I should be grateful.

The latest evidence that there is a massive conspiracy of goodness? Gabi, Brian and Dr. Alex.

My story begins (as so many do) with Brujo.



A few weeks ago I looked up to realize I was tardy in getting B a visit with his beloved vet. So I called the clinic, only to be told that Dr. Alexandra Barrientos no longer worked there and that no further information was available.

PANIC TIME.

We adore Dr. Alex. In addition to being incredibly knowledgeable, intuitive, skillful and kind, she is one of the few veterinarians I have ever met who treats me like a valuable and intelligent partner capable of fully participating in the maintenance of my dog's health. She listens well and is happy to work with me, instead of insisting I let her do whatever she wants behind closed doors and then use my opposable thumbs to write the check.

And she loves our dog! She thinks he is cute and accommodates his needs. Instead of calling in a technician to wrastle him to the ground, Dr. Alex is happy to let Brujo stand on the table with his front paws on my shoulders because it keeps him calmer during the exam. She thinks about his total well-being, not just his lab results.

So, despite the 2 hours we had to travel each way, B and I always made at least one pilgrimage a year to see her, and returned home happy and reassured.

But suddenly she was gone.




I didn't know what to do. I took a few days to let the shock settle in. When I could no longer delay making an appointment, I decided to try one more time to find her. Short of hiring a private investigator, I figured my best bet was the Internet. So, I googled Dr. Alex.

I found one dead link to her bio on the old clinic's website, a few mentions of a different Alexandra Barrientos on LinkedIn, and this post on the Dog Dayz Playhouse and Retreat website about a dog in Indiana who had been a long-distance patient of Dr. Alex, dated February 2009. Not very encouraging.

Feeling desperate and having only this outside chance, I sent Dog Dayz an email.

Hello!

I happened upon the good news about your dog Gabi marking 3 years cancer-free while googling for Dr. Alexandra Barrientos of Smith Ridge Veterinary Center. That's wonderful! My dog, Brujo, is a patient of Dr. Alex's too and we adore her and feel very confident in her treatments and advice. Sadly, I just called to make an important appointment with her only to find that she recently left SRVC. They were unable to tell me how to reach her, and I am wondering if you know where she may be working now or have any contact info.

Congrats on Gabi's continued good health.

Best,
Adrianne


Three days later, Brian wrote me back. Unfortunately, he'd had to put Gabi down after three and a half years of fighting her cancer. He hadn't had contact with Dr. Alex since. But he did happen to have an email addy for her, as she had worked so closely with him and Gabi through their ordeal. He didn't know if it was a personal email or one from the clinic, but he tried it. And she answered.

She'd left the clinic to start her own practice, which, coincidentally, was to have its Grand Opening four days after I got Brian's email. He gave me Dr. Alex's contact info and I immediately made Brujo's appointment. Within a week of sending that blind email to a total stranger halfway across the country, Brujo had seen his vet.

It was a web-based miracle.

So, the next time you (or I) think that your little blog posts or other bits of Web ephemera "don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world", think again. You may never know whose life you touch nor when, but, given how close together the Interweb has brought us, it's bound to help somebody sometime.

In that spirit, here is the contact info for Dr. Alex's new clinic. Just leave us at least one appointment slot a year, ok?

Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital
8 Nancy Court
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
845.227.PAWS

ETA: I just found out that Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital is hosting an Open House this Sat, December 5, 2009. Lot's of fun stuff going on. B and I won't be able to attend, but say hi to Dr. Alex for us if you go.


11 comments:

Darx said...

Hooray for synchronous vet-finding cross-continental love and hooray for you for so many reasons. I'm so glad that you wrote today!! :)

Anonymous said...

what a great post and a great story. that brujo seems like one lucky little sausage!

i like the way your pics help tell the story - especially the sad/perturbed look on b's face at the thought of having lost Dr. Alex!!

keep on posting. i love to read what you write and love to see your fab pics.

-c

Anonymous said...

Thank you Adrianne! Like you and Brujo, my dog Molly and I travel a few hours to see Dr. Alex. She is warm, caring and compassionate and recently helped us through a crisis. I was panicked when her picture disappeared from the Smith Ridge site, and have been randomly googling her, hoping she would turn up eventually. Instead, today, I found your blog. Life is good again, thanks to you and the power of the world wide web! Best regards to you and Brujo, Kathleen and Molly in Massachsuetts.

Adrianne said...

Darx--- So much Thanks go to you!!

c--- Thanks for the encouragement! You are right, B is a lucky little sausage and so are his peeps. He's sunning himself outside right now, by the way. Hope you get to soon too.

Kathleen and Molly-- Yay! Wow that was nearly Instant Karma. I'm so glad my little old blog post helped you two reconnect with Dr. Alex. Good luck with everything!

K9S4FUN - The Puli and Border Collie said...

I live in Sedona, Arizona and have worked long distance with Dr. Alex for several years. She has been the most incredible healer.. like you wrote, she works in partner with us to heal our special animals. Her breadth and depth of knowledge is amazing and I feel so fortunate to be able to work and talk with her. Local vets only seem to want to give huge does of Pred and antibiotics. We are so fortunate to have again found Dr. Alex to help us with our special friends. THANK YOU GOOGLE and Dr. Alex for posting your new office on the web so we could find you.
Cynde

Adrianne said...

Hey Cynde, Thanks for your note!

It's great to find out how many people and animals Dr. Alex has been helping, get another reminder about how far the Interweb reaches, and read a bit about your fabulous dogs on your blog! We've thought about training B up for agility, because we think he would enjoy it (he is definitely high drive) but other priorities took hold. I suppose it is never too late though?

Anonymous said...

thank you I too have been trying to find Dr. Alex so I am soooo very glad you shared your story. We too love her and are happy to have found out where she has gone.

Thank you from two very happy labs

Anonymous said...

Thank GOD for your posting! I have been one of Dr. Alex's oldest patients at Smith Ridge. We haven't been there for at least 1 1/2 yrs & I knew she was eventually going to open one on her own. It happens that we now need to see her asap, so when I saw her pix gone from Smith Ridge, I too panicked! She apparently doesn't have a website yet, but I will be calling now to make an appt for my pup!
THANK YOU for your persistance in finding Dr. ALex!!!

Regards,
Kimberly & Whisper

Anonymous said...

Wow, thank you all for your posts. I just got a puppy and was looking for a vet when I came across Dr. Alex. She doesn't have website up yet, and I really wanted to see what some dog owners had to say about her. There is another vet hospital I was looking at that had great references and saved my husband's cat's life years back, but it's so big and they don't combine holistic with conventional medicine. Your comments and drive to find and travel to wherever Dr. Alex had her practice shows me how wonderful she must be. :) So glad for google!!!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic Story!!!! Brujo what a looker you are. Very handsome! I have a 14 year old Peke who suddenly came down with a mysterious pain that no vet could figure out. I had seen some things about Dr. Marty and Smith Ridge during frequent internet searches and was preparing to make the drive when I ran into a neighbor who told me about this great new vet nearby he had found. Turned out to be Dr. Alex! Instead of a 2 hour drive it was now a 20 minute drive. I think it was "kismet" that Kismet and I found Dr. Alex! I worship that lady. She's an incredible human being. Kismet suffered for almost 5 months before I found Dr. Alex...she had Kiz up and running in 2 weeks. What a plus to have such a loving caring person as Kismet's vet now that she is almost 15 too. I'm actually headed there tomorrow to pick up that magical ANT powder!

Adrianne said...

Dear Anonymouses, 2 Happy Labs, Kimberly & Whisper:

Is it time to start a Dr. Alex fan club yet?

I'm so gratified that you all have been able to connect with Alex. Knowing that more and more animals are getting the care they deserve makes me so happy!

Best Wishes,
Adrianne