This past weekend, we attended the Austin Humane Society's Teddy Bear Surgery event, where children were invited to bring their teddy bears (or other stuffed animals/lovies) to meet with a veterinarian. Ava is currently at an age where she has a bunch of logistical questions about how things work (the postal system, pharmacies, who makes the food at the grocery store, etc), and what animals do at the vet is certainly on the list of things she's curious about, seeing as how we basically live in a zoo with all these pets!
I had heard about the event a few weeks prior and, with Ava currently really attached to her teddy and other stuffed animals, jumped at the chance to sign her up for a visit. On the day of, she grabbed her teddy, aptly named "Teddy", and off we went!
The first thing they had us do was check in, since we had all signed up beforehand online for a time slot. We were given a paper with a teddy outlined on it, and were told the first step was to color in where our teddy was hurt, and whether he needed surgery, or just a bandaid. Ava and I talked about what had happened to her teddy - he'd fallen off the bed in the middle of the night - and decided he needed a couple stitches for a cut on his ear, and surgery on a head contusion. Poor Teddy! Also a part of our welcoming packet was a booklet with crafts and activities to make (how to make a feather cat toy, etc.) and some helpful information about how to greet an animal you aren't familiar with, some stretchy bracelets from their sponsor, Jack Ryan Jewelers, a candy bracelet, and more!
Once it was our turn to go back, Ava cautiously brought Teddy into the operating room (whoa, cesarean flashbacks!) to meet the doctor and explain what Teddy was there for. She was a really great listener and put Ava at ease immediately, despite the surroundings being a bit scary looking.
Once they had a plan of attack for what Teddy needed (two stitches in his right ear, and a bandage around his head), they got to work, with Nurse Ava assisting: